Monday, January 26, 2004

John Edwards' junk science: So if he's a factor, this is the kind of stuff we'll start to hear about.
Edwards became one of America's wealthiest trial lawyers by winning record jury verdicts and settlements in cases alleging that the botched treatment of women in labor and their deliveries caused infants to develop cerebral palsy, a brain disorder that causes motor function impairment and lifelong disability.
The cause of cerebral palsy has been debated since the 19th century. Some medical studies dating back to at least the 1980s asserted that doctors could do very little to cause cerebral palsy during the birthing process. Two new studies in 2003 further undermined the scientific premise of the high profile court cases that helped Edwards become a multi-millionaire and finance his own successful campaign for the U.S. Senate.

Dr. Murray Goldstein, a neurologist and the medical director of the United Cerebral Palsy Research and Educational Foundation, said it is conceivable for a doctor's incompetence to cause cerebral palsy in an infant. "There are some cases where the brain damage did occur at the time of delivery. But it's really unusual. It's really quite unusual," Goldstein said.
Edwards has plenty of political cover for now, since none of the other Democrats wants to take on the trial lawyers and there is full support for bashing insurance companies. (Notice it's always the insurance company's fault once the trial is over, not the doctor's. If the doc gave the kid cerebral palsy, why not bash him. Doesn't play as well in politics as in the courtroom, I guess.) If he wins in South Carolina and a couple other southern states, though, Kerry will have to try to take him down hard, before he has all the Mo'. Would he dare, in desparate times, cross the contributors to paint Edwards as an irresponsible sleaze, lining his pockets on the backs of disabled children? Of course not. But might there be a well timed leak from an anonymous source? Hmmm?

Link via Jim Copeland on NRO.

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