Letters to the editor: March 26

March 26, 2014 

Doctor wrong on restrictive medical review panels

Dr. Andrew H. Henderson, in his March 3 column supporting medical review panels, is correct in stating, "facts can be pesky things if they don't support your argument."

Sadly, it was his fundamental misuse of facts that cloud the premise of his argument.

For example, he fails to mention that Senate Bill 119, designed to reduce lawsuits against medical providers, does not distinguish between so-called frivolous lawsuits and ones involving abuse, neglect or serious medical negligence resulting in death.

He fails to mention that all lawsuits against health-care providers would be pre-screened by a panel of doctors and other health-care providers. A newer version of the bill allows an attorney to sit on the panel but not vote.

The other thing Henderson gets flat-out wrong is that SB 119 will not delay your claim. The bill unequivocally states that you are simply not allowed to proceed to court until you sit before the panel which will decide the merits of your case. There are no less than 10 separate places where timeliness, deadlines and delays are addressed in the bill.

And I simply must address his description of an "independent study by AON Risk Solutions." AON is part of the very nursing home industry that seeks immunity from abuse and neglect lawsuits.

SB 119 is designed to make all lawsuits — regardless of severity and irrespective of how bad the misconduct — far more difficult for injured Kentucky citizens to pursue. And that's a fact.

Nancy W. Trentham

Kentucky Initiative for Quality Nursing Home Standards


Reason for felon voting

League of Women Voters' officials wrote that convicted felons who paid their debt to society should have voting rights automatically restored, as per House Bill 70, with the exception of those convicted of murder or a sex crime.

What about a person convicted of robbing a gas station and pistol-whipping the 18-year-old female clerk into a bloody pulp? Should he/she have voting rights restored after they have served their time?

What if that clerk was still in a vegetative state after the attacker was released from prison?

Why not just restore voting rights for former convicted felons who promise to vote Democrat. Isn't that what this about?

William Floyd


Dating-violence bill dead

Once again, Rep. John Tilley, along with 27 of his fellow representatives, is championing a bill to offer protection from violence to those in dating relationships.

Once again, this bill is stuck in the legislature. On Jan. 8, House Bill 8 was approved unanimously by the Judiciary Committee.

Upon reaching the House, Rep. Joe Fischer added an anti-abortion floor amendment. His rationale is that "the most brutal form of domestic violence is the violence against unborn children."

On Jan. 15, it was recommitted to the Judiciary Committee, where it has been left to die. For several years, similar bills to protect those in dating relationships have been introduced and then left to die.

What is going on here? Kentucky is one of few states that does not have a bill protecting those in dating relationships from domestic violence. Kentucky has one of the highest rates of teen dating violence.

The session is drawing to a close. If you are outraged, as I am, I urge you to contact legislators and tell them how you feel.

Debi Hardin


God helps mentally ill

On Feb. 25, columnist Merlene Davis wrote regarding mental health disorders. Experts said such disorders are normally dealt with by pastors in terms of a "go-pray solution."

Prayer is indeed a powerful solution, as it is the pathway that Christians must invoke to bring our concerns before God for resolution.

I disagree with those preachers who believe the church is not equipped to deal with mild mental disorders. I remind them that through God all things are possible.

Ministers need to arrive at the realization that church is an extension of the at-home incubator that often breeds mental disorders.

Fear influences mental illness and contaminates the church, which leads to mistrust and provokes silence which induces guilt, sorrow, anguish, hopelessness, stress and increased undiagnosed mental health problems.

The primary culprits of fear are those who bully the church: self-proclaimed pastors, deacons, and other authority figures.

Bullies keep the church under the control of the pastor, whose self-ordained task is to manipulate the weak who depend on him for their ability to understand God's divine words.

Various programs help to relieve some stress but the only solution for eliminating varying degrees of mild disorders, is to obey the instructions recorded in God's book.

The Rev. Calvin Banks


Same old, same old

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, wrote an all-too-familiar column regarding the prevalence of animal cruelty in Kentucky.

Only an ignorant, cruel, wicked and evil person would harm an animal in any way.

It's all too familiar and too shameful. Kentucky is No. 1 in the U.S. in animal cruelty.

Lucille Taylor


CPR bill could save lives

A 10-year old boy I know collapsed and was saved by someone who knew CPR. I wondered what I would do in this situation, and so I decided to do something about it.

I have spent a lot of the last year promoting the teaching of hands-only CPR, and have personally taught almost all of the seniors at Henry Clay how to perform this critical life-saving skill. It takes about 30 minutes to teach, and it costs the school system nothing.

House Bill 205, the bill that will require all high-school students in Kentucky to learn CPR before graduation, passed the House unanimously, yet has stalled in the Senate Education Committee.

Rarely is there such a clear opportunity to do something this important that will save countless lives at almost no cost to the taxpayers. Please take the time to contact your state senators at 502-564-8100 to let them know you support HB 205 because it will save lives.

Will Freeman

Henry Clay High School senior


McConnell has to go

Does anyone else wonder about Sen. Mitch McConnell's strange statement at his appearance at Northern Kentucky International Airport?

According to the March 10 article, he stated, "There's a lot of big important things that need to be dealt with that aren't going to happen this year... These things do not get hatched in Congress and forced on a reluctant president ... Never happens; 435 people in the House and a 100 people in the Senate do not collectively end up tackling tough stuff and forcing it on the president."

Since when? If he and the legislative branch can't function without the president telling them what to do, then quit voting to repeal Obamacare and get on with his agenda.

Lead, follow, or get out of the way for someone with initiative and ideas. Our country does not need Congress to take a year off and blame it on Barack Obama.

Daniel L. French


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