Dr. Madeleine Cosman, RIP

The Objectivist Center reports that Dr. Madeleine Cosman has died. See their announcement for more information.
Full Context‘s Karen Reedstrom conducted a lengthy interview with Dr. Cosman in 1997. The Full Context web site seems to be down, but a cached version of the interview (with excerpts, at least) is still available via Google.
Here are some tasty excerpts:

Q: Your book Fabulous Feasts: Medieval Cookery and Ceremony was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. What is it about and why do you think it was so well received?
Cosman: Iâ??ve written 14 books and that one was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize as well as the National Book Award. That sounds somewhat startling for someone who is an expert in medical law. It is a very lavishly illustrated book, which has approximately 800 or more medical/legal documents as its origin. My original intent, and this is one of the things the Pulitzer Prize committee liked, was to determine whether it was possible to take a very demanding and unforgivingâ??as well as unpopularâ??subject, medical law, and make it appealing to an intelligent popular audience. To my great delight, the book got a huge amount of favorable response, and itâ??s still selling beautifully in several languages, including Japanese. In fact, when I was doing work at the Supreme Court this past summer, I went with one of my medical students to the Library of Congressâ??s book store, and they were featuring Fabulous Feasts! So, completely without preparation I ended up doing some book signings in the Library of Congress.
Q: You were one of the activists working to derail the Health Security Act of 1993. How do you view your own role in the defeat of “ClintonCare?”
Cosman: With gratitude. I worked exceedingly hard, and Iâ??m extremely grateful that the message was effective. I did several things, besides lecturing nationwide, after I had read all 1,364 pages of that pernicious legislation. I wrote The ABCâ??s of the Clinton Medical World which the Cardozo Law Forum published. We did it in a special tabloid version illustrated whimsically with Renaissance woodcuts. It was an elegant and charming document, but its intent was to force people to actually read the legislation. I felt confident that once they read it that they inevitably would reject it. I originally wrote it for the U.S. Congress because I was testifying in Washington, and discovered, to my horror, that no one had actually read the legislation. They had read short versions, précis, and synopses, but no one had actually read this turgid and quite vicious legislation with its desperate penal sanctionsâ??really horrible criminal sanctionsâ??against physicians for actions which under other circumstances would probably be considered ethical and proper.
Q: Well, my readers and I would like to thank you for your efforts! What was the effect of The ABCâ??s of the Clinton Medical World?
Cosman: It was extremely effective. Though originally created for Congress, it was then disseminated throughout the country. The effect was quite dramatic. Some in favor of the Clinton Health Plan were so upset that they actually made threats against the Cardozo Law School for having published it. People were alerted to what was truly in the plan as to, say, “capitation,” or “community rating,” or “medically necessary” and other terms which do not mean, in the legislation, what they mean in plain English. Their definitions in the legislation were truly pernicious.

I never had the opportunity to meet Dr. Cosman personally, but like many I appreciate her work and I know she will be missed.