Act on BloodOn Sept. 12, I attended the Institute of...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 25, 1994

Act on Blood

On Sept. 12, I attended the Institute of Medicine (in Washington) investigation of HIV and the blood supply. Hemophiliacs have been the recipients of HIV-contaminated blood products. The hemophilia community is dying at the rate of one a day. Our principal speakers for hemophiliacs and their concerns about the safety of their blood products were not allowed to relate verbally all their evidence. Only seven minutes of time was allotted to testify verbally. Only one day of public hearings was scheduled.

The object of the hearing is to collect facts and to question those facts as to authenticity and reliability. Our community was there to testify. Time was not allotted for questioning the very people who were so grievously involved in the ultimate use of contaminated blood products. How can an investigation be conducted that does not allow time to clarify and re-affirm the testimony given? The contamination of the blood supply can affect every single person at some time or another in his or her lifetime. Written testimony can not be effectively questioned or evaluated. People can.

Every single hemophiliac can relate problems with receiving whole blood, plasma or cryo-percipatate. Many so-called allergic reactions have been recorded in their medical records. Will the committee take the time to investigate these facts?

The committee does not have power to subpoena records nor individuals. The recording of the industry's testimony will not be conducted at public hearings. How can we as consumers question them? How can we as consumers know that they are producing and distributing a safe product as long as the ''blood shield'' law is in effect?

Only a congressional hearing can have the power to subpoena those individuals and industrial records that can eventually prove that the blood industry knew of HIV contamination and did nothing to ensure the safety of its products.

We do not have time to wait any longer. We need immediate action.

Ethel Livingston

Pikesville

Will Pitching, Balks

Was that George F. Will I saw doing a promo spot for the public television production of Ken Burns' ''Baseball''?

The same George F. Will who, a year ago, wrote three columns urging Congress to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts?

The NEA is a major source of funds for public television. Mr. Will was vitriolic in his rage, as he protested any public funds being used to support such a frill. He argued that public television is an elitist bauble and thus should be maintained by those same elitists -- privately, sans a broad tax-payer base.

Which is it going to be? Is support of PBS a symbol of creeping socialism therefore the end of the Republic, or is he becoming a closet pussy-cat!

Kenneth Willaman

Baltimore

Act Your Age

As a senior citizen, age 69, I am appalled at the antics of Gov. William Donald Schaefer, age 72, and Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, age 70, having to watch their dreadful reactions to the impressive victory of Republican gubernatorial candidate Ellen Sauerbrey.

Three times I watched Governor Schaefer on television castigate Mrs. Sauerbrey.

The absurdity of the spectacle of Mrs. Bentley angrily slapping away Mrs. Sauerbrey's hand in friendship was a lesson in poor citizenship and manners.

These two elderly people who have been in public service for such a very long time certainly should be expected to set a good example for our young people. Instead, they have chosen to act out the old, grumpy, has-been characters of a bygone era.

I would like to offer some advice to Governor Schaefer and Representative Bentley. Grow up and act your age!

Walter Boyd

Lutherville

Why Not Let Striped Bass Season Expand?

The Department of Natural Resources has announced this year's striped bass young of year index, an event always anxiously awaited because the index predicts the future abundance of striped bass in the bay and along the entire Atlantic coast.

The index was above average again. In fact, under new rules adopted for accurately measuring the annual index, this year's index is the fifth highest since 1954. Last year was an all-time record.

Back in the 1970s, Maryland initiated a renewed effort to foster cooperation among the Atlantic coast states to reverse the decline in striped bass populations.

After many years of planning, commitment, hard work, and a five-year moratorium on striped bass fishing in Maryland and Delaware, striped bass have recovered.

The plan for recovery turned out to be a good one; in fact, surprisingly good. This year's index is further proof of the recovery and the benefits of Maryland's enduring commitment to recovery.

But something is amiss here.

The other part of the plan -- the one to allow fishermen and local communities to benefit from the recovery, once protection against future decline was assured -- doesn't seem to be working.

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