How far does your right to medical privacy go? If you are seriously ill, who has the right to know? Does that right depend on who you are? In current times, HIPAA promises us that our medical conditions will be kept confidential, and information will only be released if we give consent.
Back in 1893,Grover Cleveland was the president, and he had a growth on the roof of his mouth. His personal doctor believed it to be a cancerous growth, and assembled a team of surgeons to remove it in a secret operation. The president didn’t want to alarm the public. Also, he wanted to be able to push for a return to the gold standard of currency, and feared he would appear weak if it was known he had cancer.
Newspaper reporters held the opposite view. They felt that since the president was leading the nation, citizens had the right to know if he was too ill to do his job. The entire book is basically the struggle between President Cleveland’s doctors trying to keep the surgery a secret, and the press trying to reveal the truth.