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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Don't Be the Judge

To the Editor:

I was very disappointed with Naomi Van Tol's editorial critical of CBU's decision not to allow Rev. James Lawson to speak on its campus as part of the Pax Christi national assembly (Viewpoint, August 9th issue). If Ms. Van Tol had done her homework, she would have learned that CBU was not acting out of fear but was courageously challenging Pax Christi, a Catholic peace organization, to be true to its own principles of nonviolence.

I write as a CBU faculty member and member of the local Pax Christi organizing committee for the national assembly. Several of us resigned in protest from this committee once we learned of Rev. Lawson's public advocacy for abortion. The truth is, no matter what CBU decided, the assembly would have been canceled due to these resignations.

Pax Christi endorses the consistent ethic of life, which holds that abortion, capital punishment, war, and euthanasia are all forms of violence. Since the Catholic Church and Pax Christi itself hold that abortion is violence, it is silly to hold that Rev. Lawson would be an appropriate keynote speaker. It would be akin to the Sierra Club having as a keynote speaker for its national meeting someone who advocates drilling for oil in the Alaska national wildlife refuge.

Dr. Peter Gathje

Chair, Dept. of Religion and Philosophy

Christian Brothers University

ER Response

To the Editor:

I was glad to read that medication could put Rebekah Gleaves back in good health (First Person, August 2nd issue). She was lucky that someone with a sick monkey or other pet didn't happen by while she was in the ER, or her care and recovery could have been delayed even longer.

Seriously, though, her article about the ER, unlike her, remains somewhat out of sorts. An ER is far more complicated and costly in providing medical care than is a physician's office or a minor medical center. One significant reason for delays in ER patient treatment, as well as spiraling health-care costs, is the widespread use of ERs for care that should have been sought elsewhere.

Ms. Gleaves ignored "four days of steadily increasing pain" and significantly overmedicated on non-prescription drugs, waiting until no other options were available for more appropriate, less expensive -- and faster -- care.

Ms. Gleaves' ordeal was certainly not pleasant, however, the real tragedy here is that she and the Flyer could have used this opportunity to try to improve ER usage for everyone while also reducing health-care costs, rather than slamming the Baptist Hospital system for closing an outdated financial drain.

Herbert E. Kook Jr., Germantown

To the Editor:

I just finished the article about the ER at Methodist Central and I want to thank you for your insightful words and empathetic view of what we, the dedicated nursing staff at Methodist, face every day, 24 hours a day, in our ER. I think you understand how frustrated we all are that we cannot physically work any harder or more efficiently than we already are. Each day seems more overwhelming than the one before. My fulltime job is as the utilization nurse and I help to coordinate admissions, transfers from other facilities, and do insurance pre-certs, among many other duties. I also pick up extra shifts as a bedside nurse, as does every nurse in our department. I have been a nurse for 35 years at many levels and I can tell you I have never felt as stressed or frustrated as I have since the closing of Baptist and, prior to that, St. Joseph.

All of us are appreciative because finally someone seems to understand what we are going through. I assure you we are trying our hardest.

Suzie Clarke, Memphis

To the Editor:

Thanks for the article! I am a nurse at Methodist Central and we know firsthand what Baptist's leaving downtown has done to the city, not to mention that they bought St. Joseph and closed that down as well. Thanks for telling it like it really is.

Shelby Dickerson, Memphis

The Memphis Flyer encourages reader response. Send mail to: Letters to the Editor, POB 1738, Memphis, TN 38101. Or call Back Talk at 575-9405. Or send us e-mail at letters@memphisflyer.com. All responses must include name, address, and daytime phone number. Letters should be no longer than 250 words.

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