This has to be the most disturbing article I have ever read ("The Internet Internist," Paul Rubin, March 19). It is unfortunate how the money-hungry in this world can prey on the vulnerable by promising miracles through the use of drugs. I want to thank you for doing such a great job on this subject.
Maybe we can get better control over doctors playing God over the Internet. No respectable physician would prescribe medications over the phone (or Internet) without first meeting the person face-to-face in an office and have an ongoing relationship with their patients.
Christine L. Troutman
I have just finished your story on the abominable behavior of Dr. (and I use the term loosely) Hitzig.
There is a major problem still out there with people who were (and are) on fen-phen. Out of my small group of friends that were (and are) taking it, five out of five experienced major personality changes. These changes were not apparent to the persons themselves, only to those around them. Only after we quit taking it were we able to see what everyone else could see all along. We were taking phentermine alone. This is still being prescribed liberally. I have been very concerned for some time about something like poor Alvin Chernov's story.
Not enough can be said, in my opinion, about the dangers of this drug. I know women who have lost all the weight they need to lose, but cannot stop taking the drug (and the doctor just keeps prescribing) because of its addictive quality.
Thank you, Paul Rubin and New Times for exposing not only this idiot in Maryland, but the dangers of this drug.
You are to be commended on your article on the "good" doctor. I am in charge of the Cincinnati Police Pharmaceutical Diversion Squad and we have had major problems with phentermine (Adipex) and other similar drugs.
I was aware of this case, but got a much better in-depth look through your article. Unfortunately, this country has been weight-crazy for some time, and we are willing to do almost anything to lose weight to look better. Even if that means endangering our health in the process.
We have had some major battles with physicians here on diet drugs. However, we have been successful in charging them criminally, taking their medical and DEA licenses, and putting them out of business. Ohio has very strict diet regulations, unlike our neighboring state, Kentucky. Therefore, one Tennessee physician who came to Ohio to start a diet clinic quickly decided to relocate just across the border in Kentucky because their rules are almost nonexistent.
Anyway, I enjoyed your article on the Internet; it's good for people to know and understand the dangers of these drugs. It's also good for people to ask questions about their health care--if something doesn't seem right, ask other experts. It's hard for the general public to think of doctors as drug dealers, but a small percentage fit that category.
Pharmaceutical Diversion Squad
After reading your article about Alvin Chernov, I could not sleep all night. I cannot believe that a doctor is still saying--after a human being has died--that he still believes he has all the cures for any affliction. It just shows me this man is just as sick as any addict he is treating.
Name withheld by request
While Deborah Laake's article on Jerry Colangelo ("Our Hero," March 26) was well-written, I found that dropping a remark on Arizona State University's student recruiting left a bad taste in my mouth.
Deborah explained in a good manner Jerry's attitudes, his views on community and his place in the community. It was also clear that he wants to be considered an ordinary man yet is too far from that position to be perceived as one.
However, to present, apparently at random, a comment such as "ASU accepts nearly everyone and is reluctant to expel students no matter what they do" leads me to regard the whole article in a lesser view.
In the local college that I attended (read: Arizona State University), I was taught that if you are going to present any subject within the text of which you are writing, and you express an opinion about said subject, you have to present relevant information to substantiate that subject. In this case, it seems that the subject, ASU's generous admission standards, not only had minor relevance to the main subject (Jerry Colangelo), but it was not substantiated. Thus, it should not have been presented because it contributed nothing to the main subject matter.
That said, I can only assume that someone needs to brush up on her journalism skills, or perhaps that Deborah is a UofA student. Either would explain the one point that cheapened the entire article.
Chad Harrison Ford
After reading and confirming what we already knew about "Our Hero," I must ask, How much was the bail for Mr. Naman?
While I have commended New Times for breaking many important news stories over the years, often taking on controversial issues the mainstream press was unwilling to pursue, it now occurs to me that you are incapable of doing a positive story without taking some digs at the subject of your article. Do you think that you have to be adversarial in order to give papers away?
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I refer specifically to the cover story on Jerry Colangelo. The bottom line--Mr. Colangelo is a good man. He is someone who tries every day to do what he thinks is right, someone who truly cares about the community, someone who cares about people. What more can we ask of a human being? Although you may find people that disagree with Mr. Colangelo on certain issues (as I have), I don't think you will find many people who know him who would question his ethics. Does he ever make a mistake? Don't we all? Is he perfect? Are you?
Despite this, you still managed to set a tone in your article that makes it difficult to see him in a positive light. The positive facts are in your article but the story weaves them in in a way that leaves the reader wondering. In this day and age we have so few positive role models, shouldn't we accord them the respect, the civility and the admiration they deserve?
Ralph J. Wexler
A letter to the editor published March 26 erroneously attributed a remark printed in an earlier letter to the wrong correspondent. Remarks about the so-called "Millrats" quoted in a March 26 letter from Jesse C. Roche had been published March 5 in a letter from correspondent Larry Hicks, not correspondent Max Martin. New Times regrets the error.