Yesterday C. Everett Koop, M.D. passed away. Dr. Koop was the Surgeon General of the United States at a crucial time of serious medical emergency during the beginning of the AIDS crisis in the US.
As the nation’s chief medical officer of health, he shaped the policies and attitudes for the well-being of American citizens. Dr. Koop acted as both a person of faith and as a man of science devoted to the facts and evidence.
Michael Specter highlights the work of Dr. Koop and how as an Evangelical he was controversial to the left because of his commitment to conservative values, but he was also controversial to those on the right because of his commitment to the ideals of science and medicine.
In our current time when many public policy decisions, and especially science-based policy decisions, seem to be heavily influenced by positions of the left or the right, public servants like Dr. Koop are increasingly rare.
In the clip below Dr. Koop explains how he responded to the AIDS crisis as it suddenly emerged on the scene:
Here is an interview with Dr. Koop discussing how he managed his own ethical integrity as a Christian in the role of a public servant:
As the Surgeon General of the USA Dr. Koop’s actions were key to shaping American attitudes and response to AIDS crisis. In this video below, that also includes an appearance by actor Johnny Depp, Dr. Koop encourages people to respond to AIDS sufferers with a sincere attitude of neighbourliness.
Motivated by his own personal faith, a deep commitment to the truth of science, and a desire to act ethically as a public servant, Dr. C. Everett Koop, M.D. is a man to be remembered.