Hutchinson's WoesThe Sun's Sept. 17 editorial, "Leslie...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 01, 1993

Hutchinson's Woes

The Sun's Sept. 17 editorial, "Leslie Hutchinson's Next Step," conveys clearly the concept that Leslie Hutchinson, by her actions, has violated the trust placed in her by residents of Baltimore County's Sixth legislative district.

Most recently, Delegate Hutchinson was convicted of driving her automobile with a suspended license. Were this not enough, the delegate entrusted to an elected office by the citizens of the Sixth District was also convicted of driving without insurance.

These are serious charges, to say the least -- charges for which the average hard working tax-paying citizen could find himself in jail.

Further, the litany of complaints against the delegate reads like a tally sheet of unending complaints. For example, tardy campaign finance reports, unpaid bills, failure to appear in court, and the list goes on.

In reality, it must be said that elected officials should be models of what good citizenship is about.

If one were to visit the taverns, restaurants, tailor shops and garages of the area composing the Sixth District -- Essex, Middle River, Chase, Wilson Point and other areas -- he would find disgruntled citizens filled with embarrassment and distrust. Her fellow elected officials have distanced themselves from the delegate. This does not allow for unity, in relationship to representation of the constituents of the district.

It is for this reason that Del. Leslie Hutchinson should resign on her own accord -- or make it clear that she will not seek re-election. How can we as citizens expect Delegate Hutchinson to handle the affairs of state when she has proven incapable of handling her own affairs?

John A. Micklos

Baltimore

Subacute Care

We take issue with the letter by Raymond E. Cogen, M.D. (Sept. 11), "Ventilator Patients Don't Belong in Nursing Homes."

The letter stated that Integrated Health Services is one of the largest chains of subacute nursing facilities in the nation and incurs costs that are often greater than chronic care hospitals. The letter also stated that in more sophisticated nursing homes, patients "can occasionally be weaned off the ventilator."

Below are some data on ventilator patients that are part of our two-year detailed outcome project:

Forty-four percent of our ventilator patients are weaned off a ventilator within 40 days . . . Seventy-eight percent of our ventilator patients are weaned within 100 days.

Our average length of stay is approximately 64 days.

The "facts" in Dr. Cogen's letter are fallacious. Subacute facilities like IHS are successful in weaning patients off ventilators and at costs 30 to 60 percent less . . .

The simple fact is that many acute patients in hospitals can be treated in alternate site settings, such as nursing homes, with subacute care at half the cost of the hospital. This represents 25 percent of all patients in the acute care hospitals and many patients in long term care hospitals . . .

Robert N. Elkins, M.D.

Owings Mills

The writer is chairman and chief executive officer, Integrated Health Services Inc.

Stereotypes

As a mental health professional, I must take exception to your Sept. 16 article, "Columbus Center bids 'to jolt you.'"

It describes the design of the Columbus Center as "intentionally schizophrenic -- half festive exhibit hall, half serious science lab."

The characterization of architectural design and urban planning as somehow being schizophrenic reflects derogatory slang which continues to mislead the public about the true nature of serious psychiatric illness and further stigmatizes those struggling with serious but treatable illnesses.

Schizophrenia is not a split personality. Its use in non-medical contexts should not be used as a synonym for, say, multi-use, adventurous, two-faced, multifaceted or self-contradictory.

Such casual use of the term "schizophrenic" spreads confusion and dehumanization and unfounded stereotypes which detract from your editorial content . . .

Daniel L. Buccino

Baltimore

History Lesson

Until I read Glenn McNatt's piece it never occurred to me to consider the ancient Egyptians as "suntanned Europeans." We had maps in my day also, and Egypt is pretty clearly in the northeast corner of Africa.

Perhaps Mr. McNatt is referring to racial stock. The Egyptians of the Northern Kingdom were probably caucasoid, those of the Southern Kingdom probably negroid. I don't think it matters much.

What does matter is Egypt's proximity to the Middle East, from whence our civilization obtains, and to the Mediterranean, which nurtured and spread it through the successive ascendancies of the Assyrians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans and the Ottomans.

Neither McNatt nor Culleton built the pyramids. We are North Americans, and we received the bulk of our culture, language and system of government most immediately from the colonial nations of Europe.

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