Future ChoicesFrom all current indications it is clear...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 22, 1993

Future Choices

From all current indications it is clear that Bill Clinton will be a one-term president.

Two weeks after the inauguration I was in Havre de Grace and saw the first "Impeach Clinton" bumper sticker on a beat-up old pickup truck being driven by a bearded "hippy" who looked like he had it together -- and I didn't even think there were any hippies left. Since then I have seen several other bumper stickers expressing the same thought.

I have no idea who the Democratic nominee will be in 1996, but I am sure it will not be Mr. Clinton. And I am not sure who the nominee from United We Stand America will be, but I venture to say it will not be Ross Perot.

This past November is the first time that I voted for a presidential candidate who was not a Republican, and I am 48 years old and always vote. Mr. Perot received my vote because Mr. Bush had done absolutely nothing for the economy, as I can personally testify.

Bill Roberts

Baltimore

Littwin on Nixon

Kindly check Mike Littwin's tags to see if his shots are up to date. His rantings of March 10 are typical of those who go all foamy at the mention of the name Richard Nixon.

Those such as Mr. Littwin, always tolerant, forgiving and understanding when the wrongdoings of others are concerned, somehow manage to override their mercy circuits when the ghastly Mr. Nixon rears his head.

He is apparently blind to the fact that Mr. Nixon, crooked or not, still has a grasp of foreign affairs and the political interplay of nations second to very few men. Certainly few of the Jimmy Carter retreads infesting the State Department have insights as deep, and Bill Clinton knows it. Mr. Clinton deserves credit for soliciting advice from all quarters, for substance as well as symbolism.

Funny, isn't it, that a meeting of Mr. Clinton and Mr. Nixon is automatically declared symbolic. Up until now, Mr. Clinton's every burp and gurgle has been considered a policy statement. The Reagan and Bush years were the triumph of symbol over substance, say the same folk. Why do Nixon-haters feel their undying rage threatened if he has something worthwhile to say? Is it because they can't bear the possibility that he might be right about something?

This administration was elected to make things better, with everyone's help expected. If Mr. Nixon's advice is useful, as it seems to be in this instance, it should be welcomed, not ridiculed.

Eric V. Chubb

Harrisburg, Pa.

Vox Populi

The booing of President Clinton at the ball game on opening day was loud and clear enough to be picked up on the radio, not the "smattering of boos amid the applause" as reported in The Sun.

Elizabeth W. Nottrodt

Baltimore

Grateful Med

Maryland's health care reform bill includes a provision -- sometimes called a "locality rule" -- which I feel is potentially harmful to patients.

The rule protects the physician who is accused of malpractice by requiring that his/her actions need conform only to those actions which reflect the medical standards of the particular (or similar) community or of physicians with similar training.

Undoubtedly, such standards are usually adequate for patient care. But they are not always adequate. In any case, they are hardly compatible with the frequent assertion by physicians' groups that their first priority is the welfare of their patients.

I feel that the welfare of patients is enhanced by physicians who update their knowledge and aspire to standards that transcend their immediate surroundings.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has striven to bring up-to-date, clinically-relevant information to physicians in all locales.

With only a personal computer and modem a physician can quickly obtain expert data and opinions even if she/he has virtually no "computer literacy." The NLM provides many sources of information through its "Grateful Med" software; this permits fast acquisition of references to clinical literature and abstracts of articles.

If entire articles are needed, the physician can obtain them quickly via prior arrangements with a library and use of NLM's "Lonesome Doc" software, part of the Grateful Med system.

As good as it is, NLM improves Grateful Med periodically and automatically sends upgrades to registered users free of charge.

The NLM has done a wonderful job of making all of this pleasant, non-bureaucratic and time-productive for users. The on-line charges (via local telephone) have been low and are now even lower as a result of congressional mandate. Even individuals at the lower end of physician pay scales can easily afford these services.

The Maryland legislation is aimed at reducing the costs of malpractice litigation. Certainly, there are abuses in this area by some patients and some attorneys; and we ought to support legislation that can minimize these abuses.

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