“A Day to Remember, a Time Not Forgotten” is the heading on a poster we purchased while at the Pearl Harbor 60 year commemoration of Dec. 7, 1941.
On Sept. 11, 2019, we remembered the tragic events of 2001. How well do you remember where you were that day, and how you reacted and felt then and beyond? Do you remember the patriotism that followed throughout America, as her people waved flags, prayed, mourned the fallen, and seemed to be united in the spirit of the day, as they stayed mesmerized by the reports?
We were in Eugene, Oregon, visiting family Sept. 11, 2001, ready to fly home that very evening, but it was a week later before we could get a flight home, and the first of thorough checking of our luggage began.
We ask you to “Always Remember” and to be aware of the lack of patriotism prevalent in many hearts today.
Sharon and Harry Rideout
The Sept. 4 front page Bangor Daily News article on the overuse of opioids for chronic pain may mislead some patients and cause harm because it omitted crucial information. The reporter focused on a well-intentioned 2017 Maine law designed to help curb the opioid epidemic by limiting the amount of opioid medicines that doctors could prescribe. Title 22, Chapter 488 allowed patients no more than “l00 mg morphine equivalents” per day. The intent of the law was laudable; doctors were contributing to the opioid epidemic by prescribing excessive narcotics. The law allowed for only five exclusions to the limit for diagnoses such as cancer, post-surgical pain, and (narrowly defined) “palliative care for patients with serious illnesses.”
By dictating specific doses, the Legislature put itself in the inappropriate position of practicing medicine. Some patients and certain conditions require higher doses of pain medicines. To remedy this overreach, in 2018 the Legislature passed an amendment to the law. Title 22, Chapter 401, Section 1726 more broadly defines “palliative care” to include the alleviation of suffering and the maintenance of the quality of life. It allows higher doses of pain medicines.
The BDN article noted that physicians are currently more careful in prescribing narcotics but failed to explain this new flexibility. Good medical care happens when a physician can make a careful assessment of a patient’s unique and individual needs — and treat accordingly. Current law now allows this.
Geoff Gratwick, MD
State Senator, District 9
Hunting laws must change
A huge thank you to John Holyoke and the Bangor Daily News for his Sept. 5 column dealing with the hunting-related death of Karen Wrentzel. Holyoke demonstrated true courage by writing what needed to be written, while other outdoors writers were silent.
Maine’s practice of allowing hunting on unposted private property is antiquated and obsolete. Maine will likely never have a Legislature with the guts to require written permission to hunt on private property, so it will likely be up to the people to force the issue with a citizens’ initiative.
We owe it to Karen Wrentzel and others who were killed by hunters while on their own property. We it to their families and we owe it to our children and grandchildren. Let Karen Wrentzel’s death be the straw that broke the camel’s back.