Kudos to the American Society of Clinical Oncology for acknowledging that patients and their loved ones need to be informed about their treatment options before it’s too late to be active participants (“Doctors urge candor on final care,” Feb. 8).
Ongoing conversation with health-care providers is essential as a person considers continuing aggressive treatment or shifting to comfort care.
With advance care planning, patients can better understand their health condition and have time to think about their values and what is important to them at this time in their life. They can talk with others and make future health-care decisions, so their families know their wishes and are not placed in the position of having to make hard choices without any prior knowledge or input.
We encourage all physicians to make these types of discussions a part of their patients’ overall plan of care. And we encourage families to start these conversations as well. Free information and assistance are available by calling the Advance Care Planning Coalition of Greater Toledo hot line at 419-725-0523.
Laura Phillipps, MSN
Editor’s note: The writer is on the board of the Advance Care Planning Coalition of Greater Toledo.
Merger will benefit St. Luke’s
The merger effort by St. Luke’s Hospital and ProMedica can enable St. Luke’s to achieve fiscal stability and retain its long-standing role as a valuable health-care resource in our area (ProMedica defends merger bid,” Feb. 11).
The Federal Trade Commission assertion that this merger is anticompetitive and will lead to significant increases in hospital costs is based on the aggressive, competition-driven, and monopolistic tactics of ProMedica’s former leadership.
Sparked by new leadership, ProMedica is emerging as a more collaborative, cooperative partner in addressing health-care and resource needs in Lucas County and northwest Ohio.
Howard S. Madigan, M.D.
Column blasting Fox refreshing
In an era of messed-up media, it was refreshing to read Blade religion editor David Yonke’s critique of Fox Broadcasting Co.’s choice of ads (“Fox officials wrong to ban Super Bowl ad,” Feb.12).
He is to be commended for having the courage to state his convictions. His column probably sent many readers to their Bibles — also a good result.
Joan LaVoy Cousino
Phys ed is good for all students
In response to Toledo Public Schools’ proposed cuts in art, music and physical education (“Budget ills endanger art, music, physical ed,” Feb. 7): A physical education program is designed to improve the health and fitness levels of today’s child.
Students in health programs not only show improved health but also demonstrate improved attendance, higher scores on standardized tests, and fewer suspensions.
I applaud the efforts of the district to re-establish sports at the middle-school level, but I see an effort to put money into a program that allows 15 students to play basketball. What are we doing for the other 500 students in that building?
Sports are for the athletic. Physical education is for every child.
Editor’s note: The writer is a retired director of health and physical education for Toledo Public Schools.
Test scores can’t measure success
Standardized testing has become the benchmark for measuring success in school districts throughout the United States. Preparing for these tests is not a choice for teachers or their students. The educational reputation of the United States, especially in mathematics and reading, rests upon these scores.
It can be argued that testing in these core subjects is an important part of measuring academic success. But it cannot and should not be considered the “whole pie” indicator of either student or district growth.
Creative teaching techniques have become relics of the past. More and more valuable classroom time demands are placed upon preparing for and taking local, state, and national tests.
There is a long-term price to pay when it comes to well-rounded student learning. Art and music classes are considered expendable specialities. After-school sports are being eliminated or are on a “pay-to-play” basis.
Teachers’ jobs are on the chopping block. Invaluable careers, which require four or more years of advanced education training, are being wasted. Morale is at an all-time low for staff as well as students.
American children are the major losers. While schools compete for excellent ratings, students are becoming increasingly skilled at passing these tests.
At the same time, the excitement of learning, of being part of the educational experience and applying this learning to later life experiences, is no longer a priority.
When will educational leaders realize that this form of education is not empowering American children to respect and value their educational experiences?
Kurt J. Van Meter
Liberty Center, Ohio
Editor’s note: The writer is a retired English/reading teacher for Toledo Public Schools.
Dogs, then horses — what’s next?
Horses have replaced dogs on the front page of The Blade (“Plan to move Raceway Park threatens a local tradition dating to 19th century,” Feb. 13). What’s next, coyotes and muskrats?
Jesse Otto, Jr.
First target waste in government
The budget cuts Republicans seek (“House Republicans unveil next round of deep cuts,” Feb. 12) included education, job training, the environment, and nutrition. A few domestic programs were left untouched, but some were eliminated.
Nothing was mentioned about subsidies to the oil industry, which is making billions. The government is paying farmers not to plant portions of their fields and now a shortage of corn is leading to higher food prices.
Why isn’t there any discussion about closing military bases in Japan and Germany? The war has been over for more than 60 years. Why do we still occupy these countries?
If some of the bases in Japan are closed, it would save the United States millions of dollars a year. It would also shift thousands of jobs to the U.S. economy. Closing or downsizing military bases does not require congressional approval.
Let’s look for ways to eliminate government waste.
Toledo should welcome investors
In response to your Feb. 8 article “Chinese eye marina site”: The same moaning and groaning went on 50 years ago when the Japanese started buying property in this country.
Now it’s China’s turn. The Japanese didn’t take over the country and neither will the Chinese.
Grow up, Toledo. We need investment and should be grateful for it.
Gerald W. Karow
High-speed rail? Too much hassle
I would be the perfect participant in the proposed high-speed rail service between Toledo and Cleveland, as I travel that route at least twice a month (“High-speed train might zip through Toledo,“ Feb. 11).
Even though the trip takes about one hour and 40 minutes on the turnpike, I would never use this new high-speed rail system.
I would need to have someone drive me to the train station or to leave my car in an unsafe area, to buy a ticket for who knows how much, and to inconvenience my family in Cleveland by asking them to pick me up — then do it all over again on the return trip.
A quick, pleasant trip on the turnpike listening to my favorite conservative talk radio would turn into a big headache.