"THE disappearing maternity wards"

by Dr. Jennifer Simmons (

April 18


Dear Doctor,

Repeatedly, all I hear are the complaints from doctors and politicians about jury awards.

Why is it you never hear a doctor criticize another doctor about his lack of skills?

Maybe medical-school standards need to be higher. I wouldn't want a surgeon - or any doctor - who just squeaked by in school to practice on me. Nor would I want a doctor who is not fit to practice caring for my family or me. Doctors know which colleagues shouldn't be practicing, but you never hear that - publicly.

I agree with you that bad things can happen even when everything is right - but I think more bad things happen when things actually go wrong - but you failed to mention this.

Also, maybe it's not that Philadelphia jury awards are "notoriously inflated," as you stated, but rather that other parts of the country are doing people a disservice.

I, too, am angry at the closings of the maternity wards. My wife and I had our daughter delivered at one of those now-closed wards. Where will we go now, I don't know.

But I do know that the answer isn't just punishing the victim. Who are you to say what my family's pain and suffering is worth? I hope you apply your logic across the spectrum of possible litigation issues you could face.

Glen S. Bastas, Philadelphia

Canceled romance

If you mail a Dear John letter using a "forever" stamp, are you sending a mixed message?

Jim Acton, Collegeville

Bring 'em home

Dear Mr. President,

Please bring our servicemen home. We desperately need them on every street, in every neighborhood and in every city in the United States of America immediately, if not sooner.

Gertrude E. O'Mara, Bensalem