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"Mailbag" Continued...

Issue: "Heresy trials," Aug. 18, 2001

Unethical and illegal

WORLD credited Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, with the assertion that "doctors routinely give placebos to patients who want every possible treatment" ("Better than nothing," June 16). In my medical practice I have never, nor have I ever witnessed, the prescribing of a placebo. Outside of clinical experiments, it would not only be unethical, but illegal. - John Bollig, San Carlos, Ariz.

No deeper abyss

Once we commence to destroy human life for research, there is no deeper abyss to which humans may sink in the vain pursuit of scientific knowledge. If humans have no inherent value different from the animals, then we have not progressed from what Hitler's "scientists" were accomplishing with their horrific experimentation in the 1940s. - Mary E. Traeger, Forsyth, Mo.

Wide roads

Joel Belz and Marvin Olasky both recognize the difficulty that evangelicals have in influencing public policy ("Little by little," "Day's journey," July 21). We should continue to do all that we can to influence public policy and use the political system to help achieve our evangelical objectives, just as the Apostle Paul did when he called attention to his Roman citizenship. However, we should not forget the potential for evil that exists where the majority rules, for "wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it." - T.G. Neason, Curtis, Wash.

Sleep well

"Future perfect" was a refreshing reminder that we can sleep well at night. - Sara Rettig, Bellville, Texas

Others like Terri?

Thank you to Lynn Vincent for this informative and powerfully written story. I wept as I read it and cried out to God to intervene for Terri Schiavo's life. I am thankful that her parents are trying to protect her, but I wonder about others who are in a predicament similar to Terri's but have no advocate. - Kerri A. Fedele, Islip, N.Y.

Provoke to repentance

I used to be sympathetic to the line of reasoning expressed by a recent letter writer, that by executing Timothy McVeigh our country "extinguished the possibility that he could be redeemed" (Mailbag, July 21). But I no longer believe that more time alive necessarily equals more opportunity for redemption. Perhaps what a capital murderer needs to be provoked into repentance is not years on end in an air-conditioned facility with like-minded inmates, but swift justice. - Gary A. Gaskins, Apex, N.C.

A step

Many people, including myself, wished that all of George W. Bush's tax-cut plan had been accepted, but at least it is a step in the right direction ("Flash traffic," July 7/14). - Timothy Clark Long, Bakersfield, Calif.

Washed out of soaps

You describe the end of "the biggest marriage in soap-opera history" between Luke and Laura Spencer of General Hospital in "Soap-opera splitsville" (July 7/14). Few people remember that Laura fell in love with Luke after he raped her; she later divorced her husband and married Luke. I was a teenager when all this happened, and it so disgusted me that I never watched another soap opera. In fact, after I got married 19 years ago I decided I would never own a TV. - Michael A. Cilano, Prescott Valley, Ariz.


Your column criticizing Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift for being a mother of three while holding down a demanding job was unfair ("Not so swift," June 30). From the column, you'd never know that she has a husband and the children have a father who stays home with them. Sounds like a great guy to me. Sure, Gov. Swift will miss out on her kids, the same as any parent with a similar job, but it is not neglect if the father is home. - Robin J. Loughman, Adams, Mass.


Thank you, WORLD, for an excellent job. I don't always agree with you, but I always get the feeling that you are serious about following Jesus. - John D. Stein, Elizabethtown, Pa.


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