This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Saturday, July 18, 2020:
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg , age 87, is the oldest member of the high court. She also has had a long history of health issues, and she announced another one on Friday:
On May 19, I began a course of chemotherapy (gemcitabine) to treat a recurrence of cancer. A periodic scan in February followed by a biopsy revealed lesions on my liver. My recent hospitalizations to remove gall stones and treat an infection were unrelated to this recurrence.
Immunotherapy first essayed proved unsuccessful. The chemotherapy course, however, is yielding positive results….
My most recent scan on July 7 indicated significant reduction of the liver lesions and no new disease. I am tolerating chemotherapy well and am encouraged by the success of my current treatment. I will continue bi-weekly chemotherapy to keep my cancer at bay, and am able to maintain an active daily routine. Throughout, I have kept up with opinion writing and all other Court work.
And, in case anyone missed the point, she said she’d continue to work until she can’t:
I have often said I would remain a member of the Court as long as I can do the job full steam. I remain fully able to do that.
The New American detailed early this week Ginsburg’s long history of health issues, including being treated for colon cancer in 1999, surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from her pancreas in 2009, a stent being placed in her right coronary artery in 2014, a fall in her office in 2018 when she broke three ribs, and a month later, in December, undergoing a left-lung lobectomy to remove some cancerous nodules.
Last August another cancerous tumor was found on her pancreas and then just this past week she was hospitalized, as she noted, suffering from chills and a fever from an infection following gall stone surgery.
In our recent article, we reviewed her support for the Equal Rights Amendment and her disdain for the U.S. Constitution, concluding by saying that “her accelerating health issues might just remove her from the high court so that she can be replaced by someone who takes his or her oath [of office] seriously.”
Little did we know that her time table would accelerate so quickly.
A healthy 87-year-old female in the United States has a life expectancy of seven years. But cancer shortens that expectancy considerably. According to the American Cancer Society “the overall 5-year survival rate for all stages of liver cancer is 15 percent.” That means that a female in good health otherwise has one chance in seven of surviving five more years.
But a female with a health history as extensive as Ginsburg’s could expire sooner. Said the ACS: “One of the reasons for this low survival rate is that many people with liver cancer also have other underlying medical conditions.”
The ACS adds: “If the liver cancer is regional (has grown into nearby organs), the 5-year survival rate is 7%. Once the liver cancer is distant (spread to distant organs or tissues), the survival time is as low as two years.”
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is monitoring the situation closely, saying that it’s likely that the president would act quickly if Ginsburg passes away:
I can’t imagine if he had a vacancy on the Supreme Court that he would not act very quickly to make an appointment [to replace her] and look for the Senate to take quick action.