Koop once said, "You may hate the sin, but love the sinner" (qtd. In Newsmakers).
Sometimes, it can be easy to hate what sin the person undertakes, but it is
hard to hate the person for what they've done. C. Everett Koop was a surgeon
general who believed that everyone should be aware of the health issues and he
took up the task to help the weak. He became a strong campaigner for the
nation's health as he served for America and the people by being surgeon
general in 1982 through 1989. Although many people sometimes didn't agree with
him and his beliefs, he presumed on, saying that he cannot deliver a health
message to only what everyone approves on. Koop, the United States Surgeon
General, was a caring and persistent person who worked hard to change the views
of smoking and AIDS for the benefit of a healthier America.
persistent, no matter what others would say, because he was full of
determination to make America a well fit place to live in. An issue that
came up in the 1980's was about AIDS. Charles Everett Koop sought out to find
out solutions to prevent this from happening: "Conservative members of
Reagan's team even asked him to take the word condom out of the report, but
Koop refused. In addition, he called for the compassionate treatment of AIDS
victims. He urged doctors not to refuse to treat AIDS patients, reminding them
of the Hippocratic Oath" (Koop 2). Tenacious to help the AIDS patients,
Koop pushes other doctors to give them medical treatment instead of refusing.
Also, when Koop was writing an AIDS report about ways to prevent it, part
of Reagan's team requested him to take off a part they found excessive.
Still, Koop believed it was necessary information to counteract AIDS, so he
declined and dismissed the appeal from Reagan's team. He found smoking and AIDS
to be the most important issues of the time and beseeched others to take a
part: "Koop took on the American tobacco industry...when he called for a
smoke-free society by 2000. Koop also pushed then-president Ronald Reagan to
address the AIDS crisis publicly" (Encyclopedia 2). Koop being confident
and certain of making the world healthier challenged the tobacco industries and
wanted a smoke free nation by 2000. He also persisted to help the patients with
AIDS and pressured President Reagan to assist him by addressing the problems on
AIDS to the public. Koop wanted there to be less smoking and AIDS patients, so
he persisted for ways to prevent it, such as having supporters like President
Reagan to assist him. Overall, Koop was resolute to help prevent AIDS from
occurring and treating the patients. He also was tenacious to spread the word
about dangers of tobacco to nonsmokers and smokers.
C. Everett Koop, a
person with a caring heart and mind, wanted for America to become a beneficial
place full of healthy and vigorous people. The issues he mainly believed he
should take a stand against to care for the people are smoking and AIDS:
"Dr. Koop issued emphatic warnings about the dangers of smoking, and he
almost single-handedly pushed the government into taking a more aggressive
stand against AIDS...When Dr. Koop took office, 33 percent of Americans smoked;
when he left, the percentage had dropped to 26" (Noble 1). Concerned for
the people, as Koop took office, he tried to make a difference in everyone's
attitude toward smoking and AIDS. Informing others about the hazards of smoking
that affects smokers and nonsmokers, Koop tried to apprise the people of the
ways to prevent AIDS from happening more often. He strived to make Americans to
become more assertive towards AIDS and smoking. Not only did he take a stand against
those ordeals, but he also stood against people who could not fight for
themselves: "He championed the rights of infants with birth defect to
receive medical treatment and the rights of persons with disabilities to have
access to public facilities and to employment" (Papers 4). Altruistic to not
only the smokers and AIDS patients, Koop successfully supported infants with
birth defects and disabled people by obtaining their rights that they cannot acquire
on their own. This shows how Koop is not only sympathetic to just some people
with specific types of diseases. Knowing that the infants with birth defects
and disabled people are still human like everyone else, he considers their life
and is merciful while helping them. Charitable and compassionate to everyone, Koop
does not only spread the word of dangers and medical treatments, but also helps
everyone by fighting for their cases that are reasonable and right.
To become a
surgeon and who he has become, Koop was hardworking and committed. Ever
since Koop was a young child, becoming a surgeon was his main objective,
therefore he was devoted to become one: "In order to develop the manual
dexterity required of a surgeon, Koop used each hand interchangeably to tie
knots or to cut out pictures from magazines...In the basement of his
home...Koop performed operations on rabbits, rats, and stray cats, losing by
his account, not a single patient" (Papers 4). By performing these
activities at a young age, it prepared Koop to become a surgeon. Practicing and
practicing until the real thing, he was able to advance his skill of a surgeon
with such simple things such as tying knots. Also, since he could not operate
on people yet, he still wanted to perform and practice his skills of surgery. He
then found other ways such as operating on animals. Even after becoming a
surgeon, he still kept his vibrant, passionate attitude towards being a
surgeon: "A workaholic, Koop over the years developed migraine headaches,
which he cured by more work, and a peptic ulcer, which he treated himself"
(Newsmakers 3). Working vigorously and fervently, Koop started to get
headaches, and unlike those who would rest because of the migraines, Koop
worked even harder. Eventually it cured his migraine headaches. Additionally,
even though he had a peptic ulcer, he treated it himself, showing his industrious
side of being able to do activities such as that on his own. Ultimately, Koop
was diligent to become a surgeon and even when he became one, he kept that
mindset and reached the position of being surgeon general.
C. Everett Koop
was a softhearted person who would be selfless to help others around him,
no matter if they needed medical treatment or not. He was a hardworking person
and whenever he believed whole-heartedly in something, Koop was always
persistent in helping others. Not only did he make a change through being unrelenting
to AIDS and smoking, but he was also motivated to save people's lives. He was
caring and thoughtful to others and ways he can help them, either
medically or non-medically. Also, Koop tried his best and was dedicated. Koop,
being a determined person, preserved to give his best to help others. Koop is
an inspiration because he helps the nation in many ways and tries to guide
America to become a healthier country. With all his characteristics, he takes a
part in changing the society and its point of view on things like smoking and
AIDS. Additionally, Koop does not use his own job as a use to spread his belief
and force others to think the same, but instead he is the opposite: An
editorial in The New York Times said in 1989, "The skeptics and cynics,
this page included, were wrong to fear that Surgeon General C. Everett Koop
would use his office only as a pulpit for his anti-abortion views" (qtd. in
Noble). Although Koop may have hated the sins people commit such as gay
marriage or abortion, he still felt love and compassion for them and wouldn't
hold their sins against them.
Everett Koop." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Vol. 18. Detroit:
Gale, 1998. Student
Resources in Context. Web.
9 Dec. 2013.
Everett Koop." Newsmakers. Detroit: Gale, 1989. Biography in Context.
Web. 9 Dec. 2013.
C. Everett Koop Papers." Profiles
in Science National Library of Medicine. U.S.
Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.
The Memoirs of America's Family Doctor." American Decades Primary Sources. Ed.
Cynthia Rose. Vol. 9: 1980-1989. Detroit: Gale, 2004.
506-510.Biography in Context.
Web. 9 Dec. 2013.
Holcomb B. "C. Everett Koop, Forceful U.S. Surgeon General, Dies at
96." New York
Times 26 Feb. 2013:
A26(L). Biography in Context. Web. 9 Dec. 2013.
National Library of Medicine
- This website has the whole life of C. Everett Koop and much more inside of what he did and why he did what he did.
- This website tells who he is and how he became who he is today.
- This website is a memoriam for C. Everett Koop after he died and shows mainly how he made an impact against AIDS.