Letters to the Editor

U.S. limits fight against cancer

A screen displays the view from a microscope as T cells with receptors attack cancer cells.
A screen displays the view from a microscope as T cells with receptors attack cancer cells. Los Angeles Times file

U.S. limits fight against cancer

Re “Fighting cancer; racing the clock” (Forum, Nov. 1): The cancer treatments allowed in the U.S. are falling behind the rest of the world. Being limited to the “cut, burn and poison” approach to dealing with cancer does not allow U.S. health practitioners to utilize treatments that are now common in many other countries.

The American Medical Association, the pharmaceutical companies and other governmental agencies have a stranglehold on the field of cancer treatments, and they resist changes. Their comfort is fairly clear to see – it is based upon money.

The author states that she has seen the medical world from both sides. Her view is myopic, being a U.S. nurse. Has she seen what is happening in other countries, not just with hoped-for developments of clinical trials, but actual cures?

When we get the money out of medicine, maybe then the lawmakers and voters will really be able to ensure that life-saving medications and treatments are available.

Allen Green, Sacramento

Expand mental health funding

Re “We’ve come to accept the unacceptable” (Editorials, Nov. 1): I support the efforts of Rep. Doris Matsui, a leader in advancing mental health care as exemplified by her co-authorship of the Excellence in Mental Health Act of 2014 – a demonstration program to significantly expand community mental health funding.

Genny Lucchesi, the homeless woman who recently passed away on the streets of Sacramento, would have benefited had this funding been available decades ago when she was more able and willing to receive support.

This program is expanded in the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015 – HR 2646.

Rusty Selix, Sacramento

executive director,

California Council

of Community Behavioral Health Agencies

Mentally ill have rights – so do I

When I could not get my severely mentally ill sister back into the Sacramento County program because of one missed appointment, I called the conservators office and the first thing I was told was the mentally ill have rights. I wondered if they have rights to stand in the middle of street, steal from stores, beg from generous people and repeatedly get evicted due to difficult behaviors.

It occurred to me that I also have a right not to be terrorized by my sister, who threatened to burn my house down and kill my family. I sent her back to Los Angeles. My sister is 64 years old.

Rosemary Wakeford-Evans, Carmichael

In need of Laura’s Law, HR 2646

Re “The real history of mental hospitals” (Letters, Nov. 1): The letter misstates conservatorship as the solution to severe mental illness. Conservatorships are costly, ineffectual and routinely deny patient civil rights, including the right to drive and vote. Conservatees can be locked up for a year. California tolerates conservatorship only because we are used to it. Other states avoid it.

Far cheaper and more effective is Laura’s Law, which preserves civil rights, including the right to live in society, by interfering, temporarily, only with the right of mental patients who are dangerous by recent history to refuse the medications that keep them safe. Nationwide, statistics show that assisted-outpatient treatment programs, including Laura’s Law, substantially reduce suicides, incarceration, homelessness, violence and public costs.

HR 2646, pending in Congress, will promote assisted-outpatient treatment programs nationwide.

Mary Ann Bernard,

Sacramento

Ryan’s not my guy for speaker

Re “In House’s dark hour, Ryan offers ray of hope” (Viewpoints, Dana Milbank, Nov. 1): When I hear the likes of Rep. Nancy Pelosi or columnist Dana Milbank say that it’s a good day that Paul Ryan has been elected speaker of the House, I get nervous and start to wonder what is it about Ryan that they see and I don’t?

Is it that he doesn’t want to put in the time or energy to do the job because he wants to be with his family? I’m glad he is a family man, but the speaker’s job takes a lot of hours and if he doesn’t want to put in the hours then he shouldn’t have ran for it.

We don’t need an absent speaker. We don’t need another John Boehner. We need somebody who isn’t buddies with the left and the president. It’s time for someone who won’t back down from President Barack Obama and Pelosi.

Bill Moore, El Dorado Hills

We’re still in a nuclear crisis

Re “A surreal atmosphere around the 1962 Cuban missile crisis” (Forum, Nov. 1): Yes, it is sobering to reflect upon 1962 and the Cuban missile crisis, and how close the superpowers came to launching a nuclear war. But it is even more sobering to realize that today mankind remains on the brink of nuclear annihilation.

Twelve of the few hundred nations on the planet possess nuclear weapons. And we endure this burden because a sufficient number of men infused with testosterone find irrational security in the immense firepower of nuclear weapons and simply cannot conceive of self-destruction.

Don Knutson, Sacramento

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