Did I miss something in article "Cardiac aid gets handyman fired" (Dec. 27)?
As I understand the situation, Ted Robinson, a survivor of a heart attack, saved the life of Rochelle Wilkins and was fired for his efforts. Ms. Wilkins, also a heart attack survivor, whose supply of nitroglycerin was depleted, took one of Mr. Robinson's pills. This, according to medical personnel, possibly saved her life.
The article noted that she and Mr. Robinson were acquaintances. They may have even shared knowledge of their similar conditions.
It seems that Ms. Wilkins knew of her condition, her symptoms and the need for the nitroglycerin. Mr. Robinson carried some. She wanted a pill and accepted one from him because she could have been dying. Yet Mr. Robinson was fired because he was "not a health care professional." He reacted in an emergency, life-threatening situation.
A "good Samaritan" law should protect people like Mr. Robinson from legal problems for improper assistance, if problems arise. Laws should demand that people in that situation take prompt and reasonable action. Given the situation and his knowledge, his actions were reasonable and are to be applauded.
Edward D. Crook
The article "Cardiac aid gets handyman fired" is close to unbelievable. The alleged reason for his dismissal was that he gave a nitroglycerin tablet to a resident in the apartment complex where he worked because she had chest pain and believed she was having a heart attack.
As a physician, I can tell you that nitroglycerin is an almost harmless drug, with some side effects.
Any criticism should be directed at Eric Richelson, president of the company that manages the apartments where Mr. Robinson lives and worked.
I hope many attractive job offers will be made to this kind man, Mr. Robinson.
William H. Brown, M.D.
MAKE FERTILITY CLINICS PAY COSTS FOR MULTIPLE BIRTHS
Doctors, pharmacists and fertility clinics need a financial incentive to be more prudent from the start of the process when using fertility drugs that could result in multiple births that put the lives of newborns at risk.
Why not make them pay the hospital bills for the sadly endangered newborns?
SCHOOL OFFICER GIVES MORE THAN LAW ENFORCEMENT
Pikesville is fortunate to be one of two Baltimore County high schools with a full-time school resource officer. Baltimore County Police Officer Joe Goralczyk is a fully integrated faculty member whose job description entails so much more than monitoring the grounds for misbehavior or suspicious activity.
Officer Goralczyk offers curricular and instructional support in the classroom in courses such as Violence in America and Law Enforcement in a Free Society. He helps implement professional development activities for teachers and gives presentations to parents and the community.
He serves on many school committees. At-risk students benefit from his availability as a mentor and counselor. He provides a positive role model of law enforcement personnel, working with teachers, students and parents to maintain a safe and orderly school climate.
This does not begin to address the respect and affection we have for Officer Goralczyk. We are grateful to have the school resource officer position. We commend County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger for planning to place officers in all county high schools.
The writer is president of the Pikesville High School Parent Teacher Student Association.
ARMING ORDINARY CITIZENS CAUSED VIOLENT CRIME DROP
It seems that The Sun, like most of the mainstream media, is sticking to the party line vis-a-vis the reported reductions in violent crime ("Crime rate falling in U.S.," Dec. 28).
The real reason lies with the vision and common sense shown by state legislators across the nation. In 1989, seven states permitted widespread carrying of concealed firearms by ordinary citizens. In 1998, more than 40 states are issuing carry permits. No permit is needed in Vermont, and Missouri is planning to put the issue to its voters in 1999.
The substantial reductions in crimes against persons correlates directly with the nationwide arming of the public over the past 10 years.
Two years ago, University of Chicago professor John Lott, in analyzing crime data from 3,054 U.S. counties from 1977 to 1994, found that for every year a concealed-carry law is in effect, crime rates drop. So much for Bill Clinton's contention that "more police, stricter gun laws and better crime prevention is working." There is no "significant drop in the number of people carrying guns," as your article erroneously stated.
The real hero in the reduction in crime is the uncertainty planted in the minds of criminals, who can no longer be confident that their intended victim cannot offer a full measure of resistance.
PATCH ADAMS' INSTITUTE WILL HEAL BODY AND SPIRIT
I write in regard to Patricia Meisol's discussion of Patch Adams' quest to create a free hospital in West Virginia ("His bedside manner spreads good weal" Dec. 26).
Gesundheit Institute will be a place where people from anywhere in the world suffering from chronic physical and emotional disorders can take in sunlight, breathe fresh air, eat health-promoting food, end their broken spirits and receive holistic medical care.
Many of these patients will regain their health, despite having been "failures" of the conventional medical system. Gesundheit Institute also will be a source of rejuvenation for practitioners, who will rediscover the joy of service, untainted by the goal of financial remuneration.
Building a free hospital will not solve the growing financial problems of the American health-care industry. However, Gesundheit Institute will stand as an important metaphor; a living reminder that caring for and serving one another is the only way that we can hope to cure what is really ailing our nation and our planet.
Alan R. Gaby, M.D.
The writer is past president of the American Holistic Medical Association.
SUN PRAISED JUSTICE IDEA THAT HARKINS SUPPORTED
It was gratifying to see your editorial ("Punishing youthful offenders," Dec. 29) praising the neighborhood youth panels that some Maryland counties are developing in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice.
These panels encourage young, first-time offenders to take responsibility for their actions and allow victims of crime and the community to participate in the process.
As a resident of Harford County, however, I was very surprised by The Sun's enthusiasm for this program. Establishing neighborhood youth panels was part of County Executive James N. Harkins' campaign platform. In making its endorsements prior to the election, The Sun ridiculed this plan as absurd.
I am pleased that The Sun has finally seen the great potential in the neighborhood youth panel proposal.
The writer is special assistant to County Executive James N. Harkins.
AN UNFORTUNATE CASUALTY OF GLENDENING PURGE
Among the most unfortunate casualties in the Glendening administration's recent purge is that of R. Dean Kenderdine, who served as assistant secretary at the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development for 10 years.
Tourism is a significant part of Maryland's economy. Mr. Kenderdine reminded us constantly that thousands of jobs are dependent upon tourism.
He was responsible for bringing strategy and planning to the state's tourism, arts and film programs. His vision, determination and leadership brought successful events such as the Whitbread Race last year as well as the 1993 Major League All-Star Game. He was a part cheerleader, part manager and always a facilitator.
The state will miss this fine public servant and his intelligence, integrity and know-how.
David M. Imre
Pub Date: 1/02/99