A letter to the editor from M. R. Brown in The Sun...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 18, 1992

A letter to the editor from M. R. Brown in The Sun yesterday incorrectly ascribed to Maryland Blue Cross/Blue Shield, because of an editing error, employment statistics that should -- have been ascribed to the Massachusetts Blue Cross/Blue Shield

The Sun regrets the error.

Truck Routes

In your March 9 article, "Truckers riled over city ban," you failed to adequately represent the point of view of the residents of the areas in question.

I can sincerely sympathize with the hardships of the truckers. But is it fair to expect the residents of neighborhoods through which the trucks pass to bear the economic burden of structural damage to homes, the destruction of the roads, or the environmental hazards, loss of personal safety and noise pollution?

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

The drivers have been "displaced from roads that trucks have used for generations." But weren't trucks of earlier generations a bit smaller and lighter?

I drive in the city frequently and I am amazed that these trucks can even travel some of the roads, not to mention making turns.

The truckers' biggest complaint seems to be the cost of paying tolls to use the tunnel and lost time during inspections.

Wouldn't it be cheaper to pay the tolls and travel faster along the highways, saving gas and time, than to drive through the congested, slow-moving city streets?

And if inspections at the tunnel are an issue, consider the reason for them. Could it be said that too many truckers are trying to cheat the system, thereby ruining it for the rest of the industry?

Beverly Cale

Baltimore

Life's Agony

Angela Martin's March 4 commentary attacks those who believe in "death with dignity" and equates them to Hitlerite Nazis. As a merciful, dignified alternative, she offers the story of her uncle, who spent his last two weeks curled up in a bed, pumped full of morphine, unable to speak, eyes full of pain. This death, she says, was ". . . filled with dignity . . . seen in the unremitting love of those who surrounded him, cherishing him and valuing his life even as he expelled his last breath."

Oh, really?

I am watching a parent slowly die. I watch as the cancer consumes flesh, life, dignity. I see the pain; I cannot feel it. Therefore, I have no answers like Angela Martin. I know what my parent and I have discussed concerning life support systems, and we will not employ them if things reach that stage.

As to terminating life, isn't that best left to the soul in torment to decide? I have no idea where Angela Martin gets off calling those who feel for the pain of those who suffer, as being Nazis. I suspect, for some, it may be easier to talk a big game.

As for myself, I remain watching a parent slowly die, feeling only love, helplessness and grief. And I know this: I deeply resent the preachings of those who decide what others must endure.

Douglas B. Hermann

Baltimore

Silly but Noble

In response to your editorial of March 3 addressing animal rights activism:

I am a strong supporter of human rights. I believe fiercely in the protection of civil liberties and individual freedoms and fully support the advancement of justice and equality. I am also a supporter of animal rights.

I take offense at your statement that a human life has more value than the life of any other animal. I believe all life is equally precious.

While I would not necessarily advocate forcing vegetarianism on any individual, I do believe people should know the conditions of the meat industry and the consequences of eating its products. An industry which exploits both the animals it kills and sells and the people who toil in its factories profits greatly from the widespread ignorance of the meat-eating public. Perhaps a public that knew the realities of the meat industry would not be so willing to finance it.

NTC I agree that throwing a pie in the face of Frank Perdue was a silly gesture, but if the incident caused just one person to examine his eating habits, then I would also consider it a noble one.

Gina L. Weaver

Baltimore

Time to Shift

Opponents of a true reform of our admittedly inadequate and expensive system of health care cite the expenses of starting up a Canadian-style health plan such as the Russo National Health Insurance bill would establish. The Canadian system has worked well for 27 years and has many advantages.

Some of those advantages are as follows. It does away with the patchwork quilt of various insurance plans, the administrative costs of which are so enormous in the United States compared to those of Canada. In 1990 U.S. families spent 11.7 percent and rising amounts of their income to perpetuate our system with 37 million people uncovered. Canadians spent less of their income with everyone covered.

In Maryland alone Blue Cross/Blue Shield requires 6,682 employees to service the 2.7 million subscribers -- more staff than Canada needs for its 27 million people. In this case the government is far more economical and effective in its operations than the system we have of 1,600 health insurance plans.

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