Mon, Feb. 25th, 2013, 06:07 pm
Farewell, C. Everett Koop
It's not often the phrase "Heroic Reagan Administration Official" springs to mind.Charles Everett Koop
has passed away
at the age of 96. And he definitely wasn't the type you'd consider progressive by his resume: personally against homosexuality, abortion, and pre-marital sex, he nevertheless was a strong proponent of educating the public about them and defending people's rights involving them. He was especially big on informing people about AIDS at a time when not a lot was known about it. And he was virulently anti-smoking.
In other words, even though he didn't agree with them, he upheld the laws of the land. And he tried to make things safer for everyone, using his office as a bully pulpit to make people listen to actual, accurate information about hotly politicized topics.
Rest Well, Dr. Koop, and thanks.This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1602953.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.
Mon, Feb. 25th, 2013 11:34 pm (UTC)
Mon, Feb. 25th, 2013 11:55 pm (UTC)
Wanting to use actual, accurate information would make him a pariah in today's Republican Party.
Tue, Feb. 26th, 2013 12:06 am (UTC)
People neglect to mention that, in his later years, Koop was an extreme anti-abortion supporter. Although I have sometimes wondered if "pro-lifers" were taking advantage of an elderly man.
Tue, Feb. 26th, 2013 02:59 am (UTC)
Tue, Feb. 26th, 2013 04:42 am (UTC)
I loved that he dressed
like a Surgeon General - that and the Amish beard were highly distinguishing characteristics.
I also tip my hat to him for fighting to get correct, accurate AIDS information out at a time when no one wanted to say the word aloud - and did not let his personal religious beliefs about sexuality interfere with his duties. (Are you taking notes, fundie pharmacists?)
Here's a verse of Joanna Cazden's song:"I am the very model of a modern Surgeon General
I've information medical, political and ethical.
I know the harm of smoking - it's a drug, make no mistake on this -
And forced tobacco industries to do a double-take on this!
I'm also well-acquainted, too, with matters known as sexual
Transmission of diseases that are fatal but not casual,
For no-one can be squeamish when an epidemic threatens us,
When ignorance is deadly and our prejudice is dangerous.
Why should it be surprising? No it shouldn't ought to be a fuss
That ONE, at least, of Reagan's men deserved to hold the public trust!
In short, in matters medical, political and ethical
I am the very model of a modern Surgeon General!"
Tue, Feb. 26th, 2013 05:47 am (UTC)
It may be too soon... but...
The Koop has flown.
Tue, Feb. 26th, 2013 08:03 am (UTC)
While I vehemently disagree with his personal views, I have nothing but admiration for the man himself.
Tue, Feb. 26th, 2013 05:29 pm (UTC)
That's pretty much it. He kept his personal views from interfering with his job in public service. And he tried to make things better for people. Can't complain about that, nossir.