Leave medical prescriptions in hands of doctors

SHARE Leave medical prescriptions in hands of doctors

The physicians of the DuPage County Medical Society are greatly concerned about proposed legislation in Springfield that would permit practice and medication prescribing by advanced practice nurses (APNs) without physician collaboration.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com Please include your neighborhood or town and a phone number for verification purposes).

We understand the great value of both physician assistants and nurse practitioners; they help us effectively care for our patients.

However, House Bill 421 would allow APNs to provide the same medical services as anesthesiologists, pain-management physicians, family physicians, pediatricians, obstetricians and other specialists without meeting equivalent education and training standards.

Furthermore, the bill would let APNs prescribe prescription medications, including controlled drugs, without physician involvement.  This is certainly not in the best interest of patients, particularly those who suffer from multiple medical conditions or require specialty care.

Allowing non-physician practitioners to expand their scope of practice through legislation rather than by meeting stringent education and training requirements is not good public policy for improving care quality or patient access to care.

Proponents argue that APNs can provide care in areas underserved by physicians. But research from other states shows that allowing their independent practice does not help solve the problem of health professional shortages in rural areas.

We urge patients to contact their legislators and URGE A NO VOTE on HB 421.  Assure that Illinois law continues to let you know that when you see a nurse practitioner, you can have confidence that you are also benefitting from collaborative physician expertise.

Suzanne M. Kavic, MD, president-elect, DuPage County Medical Society

Don’t target middle class

After being propelled to the governorship with a record $60 million – money mostly raised from the country’s wealthiest families and businesses – Gov. Bruce Rauner has now demanded that lawmakers roll back the financial safeguards that our state’s tort and workers’ compensation systems afford to the vast majority of Illinoisans. If successful, Rauner and his allies will only worsen the position of an embattled middle class that has suffered a substantial decline in its financial security and real wages for the last 40 years.

It would be a tremendous misinterpretation of last year’s election results to believe that Illinoisans want to place business profits, at record highs in 2014, and the interests of the monied and powerful above injured workers and victims of malfeasance. It also defies belief that Illinoisans voted to support weak laws that allow negligent drivers, polluters, careless professionals and derelict corporations to escape accountability when their actions hurt others.

The fact is that very few Americans ever file lawsuits. In Illinois, more than 70 percent of court actions are initiated by businesses suing other businesses or individuals for money. Since 2007, the number of all civil cases in Illinois courts is down 26 percent. As for medical malpractice cases, the number brought in our state has steadily declined over the past decade; it’s fallen nearly 40 percent since 2003.

Illinoisans turn to our courts for help when they are injured, sickened or disabled because of someone else’s wrongdoing in hopes of avoiding ruin when they are unable to work or care for themselves. We encourage Gov. Rauner to join us and meet some of the individuals and families who have seen their lives drastically changed in an instant through no fault of their own. From them, he might come to learn just how important robust tort laws and fair workers’ compensation statutes are in helping them to achieve a measure of dignity and independence.

John D. Cooney, president,

Illinois Trial Lawyers Association

March on behalf of Coptic victims

Your Nation/World news says that Saudi Arabia called the killings of the three North Carolina students a “heinous terrorist” act and that thousands of Qatar residents marched in solidarity with the families of the victims. I wonder how the Saudis feel and what the marchers from Qatar will do in solidarity with the families of the 21 Coptic Christians who were so gruesomely beheaded in Libya?

C. W. Davis, Loop

Can’t Ernie Banks rest in peace?

The Chicago Cubs superstar has been dead less than a month. and there are already some major disputes concerning him. His agent Regina Rice claims Banks made a new will three months before his death, giving all of his assets to her. Banks’ family members are contesting this will, saying Banks was too ill to know what he was doing and was coerced to agree to a new will.

According to the new will, his wife and children get nothing. Also, Rice wants to have Banks cremated, though his family claims Banks never mentioned that he wanted to be cremated.

Kenneth L. Zimmerman, Huntington Beach, Calif.

Honesty is best policy

It was something that was usually pressed indelibly into our young minds at a very early age.  Our parents taught it to us, but our grandparents demanded it. It was honesty.

And with honesty came the hardest lessons, you know, those lessons that hurt. Those lessons where we were shone the cruel consequences of being dishonest.  When we were caught lying, the justice was swift. No more play time of any kind until we learned, beyond a doubt, that lying and dishonesty would not be tolerated.

I think when you lie, that makes you a thief as well. Because when you lie you have stolen my right to the truth.

It’s sad that I don’t really care what some news anchor lied about because it just made him sad and pathetic, and it has made his employers sad and pathetic in kind. But when you have elected public officials of the highest office who stand before their citizens and constituencies and engage in pre-planned dishonesty, in malice-aforethought, it’s time for consequences.

What’s the best punishment for these who would deceive us and then call us stupid for believing them? Repeal their ill-gotten policies, unwind their tangled webs and cast them upon history’s pile of irrelevance.

Honesty must not be a lost art, because it’s our best policy.

Mike Simon, Glen Ellyn

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