The real profit from transplants lies in...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The real profit from transplants lies in lives saved

Ellen Goodman's column on organ transplant allocation made me furious ("On organ transplants, it's location, location, location," Opinion Commentary, April 11).

No, it is not fair that one region's wait is longer (or shorter) than another's; neither is it fair that anyone should have to wait for an organ or worse, die waiting.

Ms. Goodman said that UNOS (The United Network for Organ Sharing) is "a tad too concerned with keeping the . . . profitable local transplant centers healthy."

But what does she expect them to do? UNOS has no stake in any one transplant center; UNOS allocates organs for the entire country.

Which "local" transplant center is UNOS trying to keep healthy?

What is not needed in the field of transplants are more reasons for people not to donate organs. The supply of organs is already significantly smaller than the demand.

Ms. Goodman's talk of "hoarding laws" and "lethal health care" does little to dispel people's fear.

My mother was listed for liver transplant here at the University of Maryland in November 1998 and received her liver on Mother's Day 1999.

She got a liver for two reasons: She was listed at a highly successful, well-regarded transplant center and a family in New Jersey made a decision, at perhaps the most difficult time in their lives, to donate their loved one's organs.

It is a terrible thing to need an organ, especially one that can only come when another person dies.

It is an incredible burden to want that which you know can only come from the death of another.

Let's not make it any harder than it already is, by bashing the organ allocation process and the transplant centers who may profit from the process.

Let's keep in mind who really profits from transplants.

Sue Dickson, Catonsville

Norris' record, resolve have earned him a fair chance

Recent clamor over the city's new police commissioner shows that some so-called community leaders are more concerned with press coverage than public safety.

We have seen demonstrations calling for Acting Commissioner Edward T. Norris' resignation, even before his confirmation hearings.

I must have missed the information showing that Mr. Norris is not qualified.

All reports of his prior activities and experience show he is an effective leader who gets results.

Reducing crime in Baltimore City is a monumental task. Mr. Norris has accepted this challenge from our mayor and is guaranteeing results.

Until he shows he is not up to the task, or can't do it without trampling the rights of the innocent, let's give him the chance he deserves.

Public cries for Mr. Norris' removal based upon the color of his skin and his city of origin are so repugnant that they are not worthy of the coverage they have received.

Are some African-American leaders willing to trade the lives of hundreds of fellow African-Americans just to fill one more top job?

Mayor Martin O'Malley was elected to restore order and effectively govern this declining city.

I think we owe him the latitude to choose the people necessary to carry out that mandate.

David Gardner, Baltimore

For women, working hard isn't enough to win equal pay

As a male human resources executive and management professor, I need to comment on the recent letter, "To make what men do, women must work as they do" (April 11).

The author gives a formula for women who want to earn as much as their male counterparts: Do not take time off, work long hours, travel and be willing to relocate for employers.

It is my business observation that professional women who follow that script and work as hard or harder than their male colleagues, still fail to earn equal pay.

My guess is that stereotypical thinking of male superiors, subordinates and peers contributes to their lower pay.

Could it be that women's stereotypical expectations of lower pay also leads to pay inequity?

Lawrence J. Simpson, Baltimore

What's wrong with being a mom?

What's so wrong with a young girl who states that she wants to be a mom when she grows up? Or a teacher or nurse? ("For some, feminism is a tradition," April 2).

What is the real platform of the feminist movement?

It seems to be based on the power and stature of women, but only in certain lifestyles and career choices.

As a college-educated woman and mother of two young children, I would find it honorable if someday my sons chose to marry women who simply "wanted to be a mom."

Lisa R. Mark, Bel Air

Alternatives to public schools are not an aberration

Some recent letter-writers have expressed disapproval of the state's decision to provide some modest financial assistance to private schools, usually on the basis that only public schools should be the recipients of public funds ("Should state funds purchase textbooks for private schools," letters, April 10).

Apart from the fact that such reasoning ignores the hundreds of contractual arrangements between public entities and private service providers, many of which are religiously affiliated, I resent the strong implication that private schools are an aberration from the norm (public schools) and that those who use them are somehow damaging not only the public schools, but society as a whole.

In my opinion, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Historically, all schooling was privately done, usually in conjunction with a church, and the first responsibility for educating children was clearly the parents, not the state's.

John D. Schiavone, Kingsville

If we can sell AWACS, why shouldn't Israel?

A quote from The Sun's article "U.S. presses Israel not to sell AWACS-type aircraft to China" (April 12) reads: "Opponents in the United States fear the aircraft might one day be used to help locate and target U.S. jets or ships dispatched to defend Taiwan."

But where was the United States when Israel requested that we not sell AWACS-type technology to its Arab neighbors?

Sonia Looban Greenspon, Baltimore

As evil as the Yankees are, crude sign was improper

Kudos to the two New York Yankees who destroyed the sign belonging to the 16-year-old girl at Oriole Park at Camden Yards ("Os fan sues 2 Yankees over alleged assault," April 8).

The wording "Yankees Suck" is vulgar and should not have been displayed in public.

What kind of a father would permit his child to use such language at all?

Joseph C. Rohe, Rosedale

I look forward to seeing Charles Robbins' chest fill with pride when his 16-year-old daughter explains to the court what she means when she says, "Yankees Suck."

Philip Myers, Baltimore

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