Letters week of Dec. 3, 2009



A Perfect Example That Health Care Does Work

In "A Tough Way to Learn the Truth About U.S. Health Care" (Op-Ed, Nov. 25), Ira Forman describes his recent brush with mortality.

After sustaining an apparent heart attack in a washroom at a fundraiser, he was transported to his choice of hospitals, where, as he recounts, within 70 minutes of arrival three stents were placed. When that proved to be inadequate, 10 days later, he was taken to the operating room and underwent needed bypass surgery.

Presumably, he made a full recovery. There were some paperwork issues after discharge, but those were cleared up.

While his "bills" ran into the tens of thousands of dollars, those were eventually paid when coverage errors were corrected, no doubt, at a substantial discount, as routinely occurs every day throughout the country. Like most Americans, he received top care at minimal or no cost.

While he uses this story to talk about the uninsured, who "may receive inadequate care or have their insurance company deny their claims," it is worth noting that he received his marvelous treatment despite the fact that his insurance company was mistakenly denying he had coverage.

In effect, he was one of the "uninsured," and yet he received the same life-saving medications, stents, surgery, and physician and hospital care that other patients were getting. What better example could there be of the real "truth about U.S. health care"?
John R. Cohn, M.D.
Professor of medicine
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals

An Apologist for Hasan Does a Disservice to All

Mikey Weinstein, who is referred to in Eric Fingerhut's article ("Spokesman for Islam Comes Forward in Wake of Fort Hood Killings," Nov. 25) as a "spokesman for Islam," does a disservice to both Jews and Muslims with his apologia regarding Major Nidal Malik Hasan's jihad at Fort Hood.

Weinstein infers that Hasan's mental state was in question due to alleged anti-Muslim harassment, and thus was a possible cause for the rampage.

Hasan abused non-Muslim wounded in his capacity as psychiatrist by proselytizing to them as they were injured. He violated any notion of patient-client privilege when seeking to charge them with war crimes regarding events disclosed during his discussion as serving as a psychiatrist.

In the brief that Hasan gave to fellow students two years back in Bethesda, Md., he announced himself as a jihadi to anyone with the competence and integrity to make the call.

Hasan was radicalized to wage "autonomous jihad" as a result of a jihadi-Salafist religious ideology that motivates acts of terrorism to be carried out in the West.

Weinstein and other apologists for atrocities waged in the name of Islam should be proclaiming an "unadulterated clarion call" condemning and repudiating Nidal Hasan's imam, Anwar al-Awliki of the Falls Church,Va., Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center that Hasan attended, and who praised Hasan as a hero for his murderous act.

Instead, Weinstein blames the victims Hasan executed when he took aim with his handguns' laser sights and sprayed the room after shouting, "Allahu Akbar."

Listen to the words of Fort Hood survivor Army Specialist Logan Burnette, "Hasan was … reloading and firing again … and we had no way to defend ourselves."
Marilyn Stern
Merion Station

Power of Art in Health Care Exhibits Importance

Thank you for including a photo ("Photo of the Week," Nov. 12) from Interplay: Art · Audience · Architecture, on display until Feb. 26 in the lobby of the Ruth and Raymond Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

This curated exhibit, which features nine pieces of sculpture from local and nationally renowned artists, was created to illustrate the powerful role of art in health care.

It was organized under the leadership of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia and Penn Medicine.
Karen B. Davis
President and CEO
Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here