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Letters to the Editor: Oct. 27

October 27, 2012

Board of Physicians was no help with medical concern


To the editor:

After 14 years of suffering from the pain of fibromyalgia, I thought I had found a doctor who could help me. In January of 2011, I went to a doctor who suggested a procedure that could ease the pain in my back. What has happened since that day has turned into a nightmare.

During the procedure, I experienced a sharp jabbing pain in my upper left hip. Within 12 hours of the procedure, there appeared a blister that was diagnosed as a second-degree burn.

The procedure was performed on a Thursday. By the following Monday, the blistering continued to spread and worsen. I went back to the doctor, who said the burn could have been caused by misplacing a pad during the procedure. The doctor prescribed a narcotic pain medication that caused me to go through withdrawal. My primary care physician recommended that I go to a wound center. After 10 visits to the wound center, I was released from their care.

Unable to resolve the situation with the doctor, I filed a complaint with the Maryland Board of Physicians, which took no action. Even after the wound center provided colored photographs and written documentation showing the depth and width of the wound, the board declined to reopen the case. Their inaction was baffling because the written and visual evidence was there for them to view. They did, however, thank me for my “concern regarding the quality of medical care in Maryland.” If this is an indication of their work, we all should be concerned about the quality of care in Maryland.

How can someone sue a major food chain for millions of dollars due to burns caused by hot coffee, but nothing can be done when a certified doctor causes a burn that scars a person for life and increases the very pain that the procedure was designed to alleviate?


Robin Kellick
Hagerstown



In what direction is Obama moving the country?


To the editor:

“Forward.”

To what ... fiscal obfuscation, moral oblivion?

Surely, we can do better.


Michael D. McDonald
Mercersburg, Pa.




Are efforts to rehabilitate lifers being wasted?


To the editor:

Approximately one out of 11 people are imprisoned in the United States serving a life sentence. In Maryland, as lifers are continuously denied parole by the governor, good behavior and character improvement become immaterial; meaning that whatever the future might hold for the mind and spirit of the lifer, he will remain in prison for the rest of his days.

To cope with this realization, many lifers continue to seek purpose in their lives despite what might appear as a bleak life. Many cope with the difficulties of confinement by compiling impeccable disciplinary records and establishing daily activities such as educational, volunteerism, attending religious groups and self-help groups like “Cage Your Rage.” This explains why lifers tend to be leaders in creating a more stable and livable atmosphere in prisons. Can you imagine what prisons would be like if this were not the case? Increasingly, lifers are finding it harder to influence good behavior because non-lifers say, “It hasn’t made a difference for you. After 30 or 40 years, you’re still here.”

The recidivism rate for lifers is much lower by far than for other offenders. At $16,500 per year per person, it is costing Maryland more than $800,000 per year to incarcerate the 50 people serving parole-eligible life sentences that the parole commission recommended for parole but the governor has refused to approve. That’s almost $1 million that could be spent on schools or other important services. It costs $16,500 per person to house a lifer. It would cost the state only $1,422 per person on parole, adding to the tax base instead of taking away.

If a man is declared unredeemable, then why do Maryland citizens pay taxes for programs within the institutions under the guise of rehabilitation?


Theodore Wiener, No. 153037
Roxbury Correctional Institution

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