Politics Is old ever too old? Cognitively impaired politicians, judges and physicians
Charles Barkley slams politicians: They 'divide and conquer' to keep power
Former NBA star Charles Barkley ripped both the nation's political class on Saturday, saying politicians are dividind Americans along racial lines for personal gain. "Man, I think most white people and Black people are great people," Barkley said Saturday night during the CBS's broadcast of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament."I really believe that in my heart, but I think our system is set up where our politicians, whether they're"Man, I think most white people and Black people are great people," Barkley said Saturday night during the CBS's broadcast of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament.
A 60-plus-year-old judgeher law clerk to don judicial robes while presiding over cases for nearly a year before her dismissal with Alzheimer's disease. An elderly surgeon continues to operate .
As neurologists specializing in cognition, we know that nearly a third of adults 65 years and older suffer from mild cognitive impairment or dementia, climbing to over half by our mid-80s, most often from. Despite these sobering statistics, many of us view aging as optional, deferred with technology. We expect to work into our 80s, replacing our joints and our heart valves when necessary. Unfortunately, our brains can defy our wishes, often shrinking or shriveling despite our best efforts.
Biden's attempts to diversify federal courts can't come fast enough
When it comes to interpreting the broad, majestic language of the Constitution’s protection of liberty and equal protection of the law, background and experiences shape the methodologies and arguments judges are willing to entertain. Will a judge care only for cool logic and the historical utterances of generations past, or will she ensure that those words can serve the needs of the living?In coming years, the Federal judiciary will resolve disputes where a diverse institution can make a big difference: the rights of sexual minorities, the rights of disfavored believers, voting laws, employment discrimination, affirmative action
In this month's issue of, an American Academy of Neurology publication, we discuss the growing number of physicians 65 and older still practicing medicine, approximately 95,000 strong, and the need to determine fair and reliable ways to identify those whose level of cognitive impairment poses harm to their patients. This is not unique to medicine, one of many professions in which reduced decision-making capacity can negatively affect public wellbeing.
undergo rigorous medical evaluations up to twice annually, with mandatory retirement at 65. must have bi-annual physical examinations recorded on standardized forms. Not so for physicians, presidents, senators, lawyers and federal judges whose decisions can profoundly impact our safety.
Trump's judicial appointments worsened racial diversity in the federal courts
Only 37 of Trump's 229 active appointments are people of color - the least racially-diverse group of federal judges nominated in nearly three decades.In just four years, Trump placed 234 judges with lifetime tenure to the federal courts, making up 28% of the current federal judiciary. An overwhelming number - 192 - of Trump's active appointments are white, while only 37 of them are people of color.
The average age of U.S. senators (62), representatives (58) and federal judges (69) continues to grow ever higher, but none of these individuals is required to have regular evaluations of their general or cognitive health. Our recent crop of leading presidential candidates, who ranged in age from 70 to 78, offered only brief summaries from their physicians vouchsafing good health, with limited actual data allowing the public, or as we argue, a neutral third party, to judge for themselves. This, despite the fact that over, regardless of party affiliation, believe presidential candidates should undergo cognitive examinations.
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Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor,disease, was a proponent of a mandatory retirement age for judges. However, we propose individualized determinations rather than a one-retirement-age-fits-all approach. Cognitive aging varies as considerably as we do as individuals. Some 70-year-old surgeons may perform a heart transplant as well as their 45-year-old colleagues, their judgment enhanced by wisdom and experience. We would be deprived of their outstanding service if age-based retirement were mandated.
American Idol: Katy Perry teases Ryan Seacrest over joining 'mosh pit'
The 36-year-old pop star joked that an overexcited contestant might start a 'mosh pit' with Ryan Seacrest, 46, on Sunday during American Idol's selection of its Top 16.Colin Jamieson, a 22-year-old wedding singer from Boxford, Massachusetts, was his usual ebullient self during the ABC show that cut eight remaining contestants.
Claims that the public can readily discern the status of a candidate's brain or general health are untrue. Even impaired politicians can retain their long-standing capacity to project a certain image of themselves, relying on scripted answers and have staff who can cover for them. Presidents, and come to mind. The American public needs the protection of agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection, precisely because it is not feasible for ordinary citizens to evaluate hidden threats. Similar oversight is essential for elected officials and licensed professionals whose compromised health can affect our safety.
Despite pushback against such assessments, judicious cognitive screening at age 65 and older for women and men in positions affecting public safety is urgently needed. Unfortunately, brief, 30-question screening tests such as theor the miss significant brain impairment in many, especially highly educated persons, just as an EKG is not sufficient to detect heart disease in others. What adequate testing looks like can be decided on by a neutral third party such as state-based physician health programs, or by within-agency protocols, as with the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). Neutral oversight should also be mandated for federal and supreme court justices who currently have lifetime tenure, and for our elected officials, including our representatives, our senators and our presidents.
Concerns about the individual injustice of ageism must be weighed against the public harm from age-based brain disease. Is old ever too old? Yes, if, after a fair evaluation, such a person demonstrates cognitive deficits significant enough to pose serious danger to the public. We must address this issue. Our lives depend on it.
Dr. Gayatri Devi is Clinical professor of neurology at Downstate Medical Center, New York City, author of "Spectrum of Hope: An Optimistic and New Approach to Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias."
Dr. Kirk R. Daffner is the Wimberly professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and the Muss Clinical director of the Alzheimer Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston.
Is telemedicine the de-evolution of medicine? .
From price wars to outsourcing to substandard care, we should consider all the unintended consequences of the telemedicine trend. COVID-19 has provided the impetus (at least temporarily) for physicians to provide telemedicine solutions to their patients and, in some cases, for their entire practices. Many doctors will favor this approach over seeing patients in person: There is no need to pay office expenses such as rent and staff salaries; patients and physicians alike just need a laptop and a camera.