Pubdate: 3 Dec. 1998
Source: San Francisco Examiner
Copyright: 1998 San Francisco Examiner
Author: (1) Lyn Venable, Walnut Creek, (2) Da Vid, M.D. Director S.F.
Medical Research Foundation Mill Valley


Thank you for the editorial, "Pro Bono" (Nov. 22), which enlightens
people (as if many people do not already know) to the fact that legal
pharmaceutical drugs constitute the No. 1 health hazard to Americans
today. Any objective study clearly shows that the vast majority of
pharmaceutical drugs are profoundly expensive, ineffective and often
quite dangerous.

And yet we continue the absurd "war on drugs" and create the boom
prison business wherein we incarcerate almost 2 million people, many
of whom are doing time on various drug charges.

And yet the tobacco industry and other white-collar criminals continue
to pollute the minds of tens of millions of people with highly suspect
"drugs" (chemicals).

We live in a funny world, don't we?

Da Vid, M.D. Director S.F. Medical Research Foundation Mill Valley

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I am appalled by your editorial. I do not see that Rep. Mary Bono "had
the courage to speak out." I see her as a vicious tattletale who is
looking for posthumous vilification of her late husband, Sonny Bono,
for unknown reasons.

It is this kind of disclosure that promotes the very practice you
deplore: the denial of valid and needed drugs to people suffering
pain. Pain can be emotional as well as physical.

Any person with a treatable illness deserves whatever works for him or
her. A person with depression and / or anxiety should not be denied
anti-depressants and tranquilizers any more than a diabetic should be
denied insulin.

Many people such as Sonny Bono, who did well in both his musical and
political careers, can function perfectly well with medication to
control their pain - whatever that pain may be.

Lyn Venable, Walnut Creek

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Checked-by: Rich O'Grady