Letters for June 6, 2002

Preying on cancer patients
Re “Forbidden Medicine” [RN&R, May 16]:

Many cancers cause much suffering; so do other diseases.

Legitimate clinical medical practices in concert with pharmaceutical industry-led clinical trials have revolutionized the practice of medicine in many disciplines. This process is established because it works. It works because it is based on scientific principles. Science attempts to observe and quantify nature. That is hard; witness the dropout rate of students in the sciences in high school and college.

Yet in my lifetime of clinical practice, the principles of science have delivered “miracles” which have become part of the mundane practice of medicine. Many of these products are often designed to inhibit “natural” substances as nature has gone awry.

“Physicians” such as Dr. Douglas Brodie are to medicine what ambulance chasers are to law. They provide seriously ill patients false hope and become fabulously enriched. Indeed, it is sad that this louse preys upon these desperate patients and you glorify his transgressions. Shame on you!

It is curious that no one in the School of Medicine or the Washoe County Medical Society was contacted for an opinion. Both groups of physicians are here in Reno responsibly providing care for the vast majority of the patients you outlined in your article.

If you would like to deal responsibly with the issue of cancer or other debilitating diseases, there are a number of legitimate sources you can contact. The local hospice program would be a good place to start. Our minister the Rev. Catherine Linesh of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will be joining the local hospice program this summer. She would be another excellent place to start.

Finally, the reason legitimate physicians and others get so angry at the ideas propagated by these alternative medicine “doctors” is that we often have no effective therapy to offer these suffering individuals. We are appalled that these purveyors are allowed to provide unproven therapies and enrich themselves without justification.

John S. Pixley, M.D.
via e-mail

Reno’s cutting edge
Re “Forbidden Medicine” [RN&R, May 16]:

What a great article! As a California resident, I have long believed that California is way behind the times in licensing appropriate medical practitioners, even though we have the reputation of being on the “cutting edge.” Obviously, the only cutting edge here is in the surgeon’s knife. Melinda Welsh’s article really supported my beliefs. Is there some way that I can download the article to share with friends here in California? We would never read anything like this in the L.A. Times et al. Thanks for writing it like it is.

Vida Fassler
via e-mail

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Reckless trench gamblers
One of the prominent arguments of trench advocates is that they stand for progress and vision. This is replete with irony. The future of Reno lies neither in gaming nor old downtown. The spread of legalized gaming, California Indian gaming and the hyper-growth of Las Vegas are evidence of the imminent irrelevance of Reno gaming.

Trench advocates are the ones recklessly gambling on backwards thinking using 1970s economic models. It is no secret that the downtown casinos are the main advocates of the trench and also wield disproportionate power in local politics. The trench project, along with numerous misguided downtown redevelopment efforts, are nothing more than subsidized landscaping for the downtown casinos’ front yard. This blatant favoritism toward downtown casinos is plain and simple business sector discrimination.

When is the last time the city spent hundreds of millions of dollars helping out each of the sectors of construction, manufacturing, retail, mining, transportation, restaurant, financial, insurance, education, medical, legal or high tech?

Everyone knows that the real downtown lies south of Moana Lane anyway. UNR will one day buy all of old downtown, leaving the Silver Legacy ball as a gaming museum and the Riverside theater as lecture halls. The city reminds me of a sick gambling addict who cannot stop throwing away money. This November, let us come to our senses and throw out the whales.

Ed Park