It's pathetic but inevitable that physicians like Ferd Crotte charge patients a premium for service that should be provided as standard. But as insurance companies have come to control the patient-doctor relationship, perhaps this will evolve into a positive trend.
Many of our health dollars go not to the physicians treating us but to the gatekeepers and middlemen. Walk into any doctor's office and it's evident that the phalanx of pastel-jacketed staffers filing, phoning, and transferring records are adding to health care costs (more people on the payroll) and decreasing health- care service (less direct physician-patient contact).
Catastrophic care aside, it's my belief that if we could get back to a system where patients deal directly with doctors, and doctors charge patients reasonable fees, both caregivers and care receivers would be happier.
The "concierge" system contorts this idea. Dr. Crotte's $1,200 fee is added on top of insurance coverage, co-pays, etc. But if we could get to a place where the HMOs/PPOs, etc. were removed from the equation and patients had direct care and payment relationship with doctors, I truly believe much of the frustration would be removed.
The only other answer to this, as I see it, is the European "single payer" (i.e., nationalized health care) model. Some politicians position this as limiting choice, but in my experience. (I lived in Germany between 2002 and 2004) it is a simpler system in which care is a right, not something afforded those with deep pockets.
This is obviously a complicated issue, but making health care more exclusive seems, to me, to be the absolute worst way to go about reforming the system. Costs are high enough, even for those who have insurance. Adding even higher fees for TLC seems a true aberration.
Barbara Goodman Shovers
Ice rescues apparent result of brain freeze
Twice within 48 hours fishermen on Lake Erie had to be rescued. Not only were some of them arrogant enough to go back out on a Friday to retrieve their fishing gear but they knew before they went out that the ice was cracking along the shore.
This was a total lack of common sense. And to top this off, along came six more on Sunday to repeat this less than intelligent move.
What are these people thinking? I believe we need a law that would require people who need to be rescued because of their lack of common sense to reimburse all costs for their rescue.
This is just a slap in the face to the rescuers who risked their lives to save these not-so-bright individuals.
Maybe if they are hit in their pocketbook they will acquire better thinking skills.
Florida woman has
right to food, water
I wonder what the response to your on-line poll of Feb. 22 would have been regarding the removal of the feeding tube from Terri Schiavo if the phrase "allowing her to die" would have read "causing her to die"?
The only "life support" she is on is the kind we all require: food and water. Numerous doctors and nurses have reported that Mrs. Schiavo responds to her environment and those who visit her in distinctive ways, that she is not in a persistent vegetative state, and that it is possible that her condition could improve with therapy.
However, her husband has refused her any rehabilitation therapy since he won her medical malpractice settlement in 1993, despite his promises to do so during the court proceedings.
It's also interesting that he never told the jury that it was his wife's wish to die. It was only after he received the settlement that he made these claims, years after her injury.
Is it possible that his wife's parents are not delusional after all in believing that their daughter has a right to therapy, food, and water?
Animal rights' group stance stirs outrage
I read with deeply shocked dismay the recent article by PETA's representative touting the killing of innocent animals.
For an authority of an organization, operating under the title of "ethical" to encourage euthanasia and further commend another, operating under the title of "humane," for this practice as a solution for homeless animals, is nothing less than an outrage.
Death by injection is not always humane or painless.
This practice supports exactly the kind of dark-age, antiquated thinking that animal advocates have been fighting for decades. Far better to use resources toward more effective and truly humane ways now utilized in many parts of the country.
Agreed: The conditions and practices of some "rescue" facilities definitely need to be remedied. But promoting a "welcoming" open-door service for even more unwanted animals and then ultimately killing them when a new batch needs space simply means more unnecessary death, and is a sad testimony of purpose.
These animals are not homeless by their own choice, but because of irresponsible human care. They deserve the right to life, to fend for themselves at least, rather than a swinging door to death.
Prevention through spay/neuter and heightened education of the public to their responsibilities and other compassionate answers is essential to the truly humane solution.
May everyone now seek proof from any organization that their animal will indeed receive a second chance and not be sacrificed to systematic elimination.
Euthanasia, when chosen by the recipient, can be a merciful end. When there is will to live and no choice or voice in one's fate, it is murder.
Let us understand the euphemism to be what it really is: Putting a trusting former furry family member or helpless stray "to sleep" does not mean we are tucking them in for the night.
Leftists misquote Geneva Conventions
Here's a basic legal lesson for the leftist-pacifist imbeciles who deliberately misquote the Geneva Conventions for the sake of Bush-bashing. The Geneva Conventions apply exclusively to the legitimate military forces of a country's government.
They have no applicability to the Islamic terrorist barbarians who comprise al-Qaeda and the Iraqi insurgency, as those subhuman thugs do not belong to the armed forces of any legitimate government on this planet.
Terrorists have no regard for law or human life, and we are exceeding our duty owed to them be merely incarcerating them and keeping them alive.
I'm not surprised by the misunderstanding of the Geneva Conventions by the left-wing loudmouths: Most can't even spell "college" and have never attended one.
That's why the liberal voter-lemmings always vote for the socialist moron candidates of the Jackass (Democratic) Party, and find such a warm welcome in the editorial pages of the pro-commie media.
Petro needs refresher course in state history
In regards to casino gambling in the State of Ohio, Attorney General Jim Petro stated "there are currently no federally recognized Indian tribes in Ohio, nor are there any 'Indian lands' in Ohio," also stating "a tribe must satisfy many legal requirements to obtain recognition and establish lands."
Mr. Petro earns a D-minus in Ohio history, but an A-plus in chutzpah.
Perhaps Mr. Petro (and the government et al) should further study the historical document "The Treaty of Greenville" to find the errors in these statements.
L.E. 'Skip' Bradley
I rejoiced when I heard that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that killing kids through capital punishment is now unconstitutional. That is a big step in the right direction of breaking us from our schizophrenic treatment of children.
To get us completely out of this habit of killing our kids, two more things need yet be done: abolish abortion altogether and war absolutely.