Fairness in Life and MedicineEditor: The Opinion...


September 02, 1991

Fairness in Life and Medicine

Editor: The Opinion * Commentary article by Dr. Jane M. Orient suggests that physicians cannot make a comfortable living and that future cuts in Medicare bode ill for their remuneration.

Of course, I always assumed that the practice of medicine was mainly for the care and health of the population and was not to be compared with ''plumbers, hairdressers and small businessmen.'' And what irks me is the cliche about ''inflation and four years of medical school and three or more years of residency'' to justify the high earnings of most doctors. Certainly no one coerced medical education and practice on the ones who chose this profession.

Dr. Orient uses scare tactics to rebut the efforts of ''bureaucrats'' to reduce the costs of health care. Perhaps the cuts in reimbursement are not fair. But ''life is not fair,'' as she says so well.

J. Carmel.


Eradicating Smut

Editor: Readers of Randi Henderson's fair Aug. 21 article, Campaign Against Smut,'' might have entirely missed the point of our petition drive against Giant Food. We are not asking Giant to remove any magazines or tabloids from its store. We are simply asking it to relocate offensive magazines and tabloids, moving them away from the check-out counters to the store's general magazine rack.

This clearly has nothing to do with ''censorship'' or ''free speech,'' nor are we ''trying to take away others' freedom to read what they want.'' In fact, Stuart Comstock-Gay, director of Maryland's ACLU, who used the word ''censorship'' when asked for his opinion by The Sun, informed me in a phone conversation that he was ''glad to hear'' we were not asking Giant to actually remove the publications in question.

Let Giant sell what it chooses to sell and let the consumers buy what they choose to buy. But Giant shouldn't violate the freedom of choice of thousands of others -- the choice to go grocery shopping without having our families assaulted by seductively clothed Cosmopolitan cover girls with suggestive cover lines like ''Sensual Treats to Enjoy Alone'' displayed prominently throughout the front of the store.

This is not simply an issue among ''fundamentalist religious'' groups (as the ACLU would have it). Signers of our petitions include both the non-religious as well as the religiously non-fundamentalist. The fact that Giant had taken steps to remove tabloids from the ''no-candy'' check-out aisle before we mounted our petition drive illustrates just how many consumers were --and are --offended.

Michael L. Brown.


Unsafe Nights

Editor: Many urban parents feel no duty to assume responsibility for their own children. The city is supposed to provide all for these children. The police are to be everywhere at all times to protect them. The schools are to baby-sit, educate and guarantee a great job. These presumptive parents should assume a much larger chunk of the responsibility pie.

Consider some recent tragedies involving poorly supervised kids:

The child who becomes a drug dealer and brags about it. His mother had noticed he was staying out later and later, but what did she do to try to halt it?

A young boy riding his bike after 10 p.m. is shot and killed. He was on a poorly lit street, so it must have been the city's fault for not replacing lights broken out by the residents.

The six-year-old out at 10:40 p.m. shot and killed.

Did any of these parents even consider how dangerous it is to be out at night in the city's shooting galleries? And as for the heat in the tenements -- I'd rather have my child sweating with me inside and safe rather than bleeding and dying alone on the "cooler" streets.

Steve Childers.


Labor Day Paradox

Editor: Today is Labor Day. Before you jump in your Toyota or Nissan and rush off to the sales -- there's a good buy on shoes made in Mexico or slacks imported from Korea -- give a thought to your parodoxical actions.

This is, as any encyclopedia will tell you, "a legal holiday to honor labor." Forget Eugene V. Debs or John L. Lewis or the early struggles of "the American Labor Movement." What about the increasing balance of payments problem, our drift from a creditor to a debtor nation, our movement from a production to a service economy and the condition of our savings institutions?

Those of us who remember the Great Depression of the 1930s see an ominous future if we do not mend our ways. Must America always be faced with a crisis before we act?

J. Bernard Hihn.


Second District

Editor: I am shocked and outraged that the redistricting committee would abolish the 2nd Congressional District located in Baltimore County. It has been one of the most effectively represented districts in the 20 years I have lived in Baltimore County.

Instead of being minutes away from my congressional representative, if the plan holds up, my congressional representative will be located on the Eastern Shore.

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