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I disagree with David Von Drehle's statement that Justice John Paul Stevens "did change" during the past decade or so as a member of the U.S. Supreme Court [April 26]. Stevens has unfalteringly used the same impartial basis for all his decisions: an unwavering consideration of the current context of "the common sense of the American people." Deciding to ban George Carlin's seven dirty words from the airwaves took into account the fact that radio and television at that time could not provide adequate warnings about the possible employment of these words to listeners.
Gina Gonzalez, CLAREMONT, CALIF.
Pay Attention, Guys!
Women may indeed be the usual coordinators of care, as you suggest in your Health Checkup [April 26]. But you missed the mark by omitting that the predominately female nursing profession has been advocating the health practices Dr. Oz suggests for centuries. The traditionally male-dominated medical profession made the lucrative choice to focus on the use of medications and surgery to promote health--both vitally important but also billable. But to have Oz suggest how women can "get better at it still"? What were you thinking?
John McFadden, HOLLYWOOD, FLA.
"I am always wisest when I listen to my wife," says Dr. Oz. Really? He allowed her to veto swine-flu shots for his children, yet as a doctor, he was convinced of the value of the shots, got one himself and recommended them to patients. Wouldn't he have been wiser to listen to science?
Harriet Hall, PUYALLUP, WASH.
Dr. Oz's patronizing insistence that women are best suited to the role of primary caregiver because they know "instinctively" what to do leaves out in the cold women who, whether by choice or circumstance, don't fit that description--as well as many nontraditional families, including ones with gay parents. If Oz is having more "meaningful" talks with his male patients' female relatives than with the patients themselves, shouldn't we be focusing on men's indifference to their own health?
Holly Phares, TROUT LAKE, WASH.
Jeffrey Kluger states that one expert "cites studies" showing asthma, obesity and drug use rise among those in households without a father. Despite his caveat that such data may stem from the households' having an additional paycheck, he concludes, "Whatever the reason, a present and accounted for dad leads to healthier kids." I'm certain Kluger did not mean to denigrate the ability of single moms or same-sex couples to raise healthy kids, but his comment is outdated. Perhaps if we can rid ourselves of the idea that women are responsible for their families' health, young men will grow up knowing they need to get themselves to the doctor.
Claire Fornarola, BUFFALO, N.Y.
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