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Doctor, Not Chaplain: How a Deeply Religious Surgeon General Taught a Nation About HIV

posted on March 5, 2013

John-Manuel Andriote of The Atlantic writes on the legacy left by former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, who died on February 23 at the age of 96. Koop will be remembered for his choice “to stand foremost for public health and scientific rationality” in face of the AIDS crisis, Andriote writes. Despite Koop’s Presbyterian faith and staunch opposition to abortion, his personal assistant Mary Beth Albright said, “I think you can find no better example of being a person of religion in public service. He [Koop] took all the morality of his religion—but none of the moralism.” In response to conservative and evangelical critics who opposed Koop’s factual stance towards AIDS, he often said, “I’m the nation’s doctor, not the nation’s chaplain. 

Read at The Atlantic