Sunday, October 28, 2007

Winds of Change

The Illinois State Journal Register is now under the command of Gatehouse Media. They consolidated and compressed sections of the newspaper in order to either make it difficult for more than one person to read different sections from the same paper at the same time, or at the very least, save more trees. It would not be a far stretch to guess that somehow they think it will motivate multiple subscriptions per household.

However, they also have caved to the giant pharmaceutical industry and allowed full page advertising for a single product. This Sunday it was Lipitor, endorsed by Dr. Jarvik, inventor of the artificial heart. If Lipitor is so great for you heart, are you sure that someone who invented an artificial heart is a good endorsement?

That’s almost as bad as Chrysler boasting about its Five Star Service. Would you want a product that might need five star service? I like the idea of having the guy who invented prosthetic legs as an endorsement for landmines.

Gatehouse is as blatant about their ideology as Hardees is about the health of its customers. The customer gets what he or she wants, no matter what the long term consequences. I wrote a response to a preacher’s letter that as of almost a week later remains unpublished. Following is my response:

In his letter to the editor, Reverend Weitzel of Beardstown wrote that prescribing Plan B is an “evil act,” and “Conscience is the judgment one makes concerning the ethical rightness or wrongness of a human act he is considering performing.” The Conscience of the physician who wrote the prescription is entirely different from the pharmacist who must fill the prescription, one of them knows more about the patient than the other; can you guess which one?

The reverend wrote “no one, no matter what his reason might be, may force a person to do something that he considers ethically wrong...” A thoroughly trained pharmacist is well-aware of the potential for getting into such situations. A pharmacist, who interferes with the health of a patient, should not be fired; but jailed.

The Reverend wrote “The Morning After pill has no other purpose than to cause abortion.” According to Barr Pharmaceuticals, Plan B prevents pregnancy, it does not end it. Barr’s website states “Plan B will not affect a fertilized egg already attached to the uterus; it will not affect an existing pregnancy.”

Finally, the Rev. Dr. Eugene J. Weitzel wrote “No woman needs the pill for health reasons, she only needs it to undo what she and her accomplice did the night before in a selfish moment for fun and frolic.” Unfortunately, not every situation that results in a pregnancy is a “selfish moment for fun and frolic.” I don’t know what to think about someone who characterizes men as mere accomplices in such situations, nor do I care to ever find out what other outlandish unsubstantiated claims echo across the pews in Beardstown.