Forum, May 17: Infertility Clinic Plays Many Roles

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Infertility Clinic Plays Many Roles

I am a law student at Vermont Law School. I am also a patient at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. D-H’s decision to close the Reproductive Endocrinology Department will significantly impact my health. Reproductive endocrinology manages my brain tumor and the cascade of hormone problems that it causes. This isn’t about infertility. This is about being well enough to be able to attend and complete law school.

While reproductive endocrinology is called the Infertility Clinic at D-H, infertility is only part of what they do. Closing this department will harm many women, like me, in the community.

Because of the scope and nature of my medical condition, and the other women like me, it is inappropriate for us to be seen in endocrinology or gynecology. D-H is failing to provide community-needed care.

Considering that D-H is a teaching facility, this change is especially troublesome. First, students, interns and fellows will not have the option of referring patients to Reproductive Endocrinology. This is myopic hubris and it hurts patients. This is also ethically questionable. Second, students, intern and fellows will not have practicing reproductive endocrinologists from whom to learn at D-H.

The chief clinical officer, Dr. Edward J. Merrens, should be questioned by the D-H leadership, the news media and the public. The decision hurts women, community-needed care and the teaching mission of D-H.

Sisyphus Bradford

South Royalton

Cyclists and Motorists, Obey Laws

The Ride of Silence takes place today. Someone please point all bicyclists, in particular all participants, to what it is really about. From the website: “The Ride of Silence is a free ride that asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph, wear helmets, follow the rules of the road and remain silent during the ride.”

“Follow the rules of the road.” Stop signs are part of that, as are traffic signals, as well as signaling your intentions. Also, if riding two abreast or more impedes traffic (let me know when it doesn’t on Routes 4 and 120) ride single file. This and so many more can be found in the appropriate N.H. RSA’s.

And drivers, seriously, can you find the time in your day to allow oncoming traffic to pass before swinging into the other lane to allow minimum safe passing distance when passing a cyclist or pedestrian?

Bob Jobson


Defending the New Dean

Let’s try a little common sense in response to the questions raised about Professor Bruce Duthu’s appointment as Dartmouth’s next Dean of Faculty in “Professor Outraged by Dean’s Views” (May 13).

Signing a petition calling for a boycott of Israeli academics is not in itself evidence of anti-Semitism. Its intent was to change Israeli government policy, not to attack Jews. Labeling signers as anti-Semitic opposes their argument by smearing them rather than by defending the Israeli government. In these circumstances, it’s an expression of intolerance to personally insist on one’s right to define what is and is not morally permissible for another to say or do. As well, constant charges of anti-Semitism trivialize its power to single out hateful statements and actions.

The point of that petition was to urge the government of Israel to end its half-century of occupation of Palestinian territories. When he signed, Duthu, a Native American and a scholar of Native American history, might possibly have remembered the several-century and ongoing occupation of Native American lands.

When he signed that petition in 2013, Bruce Duthu was a faculty member at Dartmouth. He belonged, and still belongs, to a faculty that has long and proudly claimed its right to free expression. Now he is about to become dean of that faculty. In that position, he has the responsibility to uphold commitments the college has undertaken. The college has committed itself, after 2013 incidentally, to oppose boycotts of Israeli academics.

I know Bruce Duthu as a man of uncommon good judgment. He is an excellent choice to be the next dean of the faculty. It’s deeply unfortunate to witness the lack of restraint in attacking him so.

Nelson Kasfir

NorwichThe writer is an emeritus professor of government at Dartmouth College

Full Disclosure, and Then Some

How ironic is it that the day after you published a Washington Post article about the current administration “sidelining data” helpful to consumers (“Under Trump, Data Is Being Sidelined,” May 15), there is another information disclosure problem. The Post article contains this comment from a Trump spokesperson: “The president has made a commitment that his administration will absolutely follow the law and disclose any information it is required to disclose.” (“Trump Gave Classified Info To Russians: Disclosure Could Jeopardize U.S. Relationships, Security,” May 16) And, evidently, some that is definitely not required.

Ann Sadowsky


National Security at Risk

This president is jeopardizing the intelligence community and putting our national security at risk.

While it may be legal for him to declassify material at his will and whim, why isn’t it treason for him to share information with the Russians that was not meant to be shared with our allies and “restricted even within the U.S, government” (“Trump Gave Classified Info To Russians: Disclosure Could Jeopardize U.S. Relationships, Security,” May 16)?

Dori Galton

North Hartland

Help Conserve Randolph Land

I have been a resident of Brookfield, Vt., for over 30 years. I moved to this area to raise a family, attracted by its clean air, clean water, and the natural beauty of its mountains, lakes and meadows, as well as the independent and determined spirit of those who already lived here. While I don't reside in Randolph itself, I regularly travel there to shop, visit or pass through on my way to work in Bethel.

Recently, the land at the Exit 4 gateway to Randolph has been under threat of development. Fortunately, most of the land has now been conserved as farmland. However, 22 acres are still at risk. If you care about preserving the remaining precious farmland, and the irreplaceable vista of our community, please join us in purchasing the land from the current owner.

Donations of any size need to be made at the Preservation Trust of Vermont website, www.ptvermont.org, for Exit 4 Open Space, by the June 15th deadline, to save this land permanently. We are counting on you.

Jill Castelli

Brookfield, Vt.

Tax Reform Is a Trickle-Down Con

The opinion page of the Tuesday, May 9, issue of the Valley News contained an op-ed piece by Joshua Bolten titled “Tax Reform for Business Would Bring Economic Growth, Jobs.”

Unfortunately, this piece is nothing more than regurgitated trickle-down economics that wealthy donors and their Republican allies have been using to con the American public since Reagan.

Read the piece closely. There is not a single reference to an independent study supporting the link between tax cuts and economic growth and job creation. The author merely refers to a survey by the Business Roundtable of 123 executives. So what’s the con?

Simple: money, lots of money. Members of the Business Roundtable have millions of shares of stock, stock grants and/or stock options in their companies. The value of those holdings will increase dramatically if the earnings of the companies increase, which a corporate tax cut would achieve.

As an example, let’s use one share of publicly traded stock with a price/earnings multiple of 15. Assume that the company earns $1.00 pre-tax. At the current 35 percent corporate tax rate, the company would earn $0.65 after tax ($1.00 less $0.35). The share of stock would be worth $9.75 (15 times $0.65). But let’s reduce the tax rate to 15 percent. The after-tax earnings of the company would now be $0.85 ($1.00 less $0.15). The share price would rise to $12.75 (15 times $0.85).

Voila, millions of shares translates into millions of dollars of personal gain for the holders of stock, without ever creating a single new job or investing a single additional dollar for growth. And best yet, all this personal gain is taxed at the advantageous capital gains rate of 20 percent instead of the ordinary income tax rate of 39.6 percent (personal federal taxes only).

The personal inurement scheme at the heart of trickle-down economics is obvious. What I do not understand is the public policy goal.

American voters need to contact their congressional delegations to stop this public policy con which is foundational to the Trump tax proposal.

Peter C. Paquette


Fund Substance Abuse Treatment

A story in a recent Valley News (“Price Soars For Substance Abuse in N.H.: Report Finds Treatment Cost State Over $2 Billion,” May 9, 2017), reported the cost of substance use disorder to the New Hampshire economy as $2.36 billion in 2014, a shocking total.

But the subheading stated that this cost was attributable to treatment alone. The text of the article more accurately notes that the cost of treatment was $330 million, about 14 percent of the total cost, of which the great majority ($1.5 billion) is due to lost productivity. It is not difficult to figure there would be a great benefit to the state of spending more on treatment to reduce that huge cost, to both our economy and quality of life, which is not estimated. It seems plain that treatment is cost-effective by the numbers alone and deserves better funding to increase the number of programs and trained providers, a limiting factor. Let your state and federal representatives know that adequate funding for substance abuse disorder is a priority that is both humane and fiscally responsible.

Andrew Daubenspeck