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The C. Everett Koop Papers

Letter from C. Everett Koop to Robert Zachary pdf (198,344 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from C. Everett Koop to Robert Zachary
NOTE: The last line of the second page is cut off on the original letter, it reads "Signed in his absence."
Number of Image Pages:
2 (198,344 Bytes)
1981-08-26 (August 26, 1981)
Koop, C. Everett
Zachary, Robert
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Exhibit Category:
Congenital Birth Defects and the Medical Rights of Children: The "Baby Doe" Controversy
Box Number: 68
Folder Number: 9
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Correspondence
Folder: Aug. 1981
August 26, 1981
Dear Bob:
I have your letter of August 11th and delighted to hear that Faith is making progress. Betty has some comments about that which we will get to you later.
I think the world is getting heated up to the situation in reference to infanticide. We have the famous Siamese twins here who have attracted a lot of attention, first because their pediatrician father and his pediatrician colleague set them aside to starve to death after which they were taken on as wards of the state and sent to the Children's Hospital in Chicago (where unfortunately the non-courageous surgical staff refused to come to grips with separating them). The judge ruled that the case could be dismissed and it was the usual white wash on legal technicalities because the father had been charged with attempted homicide as had the attending pediatrician. The district attorney, however, is a very pro-life guy and is going after this again at a higher court. The Americans United for Life, our legal branch of the pro-life movement is providing as much help as possible and I think this may become a very important case here. There are two other situations in the country at the moment which have attracted attention and the best thing about it all is that nurses are now coming forward to speak.
I do believe that you and I are still the only people who are standing up to be counted and are calling these terrible situations in pediatric surgery what they are; namely, infanticide.
I am delighted you have started on the professional ethics for nurses. I would love to see it in draft form or any other way that I can.
As to my own situation, the Congress has passed the law that enables me to become Surgeon General as far as my age and experience are concerned. My FBI investigation is underway and the President will appoint me shortly after which I will appear before the Senate confirmation committee which should be the 15th of September. That will be on hellish time because I will be as I have been ever since I have been in Washington the focal point of the pro-abortion attack against the President and the Secretary but they are invulnerable and I am not. If I pass that, then the whole Senate acts upon my nomination and I become Surgeon General. From a purely personal spiritual point of view, I believe that I will be confirmed because I am sure the Lord did not bring me to Washington to sit around here doing what I am doing now.
One of my duties is to supervise twenty-six bilateral health agreements with foreign countries and I have several trips planned to Europe and also plan to give the Founders' Day lecture at Children's Hospital in Dublin right after our Thanksgiving Day celebration here. It is my hope that on one of those occasions I can find some official business someplace so that I can get to see you and Faith. I need the refreshment of sitting down with a like-minded Christian pro-lifer and talking it over.
When Betty knew that I was writing you , she wrote a letter to you herself to enclose with this one. However, I am dictating this from Washington by telephone to Philadelphia and therefore I am going to read her letter now to the machine and have my secretary Eiko in Philadelphia type it. Otherwise you won't get it. I don't send this kind of personal stuff through my secretaries in Washington. Here is what Betty said dated August 25th.
Dear Bob and Faith:
Just have to tuck a little note in Chick's response to your last letter. It is such good news to hear that Faith is progressing and doing so well, -- indeed, quite a tribute to many things, but perhaps most of all to her great spirit and to Bob's nutritious cooking and nightly Ovaltine and "biscuit"! We are especially delighted that you are planning a late October trip to see Anne. I am sure it will take some planning but should be such a happy time for you all.
Also, I have to say a real "three cheers" for Bob's continuing forthright stand and advocacy for the disabled and the less than perfect little ones. How few will speak out as you and Chick do! I am sure the Evening Standard Reporter really blinked at your remarks about a baby drowning in a wading pool! And I know you make use of every opportunity to speak out. We are proud to know you and treasure our friendship with you both.
I am sure Chick will bring you up to date on his quest to become Surgeon General. Love to you both.
And now I send my love to you both as well and hope to see you sometime this fall.
C. Everett Koop, M.D.
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