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The C. Everett Koop Papers

Letter from Solomon Garb, Citizens' Committee for the Conquest of Cancer to Richard S. Schweiker, United States Department of Health and Human Services pdf (128,455 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Solomon Garb, Citizens' Committee for the Conquest of Cancer to Richard S. Schweiker, United States Department of Health and Human Services
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (128,455 Bytes)
1981-10-22 (October 22, 1981)
Garb, Solomon
Citizens' Committee for the Conquest of Cancer
Schweiker, Richard S.
United States Department of Health and Human Services
Reproduced with permission of Richard W. Garb.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Abortion, Legal
Public Health
Exhibit Category:
Biographical Information
Box Number: 7
Folder Number: 2
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Sequential Files
SubSeries: September 1981
Folder: Confirmation as Surgeon General: Background information, 1981 Sep
October 22, 1981
Dear Mr. Schweiker,
Dr. C. Everett Koop deserves a fair hearing and a fair opportunity to demonstrate his competence as Surgeon General. The position of the American Public Health Association that Dr. Koop is "uniquely unqualified" since he has been a practicing physician, not an administrator, is totally wrong. Many national health programs such as the FDA are inefficient, counter-productive, and actually reduce overall national health precisely because they are top heavy with administrators and have too few practicing physicians who understand the health problems of patients throughout the nation.
We understand that Dr. Koop has been a conscientious, caring physician all of his adult life, and it would be a tragedy if that were considered a disqualification for the post of Surgeon General. He is just as entitled to his views on abortion as anyone else. The abortion issue is one to be decided by Congress and the President, not the Surgeon General. I do not know the views of the members of Citizens' Committee for the Conquest of Cancer on the abortion issue. I presume that there are about the same proportions pro and con as in the population as a whole. We do not, however, believe in linking the abortion issue to other issues.
We do not know Dr. Koop's position on support of the National Cancer Institute. As a practicing physician and surgeon, he has seen the marked improvement in the outlook for children and young adults afflicted with cancer since the cancer program accelerated in 1972. We hope that he will wish to see the improvements continue and increase and that he will give full support to the NCI program, budget, planning independence, and to elimination of unnecessary restrictions on clinical testing of new and promising anticancer drugs. Since we do not yet know Dr. Koop's position on these matters, we cannot either endorse him or oppose him, but we believe he is entitled to a fair opportunity to show what he intends to do and what he can do.
I serve as Chairman of Citizens' Committee for the Conquest of Cancer on a voluntary basis without any pay. I am a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado Medical School. In the past, I have served as an Associate Professor of Community Health at the University of Missouri Medical College, and for ten years was the Director of a small cancer hospital and research institute. Thus, I have had considerable experience in public health and administration, as well as in patient care. Based on that experience, I believe that we need more physicians with Dr. Koop's background in key positions and hope he will receive a fair opportunity.
Yours truly,
Solomon Garb, M.D., F.A.C.P.
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