Letters to the Editor

Medical ethics bill should be tougher

Physicians’ ethics

Re “When ethics rules get in the way of patient care” (Viewpoints, June 26): As a practicing surgeon for 28 years, I never had trouble meeting required continuing medical education requirements without taking gifts from a manufacturer. The Permanente Medical Group has restrictions on accepting gifts by its physicians that are at least as strong as those in Senate Bill 790 without impairing their ability to access educational resources.

There are many opportunities for physicians without accepting gifts such as non-sponsored conferences, journals and online programs. Far too often, physicians speaking at medical conferences are financially supported by companies that sell the products recommended by the speakers. If anything, SB 790 isn't strong enough. I urge its passage.

Jack Kashtan, MD, Sacramento


Re California’s new budget could harm nonprofits – unless Jerry Brown steps in (Editorials, June 26): Your editorial gives the impression that nonprofits are entitled to leftover class action funds, and that allocating some of this money for legal aid will reduce their funding. But no organization is entitled to these funds, and many states have made similar dedications for years without defunding other nonprofits.

There is a growing justice gap, forcing nearly 90 percent of low-income people to be turned away because legal aid lacks funding. With an ongoing budget shortage and new threats to federal funds, the Legislature chose to help nearly 100 organizations serving the poorest Californians. What the Legislature has done is make sure that all legal aid groups get some cy pres funds, not just the groups that are well connected to class action lawyers.

Salena Copeland, Oakland


Find them at:



Online form (preferred):


Other: Letters, P.O. Box 15779,

Sacramento, CA 95852

150-word limit. Include name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity, brevity and content.