I read with great interest The Sun's articles "New science undermines oldest notions about race" (Oct. 10) and "`A sort of scientific malpractice'" (Oct. 11).
A critical review of 19th and early 20th century physical anthropologists, psychometricians and naturalists reveals that they tend to create an arbitrary and biased division of the world population into three, four or five categories.
However, attempting to pigeonhole individuals into these categories can have devastating results for an individual patient. Thus, until medicine reaches an age of enlightenment, patients must become educated consumers of health care and ask critical questions about their care.
Families must discuss their history of diseases with their close family members, because the family history is far more important than any broad ethnic classification.
Certainly, in this country "race" has strong implications on a political and social level; however, as these articles noted, there is no biological basis for such archaic classifications.
Dr. Eve Higginbotham
The writer is a past president of the Baltimore City Medical Society.
Delivery of flu shots carried out with care
My husband and I were among the thousands of people who flocked to the senior expo on Wednesday hoping to receive flu shots. We were awed by the level of organization which made an enormous undertaking proceed smoothly and even in good humor ("Seeking a dose of prevention," Oct. 14).
Both Maxim Health Systems and the Baltimore County Department of Aging obviously had anticipated the huge turnout, and planned in advance so that it was handled beautifully.
We arrived at 9 a.m., received numbers 1526 and 1527 and were advised to return at 4:30 p.m. When we returned, the procedure was right on schedule, and the many frail and weary people, who would have been distraught without careful planning, were waiting calmly, in adequate seating.
Given the shortage of vaccine, it was not possible to serve everyone. But those of us who received shots were treated with kindness and respect.
I applaud the dedicated souls who made this happen.
Deborah L. London