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Doctors leaving medicine to do what? Flip burgers?



Published: Wed, February 12, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



Doctors leaving medicine to do what? Flip burgers?

EDITOR:

Re: "Malpractice insurance costs send doctors into the streets," which ran Feb. 2.

What do physicians, according to the American Medical Association, want? Income maintenance, specifically relief from malpractice insurance premium costs.

How do they propose getting what they want? Their quarrel is properly with their insurance carriers. They've chosen instead to go public by holding their patients hostage to the political demands they've laid upon state legislatures. They want caps on non-economic damages, and direct relief from current premiums.

Will this tactic succeed? Yes, because most legislators are wary of calling physicians to account for their public conduct. For example, Dr. Steven Berkowitz asserts, "We're losing our best doctors." Losing them to what? Burger-flipping? Do you mean only the worst physicians will soon be practicing? Such provocative, irresponsible statements need thorough examination by state lawmakers.

Who will pay? Reports are that taxpayers may be contributors to a malpractice insurance pool. What's the upshot of all this? Physicians will be off the hook, economically and in respect to legal exposure. HMOs and malpractice insurers like President Bush's plan, too.

What's the fly in the ointment? All citizens and residents will help foot the bill for this malpractice insurance reform. But, about one-third of all taxpayers are essentially embargoed from effective medical attention by physicians because they're uninsured, underinsured, or medically alienated. Physicians have strenuously objected to uninsured taxpayers having the same attention lavished on their medical needs as physicians now demand for their professional incomes.

Twelve-thousand-dollar a year retail clerks will be happy to know they'll be providing income relief to $90,000 a year physicians.

This crisis cranked out by the American Medical Association's propaganda machine has all the earmarks of a carnival barker's hustle. The Vindicator has called for an investigation. Let it begin now.

JACK LABUSCH

Niles

Looking for something to do? Visit a nursing home

EDITOR:

My mother is in a nursing home. She has Alzheimer's. She cannot always tell us what she wants. Some of the other patients are the same way. My two sisters and I go to see our mother everyday for lunch and dinner. Some of the family will go to see her at other times.

When I go there, some of the other patients will ask me to do something for them. I got permission from the state to help them in some ways. I can help set up their dinner trays. I will get them a drink of water when they want a drink or a sweater when they are cold.

As we all know, no one has enough help these days. Most of the employees are good, hard-working and caring people. There are always some who do not care. They will sit and talk to each other and not ask the patients if they would like a drink or if they are cold or if they want to go to the bathroom.

If you have a loved one or a friend who is in a nursing home, please visit them as often as you can. If you cannot be there, ask a family member or a friend to visit them. We never know what is happening unless we check on them.

LULU ANN BERNARDICH

Youngstown

U.S. response to Iraq not driven by Jewish lobby

EDITOR:

I feel compelled to respond to the letter of Feb. 2 titled, "No beacon of hope will shine from post-war Iraq."

Although I share many of the writers concerns about the practical efficacy and moral justification of current United Sates policy towards Iraq, there are many aspects of his letter which are deeply troubling and reek of classical anti-Semitic themes. There is an honorable tradition in this country of people of goodwill questioning the wisdom of our involvement in a particular foreign conflict. This tradition of dissent is as old as the scriptures, and enjoys the hallowed protection of our constitution.

However, the suggestion by the writer that current U.S. policy regarding Iraq is driven solely by the Jewish lobby, or motivated by considerations that are contrary to genuine Americans interests in peace and security is grossly offensive and highly inaccurate, There is room for legitimate differences of opinion as to the best and most effective response to the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. However, there can be no doubt that the threat posed by Saddam to American interests, security and values is real, and requires some response on our part. The interest in giving shape to a coherent and effective response to terrorism, blatant disregard for human rights and unwarranted aggression is not driven by a pro-Israel agenda. It is an agenda enshrined in the sacred documents of American civic culture. We have learned from history the dangers of shirking our responsibility to confront individuals and regimes posing a direct threat to world stability and basic human value. Our interest in figuring out how best to step up to those responsibilities is not a manifestation of jingoism or some sort of crazed response to a pro-Israel agenda being foisted upon us by others. It is, rather, an example of enlightened self-interest.

RABBI SIMEON KOLKO

Ohev Tzedek Shaarei Torah Congregation

Boardman

If parents took charge, there'd be fewer tears

EDITOR:

I can't believe that nobody else has written to voice an opinion about the death of little Logan Gyton. The public should be outraged at the number of children who end up dead at a tender young age when, harsh as it sounds, they should never have been born in the first place.

Why do people have these babies, dump the responsibility for their care on someone else, be it a relative or the foster care system, then weep for the benefit of the media when the child is mistreated or killed?

There's a grandmother in jail right now because her grandchild was in her care and overdosed on oxycontin. When the child's parents were interviewed (crying, of course) they said they had been unable to care for him so placed him with the grandparent. Anybody else see a problem here?

How about this -- if you're a drug addict, or in jail, or jobless/homeless, or just plain lazy (or all of the above), how about using some common sense, along with some birth control, and not have babies you can't care for?

I, for one, would like never again to see the photo of a pathetic little face staring back at me from the pages of The Vindicator that will keep me awake at night. And I sure don't want to see media coverage of some "heartbroken" parent(s) who hadn't seen the kid in months. There just are no good excuses. It's called responsibility -- take some!

LINDA GIFFORD

Canfield




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