I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Pete Domenici’s miracle — or misdiagnosis?
Long-serving U.S. Sen.Pete Domenici announced in October 2007 that he was retiring because he had a degenerative brain disease. But last month, the New Mexico Republican icon announced that he may be no longer suffering from the disease.
From the Albuquerque Journal:
Domenici said he doesn’t know why his condition hasn’t worsened, but said he suspects God has played a role. Everywhere he goes people tell him they are praying for him. His sister is a nun, and she has also been appealing to God for help, he said.
The doctor who originally diagnosed him said she can’t explain why the disease appears to be stalled. “But she mentioned that she wouldn’t discount my faith,” Domenici said.
So what happened? Over at Live Science, the Bad Science columnist Benjamin Radford, also the managing editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine and film critic for the Corrales Comment, tried to answer that question. He wrote that it isn’t necessarily that the disease has been cured. Instead, “It’s just that the specific cause of the disease didn’t seem to be the frontal lobe, as the originally thought, and may not be as bad as had been feared.”
“The impression of a miracle cure can be created by something as simple as a misdiagnosis,” Radford continued.
Radford said he hopes the second doctor is right and that Domenici’s disease has truly disappeared. I think many New Mexicans will echo that sentiment.
Is it a miracle, a misdiagnosis, or maybe just something else? We may never know.