Page 2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 18, 1986
Speakers discuss medical issues
By DOV COHEN
AND ROBERT STONE
"You are taking on all the woes of
the 1980's in the course of one day," a
speaker told an audience of pre-med
students at a conference on ethics,
humanism, and medicine.
Saturday's conference at the School
of Public Health featured speakers
who addressed a terminally ill
patient's right to die, the effect of
malpractice suits on the quality of
medical treatment, and Acquired
Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
DAVID VELLEMAN, an assistant
philosophy professor, spoke to a
seemingly hostile audience about a
patient's right to die. Pacing back and
forth on the stage, Velleman said he is
not against the mercy killing of those
in an irreversible coma or in intrac-
table pain, but he denounced other in-
stances where a patient might con-
sider death as an alternative to
Velleman said society is to blame if
a patient considers death an option.
He said a patients claim to the right of
self-determination is just a "smoke
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screen," and the fact that the patient
makes the choice does not absolve
society of its moral responsibility.
The burden of health care costs will
be relieved if the sick and elderly die,
so society urges them to die, he said.
"We have no role in our society for the
CITING A hypothetical example of
a kidney dialysis patient, Velleman
said, "He tries to play the only role
there is. He wants to play the role of
the Pepsi generation. We've elimina-
ted the role of the elderly homebound
person. We're so self-centered, we
don't have time to care for our paren-
ts," he said.
"Society gains a tremendous
amount if (the sick and elderly) die,
and society can make it worth their
while to die. They're gone. No
problem. I find this frightening," he
Kurt Turner, a member of the
audience, signed a living will in 1974
that orders doctors to "pull the plug"
if he ever lapses into a coma.
TURNER, WHO has been on a kid-
ney machine for 16 years and had a
stroke 11 years ago, said he has the
right to die if he chooses. "It's my
body damnit - I have the right to
Turner said his fear comes "partly
from seeing how machines kept
people 'alive but not alive.' I don't
want that kind of life," he said.
"Medical technology can do so many
things that don't take into con-
sideration the spirit and will of the
person. One of the worst things that
scares me is that I'll be incapacitated
and won't be involved in the
Earlier in the day June Osborne,
dean of the School of Public Health,
warned that harassment of AIDS vic-
tims may turn AIDS into "an un-
JILL JOSEPH, a School of Public
Health professor, estimated that
there are one to two million carries of
the AIDS virus. "We need to under-
stand that there is no immunization
available, no cure. (Controlling the
spread of AIDS) is entirely dependent
on behavioral change for those at risk
and probably maintenance of that
change for the rest of their lives."
To affect and maintain this change,
potential AIDS victims will need
counseling and testing services, but
they will not use these services if "we
stigmatize, ostracise, and penalize,"
Joseph said the control of AIDS can
be hampered by laws that single AIDS
victims out as pariahs. "One of the
things being considered (in the
legislature) now is: If you test
positive to an (AIDS) test, you have to
give the names of all your partners"
to the doctor, she said. Laws like this
will only drive away potential AIDS
victims, eventually, "putting our-
selves at a higher risk."
THE SPEAKERS said health care
officials may contribute to the stigma
of AIDS victims. "We have a panic
every time we admit an AIDS
patient," said Al Dallaire, a nurse at
Flint Osteopathic Hospital.
"You can educate hospital workers
umpteen zillion times and the first
time they have to treat a patient with
AIDS, it's inevitably hysteria," said
Evelyn Fisher of Henry Ford
On the topic of medical malprac-
tice, Dr. Louis Zako attributed the
soaring number of suits to an "I'll sue
the bastard" attitude prevailing in
In the past eight years the number
of claims against physicians has in-
creased from five to 23 per 100 doc-
Pension has S.
(Continued from Pagel1)
chairwoman for the Association of
Concerned African Scholars.
"THE financial penalties for with-
drawing your money is too much to
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ask," she said. "Often you literally
cannot take out your money until you
retire at all, or at least without severe
Instead, she said, the steering
committee is calling on faculty and
staff to take "political measures," to
push TIAA-CREF itself to divest. The
faculty's Senate Assembly at Dar-
tmouth College, for example,
unanimously supported divestment
by TIAA-CREF last November.
The question over divestment,
Brinkerhoff said, seems to be a re-
hash of previous debates about the
issue. "It's a philosophical difference,
in that we think the best way to
promote changes in South Africa is
through keeping our influence as
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shareholders in the corporations that
do business there. To divest has little
effect because we pull out, and
another investor just takes our
A POLICY statement by TIAA-
CREF echoes Brinkerhoff's sen-
"Someone else buys the stock and
after the seller has made a moral
statement and garnered media
headlines, the company's businesses
undoubtedly goes on as usual, but
without a large articulate shareholder
such as TIAA-CREF to continue
pressing corporate management to
combat apartheid," the policy
The program's directors, said Claire
Sheahan, a press officer for TIAA-
CREF, feel that change can be best
promoted by urging corporations to
follow the Sullivan Principles, a series
of guidelines to promote integrated
and better working conditions for
black South African workers.
TIAA-CRED also urges cor-
porations to publically denounce such
characteristics of apartheid as
requiring that most blacks live in
"homelands" away from white-
TO ENFORCE these principles, she
said, TIAA-CRED has been
pressuring corporations to either
follow the Sullivan Principles or leave
She said that since last October, 22
of 43 corporations that had not signed
the Sullivan Principles finally signed;
five others withdrew from the coun-
try, and two had not responded in
Sheahan said the program filed
shareholder resolutions urging the
remaining 13 corporations to sign the
principles or pull out of the country.
"It's important to remember that we
think of the Sullivan Principals as a
minimum, not an end-all of the
problem. If these corporations are not
willing to do the minimum to promote
change in South Africa, we think they
should get out."
BUT opponents of these measures
say that the Sullivan Pinciples are
virtually worthless, and that by
staying in the country, corporations
help keep the system of apartheid in
"The Sullivan Principles affect only
a tiny minority of blacks in South
Africa. Only a fraction of 1 percent
work for American corporations
there," Root said.
"These corporations produce com-
puters, technology for the gover-
nment, and all the things they need to
stay in power."
"We're asking TIAA-CREF to take
a real stand against apartheid," she
Alan Wald, a professor of English at
the University, was one of 39 people
arrested for protesting aid to the
Nicaraguan Contras at Congressman
Carl Pursell's office last Friday. A
photo caption in Monday's Daily
neglected to identify him as a faculty
The Conference on the Holocaust is
sponsored by a large number of chur-
ches, synagogues, some University
offices and departments, and in-
dividuals, not just the Hillel Found-
COMPILED FROM ASSOCIATED PRESS AND
UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL REPORTS
Reagan: Polls in Central
America back Contra aid
President Reagan said yesterday that polls in Central America show
his plan to give $100 million in aid to the Contra rebels has the over-
whelming support of the people in the countries closest to Nicaragua
With a critical House vote on the aid only three days away, Reagan
said the polls, commissioned by the U.S. Information Agency and
bankrolled by American taxpayers, showed "over 90 percent of the
people" in some countries support his policy, including renewed military
aid to the guerrillas battling the Marxist-led Sandinista government in
Nicaragua's official press condemned President Reagan's Sunday
night speech on Contra rebels, saying he used "lies and slander" to try to
justify $100 million in new aid to the guerrillas fighting the Managua
American supporters and opponents of the aid program are both
claiming public support is in their favor.
U.S. releases Marcos files
A judge in New York yesterday denied a request for a restraining or-
der, clearing the way for the Justice Department to turn over to the new
Philippines government and Congress documents detailing the wealth of
former president Ferdinand Marcos.
The denial by Judge Dominick DiCarlo of the Court of International
Trade was issued just hours before the Justice Department was
scheduled to release the documents. The department filed a memo in
Hawaii Saturday stating its intention to release them at 5 p.m. yesterday.
It did not specify whether the release would take place in Hawaii or
The documents were seized by U.S. Customs officials when Marcos, his
family and friends fled the Philippines to Hawaii last month after 20 years
The new government of President Corazon Aquino was asked for the in-
formation as part of its effort to recover what it claims is millions of
dollars Marcos looted from the treasury of the Philippines.
Mitterand to choose premier
PARIS- Socialist President Francois Mitterand, faced with the task of
governing with a hostile parliament, said he would choose a new premier
from the conservative ranks today.
Mitterand will become the first president in Fifth Republic historyto
govern with a parliament in opposition.
In a television address to the nation last night, Mitterand took note of
the razor-thin parliamentary majority won by the right in elections,
saying, "There is a new majority. It is numerically weak, but it exists."
The rightist alliance does not include the extreme-right National Front.
Nearly complete results from Sunday's voting for a new 577-seat
National Assembly gave 291 seats in all to the center-right coalition of the
Rally for the Republic, the Union for French Democracy, and a smat-
tering of rightist political independents-an uncomfortably small, three-
seat margin and the smallest parliamentary advantage in the 28-year
history of the Fifth Republic.
Pre-election polls had predicted the rightist coalition would win as
many as 15 more seats.
OPEC suspends urgent talks
GENEVA- OPEC ministers, unable to agree on a stbtegy for rever-
sing a traumatic drop in oil prices, suspended an emergency meeting
yesterday for at least one day, reflecting what cartel sources called
major disagreements among the 13 members.
Arturo Hernandez Grisanti, oil minister of Venezuela and president of
OPEC, said the break was needed to allow the group's technical experts
to reassess the outlook for oil demand.
Delegation sources, speaking on condition they not be identified, said
the request for a new report from OPEC's technical experts was a
stalling tactic that showed the sharp divisions within the cartel.
There were unconfirmed rumors that cartel members were close to a
production sharing agreement under which prices would stabilize bet-
ween $15 and $20 a barrel. It was not clear where the rumors originated
and they appeared to conflict with the atmosphere of uncertainty the
session had created so far.
Chicago City Council
elections plagued by violence
CHICAGO-Campaigning for special ward elections that could give
Mayor Harold Washington control of the City Council drew to a close
yesterday, marred bya gang shooting that followed complaints of fraud
A young gang member was charged with attempted murder after
police said he had fired a shot into a crowd around a campaigning cand-
idate for alderman.
"It's almost like whoever stays alive is going to be the next alderman
up here," said Patrolman Raymond Heyn. "I thought we had elections
to settle these things."
Today's ward elections coincide with party primaries for the U.S.
Senate, Illinois' 22 congressional districts, governor and other statewide
offices. Most races have sparked little interest and election officials
predicted a low voter turnout.
The ward elections are the latest battlegrounds in a conflict between
the city's first black mayor and power broker Edward Vrdolyak, a white
alderman who has led a 29-member council majority bloc in revolt again-
01 Ie'£iclpgau BuIV~
Vol. XCVI - No. 113
The Michigan Daily (ISSN 0745-967 X) is published Monday through
Friday during the fall and winter terms. Subscription rates: September
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The Michigan Daily is a member of The Associated Press and subscribes
to United Press International, Pacific News Service, Los Angeles Times
Syndicate, and College Press Service.
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