The "Discovery" of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: Lessons in the Practice of Political Medicine

By Abraham B. Bergman | Go to book overview

11
HOUSE HEARINGS

The bills were in the hopper, the commitments had been obtained, and now we had only to wait for hearings. Since Ellen Hoffman had started off the legislative activity and since Mondale was our original champion, we naturally expected that he would promptly lead off with his hearings on the Senate side. Months went by and nothing happened. I called Hoffman almost weekly until I was certain that she too had been pushing as hard as she could without success. The prolem? In the middle of 1973, Ted Kennedy was backing away from the idea of campaigning for the presidency in 1976; Fritz Mondale was trying to pick up the mantle. Priorities in the Mondale office had changed. The senator's travel schedule increased mightily; he had much less time for mundane Senate duties.

That disquieting news was forgotten in a flash, however, when my secretary announced that a Mr. Lawton from Washington was on the phone. "Okay, Bergman," he announced, "we've had a cancellation. Can you put your act together in seven days?""Hell yes," I said, "it's more notice than I expected?""Fine." said Steve, "line up your witnesses and have them here at 10:00 A.M. next Thursday. Don't worry about written statements in advance; just show up. I told you we'd come through." He had indeed.

I mentioned earlier that congressional hearings are not judicial proceedings, where evidence is dispassionately weighed and impartial verdicts rendered. They are chairman's choice--serving whatever purpose he has in mind. House hearings tend to be more searching, prob

-101-

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The "Discovery" of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: Lessons in the Practice of Political Medicine
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • List of Appendixes x
  • Introduction xi
  • 1 1
  • 2 - What is Sids? 8
  • 3 - Disturbing the Peace 18
  • 4 - The Battle Plan 29
  • 5 - The Power of Warren Magnuson 41
  • 6 - Sensitizing Professionals 50
  • 7 - The Mondale Hearings 57
  • 8 - Campaigning on the Local Level 68
  • 9 - Our Nader Report"" 81
  • 10 - The Satisficers 93
  • 11 - House Hearings 101
  • 12 - Senate Hearings: Second Round 107
  • 13 117
  • 14 - Implementation: Pushing on a Rope 124
  • 15 - Keeping the Foundation Afloat 136
  • 16 - Collaborating with Nimh 146
  • 17 - A Dual System for Helping Families 152
  • 18 - The Mobilization Contract 163
  • 19 - Calling the Cops 172
  • Epilogue 184
  • Glossary of Names 197
  • Appendix I 203
  • Appendix II 206
  • Appendix III 209
  • Appendix VI 211
  • Appendix V 214
  • Appendix VI 216
  • Appendix VII 218
  • Appendix VIII 221
  • Index 233
  • About the Author 239
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