Hospitals should ask for organ donorsDuring recent...

LETTERS

November 06, 1997

Hospitals should ask for organ donors

During recent admissions to several local hospitals, I was requested to fill out all the normal forms, (identification information, past medical problems and history, insurance numbers, allergies, etc.). On one occasion I was even asked to express my wishes regarding prolonged-treatment measures in the event of a hopeless prognosis. On no hospital visit was I asked my wishes regarding possible organ donations.

I can understand the reluctance of the admitting people to broach this subject, particularly when the patient presents a minor or non-life threatening medical problem. But what good is that important information if it is available only on my driver's license or in some file at the DMV?

Unlike most regulations, I believe hospitals would welcome one requiring them to ask and record organ-donation wishes. This would take the sensitive matter out of their hands and give them the excuse they need to say: "The law requires that we ask you if you are registered as an organ donor on your driver's license."

If all hospitals are required by regulation to do this, no one should be offended. Patients will quickly recognize that it is a routine question asked of everyone. Organs will be available for transplantation when (and only when) it is the announced and recorded desire of the donee.

Exceptions may have to be made in hospitals where religious doctrines insist otherwise, but these instances should be few, if any.

Richard Ballard

Sparks

Report that Iraq is hiding nerve gas

What kind of a newspaper are you? You report (Nov. 2):

"In London, the Observer newspaper reported U.N. weapons inspectors in Iraq as saying they were on the verge of finding Baghdad's stockpile of the lethal liquid nerve agent VX last week when President Saddam Hussein ordered U.S. members of the team to leave.

"A few ounces of VX could kill millions of people, the newspaper said in its early Sunday edition, available last night."

This earth-shaking story should have been front page news with blaring headlines, but your provincial newspaper buried it on page 20.

Manuel M. Poliakoff

Baltimore

Deny Wyndham hotel another rubber stamp

On the ill-conceived Wyndham hotel plan we have one rubber stamp committee after another. Now we have the Planning Commission voting unanimously for the plan.

Some still try to call it a convention hotel. The mayor of Philadelphia thinks that it's a good plan. It is for Philadelphia because the City of Brotherly Love will be taking our convention business.

As state and city taxpayers we should demand a refund of the part of $21 million in infrastructure that would be destroyed if this project goes through in violation of the master plan for Inner Harbor East.

Taxpayers can hope now that the City Council will not be another "ditto-head." Let's tell them about it.

As a last resort, the proposed $50 million in public subsidies had better come to referendum.

Lloyd Haag

Baltimore

New BSO maestro must have high goals

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has achieved a major coup in acquiring the services of Yuri Temirkanov to replace David Zinman ("BSO lands a big one," Oct. 30). Maestro Temirkanov is a conductor of world-class stature who must elevate the BSO to equal status among orchestras.

It is my hope that our new maestro will expand both the repertoire of the orchestra as well as the musical horizons of the audience.

To achieve world-class rank and recognition, the BSO must move beyond Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Dvorak.

There is a wealth of great music the orchestra seldom plays. It cannot expect to compete with the Chicago, Cleveland or Philadelphia ensembles until it enlarges its performance orbit.

When have we heard the Schubert C major, "Great," or the Mozart G minor? Shostakovich and Sibelius are almost completely ignored.

The Prokofiev "Classical Symphony" is a delicious musical confection, yet it is infrequently performed. The symphonies of Haydn seldom appear on the BSO concert programs.

Maestro Temirkanov has a golden opportunity to move the orchestra to a higher musical plateau that will enhance the reputation of the orchestra and enrich the audience as well.

Mitchell Misiora

Baltimore I am responding to the Oct. 29 article, "N.Y. man may have infected hundreds with AIDS virus."

I was disturbed with the twisted point of view that his man was solely responsible for infecting all of these irresponsible people.

What about the parents of the minors who engaged in sexual activities with this man?

When are people going to start taking responsibility for their own actions? I think we should be questioning the credibility of the women who engaged in sexual activities with him for whatever reason. They should be embarrassed and ashamed of themselves.

It seems everyone wants to be a victim and point the finger at something or someone else. Regardless of your chosen sex partner(s), everyone is responsible for protecting themselves.

Julia Dietz

Abingdon

Pub Date: 11/06/97

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