ISSUE | ADOPTION

Refocus on the kids

Jeff Gammage's article ("China's new ruling hits close to home," Wednesday) inadvertently reveals that adoption, which should be a clear-cut issue of serving children, is also a feminist issue.

Adoption decisions are often partially driven by the worldwide servitude system that requires women to accept lower wages than men and the American insurance system that refuses to recognize women's infertility as a medical condition worthy of full reimbursement.

It is a moral and ethical imperative for the adoption industry to refocus on the fundamental human rights of children.

First, it needs to acknowledge that rapid-transition adoption is frightening and harmful to children. Adults need to suffer the inconvenience and expense of acquainting a child with his new parents for days, if not weeks, before removing him from his original family, even if it is an orphanage or foster arrangement.

Second, agencies need to conduct complete investigations of the children's origin to ensure they are not complicit in abusive situations.

And finally, the industry is ethically bound to raise its standards for full disclosure to adoptive parents before and after adoption.

|Victoria Zunitch, Forest Hills, N.Y., vz1230@yahoo.com

ISSUE | DRUG OVERDOSES

Tackle health crisis

Illegal prescription painkillers and heroin kill more people each year than car accidents. Last year in Pennsylvania, nearly 2,500 deaths were attributed to drug overdoses. This is a public health crisis that we as a society have a moral obligation to tackle.

Start with educating medical providers and patients. Doctors should familiarize themselves with and adhere to opioid prescribing guidelines developed by the Pennsylvania Medical Society and the state. State Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine recently signed a standing order that gives everyone access to naloxone, a medication that reverses the effects of opioid overdose and saves lives.

A statewide controlled-substance database should be up and running in 2016.

Lastly, those who illegally prescribe or traffic painkiller medications need to be reported to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

|Dr. Walter Klein, pathologist,

Bryn Mawr Hospital