To the editor:
Thank you for your excellent articles on the lack of access to abortion care on Cape Cod, in one of the remaining states that supposedly ensures a woman’s right to full reproductive care.
“Abortion Access Is Unclear on Cape Cod” (July 14) reported that Cape Cod Healthcare Senior Vice President Patrick Kane “did not respond to a question asking whether Cape Cod Hospital has an ethics committee.”
I assure you that they had an ethics committee 15 years ago. My mother died during the night at Cape Cod Hospital in October 2007. When I arrived at the hospital the next morning, I was told I would have to meet with the hospital’s ethics committee. They wouldn’t tell me why.
My mother had had Alzheimer’s for years. There was nothing unusual about her death, and we had been expecting it for a while. It seemed that my older sister, who had been caring for my mother full-time, had become upset at the hospital the day before and then left and could not be reached.
At the meeting, a hospital administrator complained to me and my brother about my sister’s behavior and about my mother’s not having written care directives on file. They had a point, but we did not have legal authority in the matter — and their timing was terrible. My brother described it as a “cover your ass” meeting.
My mother received excellent care from the doctors and nurses at the hospital. But we need to decide whether medical care should be administered with a primary concern for limiting costs (at nonprofits like CCHC) or making money for shareholders (in for-profit health care). As your series suggests, the lack of access to abortion on the Cape is at this unhappy nexus of litigation and cost containment in our health-care system.
Eastham and Palmer
The Fear Is Appropriate
To the editor:
We appreciate Edouard Fontenot’s painful essay “Shouldn’t We Be More Alarmed?” [July 28, page A3], which draws a frightening parallel between a dark time in the past century, when the Nazis were coming to power and expanding their lists of non-Aryan undesirables, and the current rise of overt white nationalism here in the U.S.
He raises the question that we and many others of a certain age have long pondered: how the people of Germany allowed that regime to carry out its evil ambitions. And he finds a complex and discouraging answer, that denial and indifference kept most ordinary citizens disengaged from noting, much less challenging, what was going on in their very midst. It couldn’t be hidden. It was simply accepted as the necessary path to national rehabilitation and glory.
A similar nostalgia for an imagined national greatness in our country, one that ignores the shame of our treatment of indigenous North Americans, enslaved Africans, women, immigrants, queer folk, and people with “mental illness,” would seem to be the breeding ground for a domestic replay of the German catastrophe.
The fear the writer expresses is appropriate. We need to maintain vigilance and raise our voices whenever human rights are violated. We need to stand together, to look after one another, and not allow ourselves to be falsely divided by meaningless cultural stereotypes.
The world should not, a century from now, find itself again asking, concerning our time, “How did they let that happen?”
Andrea M. Sawyer
The Treatment of Rioters
To the editor:
Edouard Fontenot’s piece on accommodation [July 28, page A3] concerns me. I am equally concerned about the prevalence of violence today, but it is not only from the right.
The misleading, professionally-produced-for-TV Jan. 6 hearings, cynically featuring disingenuous one-sided testimony, hearsay, and innuendo, show evidence of deplorable mob behavior but are sadly untested by cross-examination — a mendacious decision made by the leftist leadership in the House.
Compare that one episode of unrest with hundreds of nights of violence in dozens of cities following the death of George Floyd. The Daily Mail reported that as much as $2 billion in property damage claims were filed, mostly in poor neighborhoods of leftist-led cities.
Some of the Jan. 6 protesters were held in solitary confinement for months, according to a letter from Republican members of Congress. In contrast, many leftist rioters were not held at all and most had their charges dismissed.
The House delayed a security bill for Supreme Court justices for weeks, even after a man was arrested for the attempted murder of Justice Kavanaugh.
The Biden administration is unafraid of publicly declaring that if Congress won’t do as he wishes, he’ll just do it himself.
I can empathize with the author’s fear and concern, but most people have been bullied or threatened with humiliation at some point.
He’s Slowing Down
To the editor:
Regarding “25 Mph on 20 Roads” [Wellfleet Currents, July 21, page A13]:
I pledge to start driving at the legal speed limit of 25 mph on these 20 town roads starting today. And if I forget, Sharon will remind me.
I encourage every year-round resident and Provincetown Independent reader to do the same.