Dr. George Lundberg on Autopsy Pathologist James J. Humes, et alFrom: Dave Reitzes
Subject: Dr. George Lundberg on Humes, et al
Date: 16 Jul 2007 17:32:45 -0400
George D. Lundberg, MD
Editor, Medscape General Medicine
A 1995 "pioneer" of the medical internet, Dr. Lundberg was born in Florida, grew up in rural southern Alabama and holds earned and honorary degrees from North Park College, Baylor University, the University of Alabama (Birmingham and Tuscaloosa), the State University of New York, Syracuse, Thomas Jefferson University and the Medical College of Ohio. He completed a clinical internship in Hawaii and a pathology residency in San Antonio. He served in the US army during the Vietnam War in San Francisco and El Paso, leaving as a lieutenant colonel after 11 years. Dr. Lundberg was then Professor of Pathology and Associate Director of Laboratories at the Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center for 10 years, and for five years was Professor and Chair of Pathology at the University of California-Davis.
Dr. Lundberg has worked in tropical medicine in Central America and Forensic Medicine in New York, Sweden and England. His major professional interests are toxicology, violence, communication, physician behavior, strategic management and health system reform. He is past President of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. From 1982 to 1999, Dr. Lundberg was at the American Medical Association as Editor in Chief, Scientific Information and Multimedia with editorial responsibility for its 39 medical journals, American Medical News, and various Internet products, and the Editor of JAMA. In 1999 Dr. Lundberg became Editor in Chief of Medscape, the world's leading source of online health information and education for physicians and healthcare professionals and the founding Editor in Chief of both Medscape General Medicine and CBS HealthWatch.com. In 2002, Dr. Lundberg became Editor in Chief Emeritus of Medscape and Special Healthcare Advisor to the Chairman and CEO of WebMD. Today, he serves as the Editor in Chief of Medscape General Medicine (www.medgenmed.com), the first and only online, peer-reviewed primary source general medical journal published on www.medscape.com. A frequent lecturer, radio and television guest, and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Lundberg holds academic appointments as a professor at Northwestern and Harvard. In 2000, the Industry Standard dubbed Dr. Lundberg "Online Health Care's Medicine Man".
The Second Annual Midwest Symposium on Assassination Politics, Chicago, Illinois, April 1-4, 1993
Program 10 - The John F. Kennedy Case: Two Views of the Medical Evidence (Tapes 1 and 2)
Dr. George Lundberg (tape 1):
I think it's safe to say that no one in this room was standing next to Lee Harvey Oswald in the Texas School Depository that November day, that no one here was in the President's limousine in Dallas, that no one here was standing at the President's head in the Parkland emergency room area administering primary surgical care, that no one here was in Air Force 1 on its way to Maryland, and no one here was a pathologist in the Naval hospital at Bethesda responsible for the President's autopsy. If any such persons are here, would they please be recognized at this time. Apparently I'm correct, thank you.
So what do we know, what do we believe, and what and whom do we trust about what actually happened since nobody here was there? We are all dependent on sources of information other than personal, real-time observations. And what are these sources? First, verbal statements from the people who were actually there on the scene those days. Second, written statements, past and present from those same people, the primary source participants. Third, bona fide original physical evidence and its interpretation. Fourth, relevant experimental data. And fifth, our own individual knowledge about anatomy, medicine, surgery, pathology, forensic pathology, wound ballistics, and what is scientific and what is not scientific. I posit that those are our five sources of information.
I wasn't in Dallas or Bethesda those days. I'm really not much of an expert in this thing at all. It's never been all that interesting to me until the last year or so. My role in that, in this whole thing, is that of a journalist, along with Mr. Dennis Breo of our own JAMA staff. I have essentially no primary-source information to share with you, nor do I plan to achieve any. It's really not my main interest. I'm a journalist.
What then and whom then do I trust? I have known Dr. James Humes, the principal autopsy pathologist, personally since 1957. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, who was paraphrasing Lloyd Bentsen: I know Jim Humes. He's a friend of mine. I would trust him with my life.
Dr. Humes is an outstanding general pathologist, before and after 1963, acclaimed by his peers for thirty years -- forty years, perhaps -- but never was before, during, or after a fully trained forensic pathologist and never claimed to be. He didn't volunteer to do that job; he was assigned.
Moving from 1963 to 1968, the United States Attorney General appointed a four-person, blue-ribbon panel to study and reevaluate the JFK autopsy. The reason that was appointed was a request by the second autopsy pathologist, Dr. Jay Boswell, that there be such an independent investigation. This four-member panel had developed unanimous support for the autopsy report, results and interpretation.
A key member of that panel was the late Dr. Russell Fisher, Chief Medical Examiner for the state of Maryland, probably the world's top forensic pathologist of his time. I knew Russell Fisher. He was a friend of mine. I would trust him with my life. He concurred: two bullets from the rear. A simple story.
In 1979 the forensic pathology subcommittee of the House Select Committee on Assassinations included nine members. It voted eight to one in support of the autopsy findings and basic interpretation. One of the members was Dr. Earl Rose, a forensic pathologist in Dallas in November 1963 whose legal responsibility it was to autopsy President Kennedy, and who tried to stop the illegal movement of the body from Dallas.
I have known Dr. Earl Rose since 1973. He is a friend of mine. I would trust him with my life. He concurs: two bullets from the rear.
Another member of that 1979 subcommittee was Dr. Charles Petty. Dr. Petty is Professor of Pathology at the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas. He heads up the Forensic Science Institute there, which was built in large part because of the Dallas embarrassment over the assassination and their recognition of the need for outstanding forensic science.
Dr. Petty has been quiet on the JFK issue for many, many years. This year he volunteered to write for JAMA on this subject. Last week's JAMA has his editorial, which confirms and explains the Single Bullet Theory.
I have known Chuck Petty since 1968. He is a friend of mine. I would trust him with my life.
These are the keys to trust: Jim Humes in 1963, Russell Fisher in 1968, Earl Rose in 1979 and again in JAMA in 1992, Chuck Petty in 1979 and again in JAMA in 1993, and then there is me.
To imagine or state that somehow these people say we have been duped, misled, or are somehow part of the conspiracy to deny the truth on this issue for all ages, strains the vocabulary to find strong enough words to describe such absurdity. Such charges are somewhere among the descriptors: wild and crazy, off the wall, out in left field in Cubs Park, incredible, insulting, or worse.
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