85-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently underwent surgery to remove cancerous growths in her lungs — just a month after she fell and fractured three ribs — and since then, questions have been raised about her health and whether it will allow her to continue to serve on the high court.
In an op-ed for The Daily Caller, Dr. Brian Joondeph wrote what many Americans have privately thought, but what few have dared to put into words: Justice Ginsburg’s days as a sitting Supreme Court jurist may be numbered.
Third bout with cancer
Joondeph first looked at Ginsburg’s most recent bout with cancer and the removal of two malignant nodules in her lungs, growths that were discovered during scans after her rib-fracturing fall in November.
It was noted that this isn’t Ginsburg’s first fight against cancer, as she dealt with colon cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009.
But that raised the question: Were the lung nodules a primary form of cancer — it is rare for an individual to get three different types of cancer — or were they the metastasized remnants of her previous cancers that had since spread to her lungs?
If the lung nodules are determined to be metastatic, that would mean Ginsburg has Stage IV cancer, the worst kind, and in all likelihood has a five-year survival rate of only 3 to 15 percent, depending upon whether the growths were related to the pancreatic or colon cancer, respectively.
Other health issues
Furthermore, while the November fall may have proven fortunate in that it led to the discovery of the malignant growths in her lungs, falls are also incredibly harmful and even deadly for elderly citizens like Ginsburg.
On top of that, falls can be caused by an imbalance in the brain brought about by the spread of cancer, and imbalance and light-headedness are also signs of cardiac issues.
It is noteworthy that Ginsburg had a coronary stent implanted for a blocked artery in 2014.
But Ginsburg has recently attempted to assure her legion of liberal supporters that her health is just fine, and despite her small size and apparent frailty, she remains dedicated to her daily workout regimen and is seemingly quite fit for her advanced age.
Nevertheless, evidence is mounting that the justice’s health has become an issue that could impact her ability to continue serving on the Supreme Court, and it is becoming more clear that she will soon have to decide if she intends to serve on the bench until she draws her final breath or will enjoy her final days on Earth in peaceful retirement.
It isn’t considered polite to broach the topic, but the day will eventually come when Ginsburg’s health will become a central topic of discussion among everyone — and if you thought the fight over the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh was brutal, if President Donald Trump gets to appoint Ginsburg’s successor, you haven’t seen anything yet.
That fight will be waged one day, but for now, we can only pray that Ginsburg will recover fully from her recent surgery and avoid any setbacks — or additional serious health issues — for the remainder of her life.