Letters to the Editor

Readers share thoughts on hospice series, area high schools, Hillary Clinton

Hospice series

Thank you for publishing the insightful April 24-26 series, “A good death,” of Jody Wooton and people’s experiences with hospice. As one of nearly 7,000 board-certified hospice and palliative medicine physicians, I have been honored to be a part of the care team for many patients in challenging situations such as Jody’s.

Taking the time to understand the person beyond the disease, medications and lab values is important to quality care. Although many people have had great experiences despite tough times with hospice and palliative care, not everyone is aware of the many benefits of these similar but different services for people with serious illnesses.

As a committee member of the Institute of Medicine’s Dying in America report and as president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, I see the effect of well-trained physicians, nurses, physician assistants, social workers and other health professionals each day.

If other people think this is important, I encourage them to ask our representatives and senators representing Kansas and Missouri to sign on as co-sponsors of the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (S. 2748 and H.R. 3119) to help make a difference in people’s lives.

Christian T.

Sinclair, M.D.


‘Haves’ get more

The Star on April 24 reported kudos from U.S. News & World Report for two area high schools. One was Lincoln College Prep. The other was Blue Valley North High School, which was ranked at the top in Kansas, with relatively high rates of advanced placement coursework and exams and a high graduation rate.

Two thoughts come to my mind with such reports.

One is wondering how high rates of advanced placement work, graduation and the like (throw in results on standardized tests if you like) tell us anything about how well a particular school teaches. Given the demographics of the area around Blue Valley North — essentially self-segregation of well-educated, upper-middle-class families — I think it’s safe to assume their students would rank high in such criteria even if their school was doing a mediocre job (think “born on third base”).

The other thought is that we should be concerned about, not celebrate, highly ranked schools so often being located in the “golden ring” of suburbia because that means the haves are getting even more via better education for their kids. The rich get richer; “them that has, gets.”

Could there be any connection with the steady increase in income inequality?

David N. Johnson


Candidate Clinton

Watching campaign coverage on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, I was struck by a comment on CNN. “Young women are not their mothers’ kind of feminist.” Ungrateful little somethings.

Well, they reaped the benefits of their mothers’ kind of feminism, and then a strange little guy drives up and offers them candy (free college tuition), and they get in the car.

Who is the most qualified candidate and the most likely to get results? Hillary Clinton.

I don’t know Democratic rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, but he’s looking a little creepy to me — a spoiler, not a real Democrat.

Clinton has been in the trenches for me; she has fought for the underdog all of her life. She is my hero, my champion, standing up to Republican abuses and slanders, wounded but still standing, still fighting for you young women.

I believe that no matter what, her heart is with us, and I love her for it. I believe in her until the last dog dies.

That’s your mothers’ feminism.

Beverly Bohn

Overland Park

Overblown weather

I made the unfortunate mistake of watching KSHB-TV, Channel 41, at 6 p.m. Monday. Of the next 26 minutes, 22 minutes were devoted to the weather. The weather!

We had reports on a tree down, a possible upcoming storm in Oklahoma and a puddle in Topeka and plenty of colorful radar screens showing storms 300 miles away.

The TV journalists broke away to report a couple of news stories — about a minute each — and then right back to the latest update on the weather.

The station provided 40 seconds of sports, and then “We’ll get you right back to the weather.”

Gee whiz, guys. It’s going to rain. We get it.

Do you think the station is like its weather forecaster — a little overly dramatic?

Tim Thomas

Kansas City