Don't let nurses prescribe psychiatric drugsPeople in...


March 29, 1996

Don't let nurses prescribe psychiatric drugs

People in Maryland with psychiatric illnesses are in danger of getting risky, substandard treatment.

Today's treatments of psychiatric illnesses rely heavily on knowledge of medical mimics, neurobiological processes and pharmacologic actions and side effects of psychotropic and other types of medications.

There are two current bills in the state legislature (HB 1029 and SB 532) that would legally allow nurses with a master's degree in psychiatric nursing to prescribe and dispense medications to treat severe psychiatric illnesses, providing that they take a three-hour semester course in psychopharmacology.

The Senate bill's sponsor is Sen. Paula Hollinger, who is also a nurse.

The main reason for these bills is economic. Insurance companies would have less costly nurse therapists doing the work of highly trained physicians.

Physicians currently prescribe these medications after an appropriate diagnostic evaluation.

Psychiatrists like myself have had four years of general medical training, followed by four years of specialty training in psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.

To think that those eight years of training and experience can be distilled to a three-hour course is a preposterously cruel joke.

If one of these bills passes, the joke will be on Maryland citizens and their health.

Steven R. Daviss, M.D.


Land owner deserves fair remuneration

I am bewildered by and amazed at the amount of gratuitous venom spewed forth in connection with the Owings House in Baltimore County. I think it is high time someone spoke out in the defense of those involved with its demolition.

Who gave to anyone but the owners of the property the right to decide what to do with it? Since when is good business rightfully termed greed? Would any of those so free with their plans for someone else's property have done differently had it been their land?

As one who has lost potentially $12 million to $15 million worth of land to public domain condemnation in another state, I can tell you that even when land is ''legally'' appropriated for a good cause (three schools -- which is self-evident proof of the value of the location) the amount of remuneration involved is obscenely low.

We can all agree that it would be nice to have certain things but, unless one is willing to pay for them according to their true value, it is only right to accept what is fair.

K? It is fair to let the owner of the land determine its fate.

George H. Taylor


Unsafe to allow voting on school days

I am writing in response to the March 19 letter, ''Keep our schools open on election days.'' The writer couldn't possibly be a parent.

As an elementary school teacher, I could not deal with hundreds of strangers coming into our school. Today's society is full of sick individuals.

We have 660 children at Woodmoor Elementary. What if one child was missing during that day? Would the writer want the missing child to be someone he or she knew? Even if no children were taken, what if just one was assaulted?

Besides the possible danger to our children, where can physical education safely take place while the gym is being used for the election?

My school will remain open April 16, for the special election in District 7 and I will have my heart in my throat all day. Education is important, but safety is more important.

Dotty Hamilton


Three newspapers, three news styles

As a former Sun reporter and editor, I must register my disappointment over The Sun's March 21 presentation of the recent settlement between Michael P. Angelos and the Securities Exchange Commission.

The Washington Post headline read: "Former chief of Md. port operations settles stock trading case." The Washington Times headline was: "Former port official pays to end SEC case." Those newspapers were correct, as that was the "new" news in the case.

The Sun's headline blazed "MPA ex-chief is accused of insider trade."

Three bank heads were placed underneath, stating everything negative without touching on the settlement until the third paragraph of the story.

Instead, The Sun actually replayed the negatives it had printed time and again last year without ever touching on the positive contributions Michael Angelos made to the Port of Baltimore.

Helen Delich Bentley


Sun's chickens have come home to roost

Even though she had no experience, The Sun endorsed Joan Pratt for city comptroller over Julian Lapides, who had experience and integrity -- attributes sorely needed in our city.

I believe it was The Sun that labeled Mr. Lapides the "conscience of the Senate."

How interesting to read that The Sun's editorial writers now think Pratt has big hill to climb'' and ''she must do a better job of learning the fundamentals of city finance'' and today that she has hired her campaign manager to run the city's real estate office, contradicting her campaign promise that he would not play a role in her administration.

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