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Medical Certificates or Doctors Opinions?

May 11, 2008 08:00 AM
by Anton Rozman

Let me start with two presumptions; firstly, there isn't present in 
the Society an overall agreement or consensus on what the role or job 
of the President is or should be; and secondly, the actual election 
process is probably going on as all previous ones but with the 
distinction that it became open to the public because of the internet 
and that this fact has created the situations to which we aren't 
accustomed to and therefore much of tension.

According to the Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society 
the President has a lot of duties and responsibilities: she/he is 
Executive Officer and conducts and directs the business of the 
Society, she/he is Chairman of the General Council and the Executive 
Committee and therefore actively involved in the preparation of all 
necessary documents and decisions of these bodies; she/he is 
custodian of all archives and records of the Society; she/he makes 
temporary appointments in the offices of the Society; she/he co-
receives all subscriptions, donations and other moneys; she/he have 
control over the securities and invested funds of the Society, over 
the transfer of assets of the Society, investments, disposal of Adyar 
Estate, and so on, and over all related documents; she/he sues in the 
name of the Society; she/he issues the permissions to reside in the 
Adyar Estate; she/he issues the Charters and Diplomas, and so on.

Now, the branch of medicine which occupies itself with the fitness 
for the jobs is Occupational Medicine and is directed by 
corresponding specialists who execute, among other examinations, also 
what is usually called Preventive Health Examination with extensive 
medical examination of various parameters. At the end of this 
examination a medical certificate is issued by the specialist (In 
Slovenia every person who starts new employment must go through this 

The documents which are now presented to the public in regard to the 
health of the actual President are not medical certificates as they 
do not report the results of medical examination (such document is 
strictly confidential) but are doctors' opinions based on their 
examination of the health of the actual President. We don't know to 
what kind of medical examinations the President was exposed to and to 
what branch of medicine the doctors belong to but it seems from their 
letters that their examinations were executed at the Headquarters of 
the Society and that no special medical examinations were held, and 
that that on the basis of these examinations the doctors opinions are 
that the actual President is "fit to undertake any responsibility 
involving strenuous physical and mental activity" and travel and 
that "she is able to exercise her work as the president of the 
Theosophical society". 

Common sense tells me that in the case of 84 year old person who had 
a stroke such statements hardly reflects the actual situation and 
that doctors comments regarding the situation in the Society and the 
time when they were issued, clearly indicates that these documents 
were produced because of the President's needs in regard to the 
election process. 

In the absence of the practice that the candidates for the office of 
the President should expose themselves to the overall medical 
examination the election process became, quite naturally in my 
opinion, influenced by the suspicions in regard to the actual 
President's fitness from the part of, but far not only, the 
supporters of contra candidate and by the reaction of the supporters 
of the actual President with the production of documents in her 

So, we are witnessing, in my view, an improper behavior from the part 
of supporters of both candidates and don't have an impartial medical 
opinion regarding the health of the actual President. Probably the 
truth is, as always, somewhere in the middle. 

The solution of this unpleasant situation was and is only in the 
hands of the candidates, but in the first place in the hands of the 
actual President, for both candidates are also members of the 
Executive Committee and General Council and therefore it is hard to 
believe that these bodies will be even able to meet before the 
conclusion of the elections. 


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