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Papers on Presidential Disability and the Twenty-Fifth Amendment

Kenneth W. Thompson

Paperback
Papers on Presidential Disability and the Twenty-Fifth Amendment describes the formation, efforts, and conclusions of the Miller Center Commission on Presidential Disability and the Twenty-Fifth Amendment—the fourth national commission organized by the Center that advances the ideas on the national improvement of the presidency. Orginally, the group met to advise the Center on the necessity and feasibility of a study of presidential disability, and Commission participants were primarily physicians whose expertise were in medical questions and medical issues. As the study progressed, however, the Commission expanded to include legislators, social scientists, and policy makers who explored a wide range of issues and problems. The book is divided into four sections and an appendix. The first section details the formation of the commission, the preliminary meetings in Washington, D.C., and the subsequent proposals for the study. The second section provides an overview of the role of the presidential physician and describes the burden of conflicting loyalties—to the patient and to the country—he must face. The definition and determination of 'inability to serve' is also debated by both medical and political experts. Related to this discussion is the use of medications and treatments that may impair presidential decision-making abilities. The third section is a series of interviews and correspondence with prominent medical, legal, and political authorities. Topics discussed include: the coordination of law enforcement and national defense in the event of an attack on the president, changes in legal arrangements, the role of Congress during presidential disability, procedures for military command succession, and competing interpretations and reports are provided in the fourth section. They serve as examples of the analyses that took place prior to the formation of the Commission. Included in this section is a memorandum that foretells the differences in thinking between the original medical group that began the Commission and the diverse group as it was eventually comprised. The book concludes with several appendices. They include transfer agreements written in different administrations and an excerpt from Barbara Bush's biography that describes a discussion of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment during the Bush administration. « less more »
University Press of America / Burkett Miller Center Public Affairs
Pages: 144Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7618-0725-4 • Paperback • April 1997 • $49.99 • (£32.95)
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