Page 2 - The Michigan Daily-- Wednesday, March 26, 1986
'U' hospitals named in lawsuit
By DEBBIE KOBAK
The University Hospitals and four
Detroit hospitals face a lawsuit
because they allegedly refused to
treat a patient needing emergency
Johnnie Mae Ritter, 33, claims in
her suit that University Hospitals,
Detroit Osteopathic, Henry Ford
Hospital, and Wayne County General
decided that her husband, Melvin,
constituted a risk because he lacked
health insurance. The suit also says
the hospitals denied Ritter treatment
because of his heroin addiction.
RITTER, who eventually under-
went surgery at Henry Ford Hospital,
DAYTONA BEACH,Fla. (AP) - A
person who suffers even one case of
blistering sunburn in adolescence
may double his risk of developing a
serious skin cancer later in life, a
researcher reported yesterday.
Another study reported yesterday
suggested that psychological factors
may influence the course of the skin
cancer called melanoma. That idea
has been advanced for other forms of
cancer and has ignited debate in
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died of complications in March, 1984.
"The lawsuit is against U-M
Hospitals and four others for refusing
to accept Mr. Ritter as a patient when
he needed life-saving heart valve
replacement surgery," said Cyril
Weiner, Mrs. Ritter's attorney.
Weiner described the suit as an at-
tempt to "require the hospitals
(public and private) to accept patien-
ts in need of emergency treatment."
"WE BELIEVE that federal and
state law creates certain
obligations-but do not clearly state
that private hospitals have to accept a
patient," Weiner said.
Ritter was originally admitted to
DETROIT (AP) - The bare skin
and sweat of the modern jogger may
have helped his prehistoric ancestors
chase down faster animals for food, a
University of Michigan zoologist
Those factors dissipate body heat
more efficiently than animals that
pant or bear fur, and place man
among dogs and horses as the best
endurance runners, David Currier
said during a telephone interview.
Carrier, a doctoral candidate, said
he published a 1984 paper comparing
MELANOMA is fatal in about one of
The sunburn study followed resear-
ch indicating that melanoma, unlike
other, milder skin cancers, does not
seem to be closely related to an in-
dividual's lifetime exposure to the
sun, said Arthur Sober, associate
dermatology professor at Harvard
But studies have shown that people
living closer to the equator have a
higher risk of melanoma. For exam-
ple, the 1980 melanoma rate in Con-
necticut was about a third the rate in
Arizona, Sober said.
So investigators have wondered
whether intense exposure, or bad
sunburn, during early life might be a
factor in later development of the
disease, he said.
HIS study matched 111 melanoma
patients with 107 healthy people of
similar ages and same sex, and com-
pared their memories of sun-related
experiences during childhood and
Results showed that people who had
suffered a blistering sunburn in
Northwest General Hospital in
Detroit, which, Northwest spokesmen
said, then called the other facilities
because it lacked sufficient facitlities
for Ritter's emergency operation.
But Edward Goldman, attorney for
University hospitals, said there is no
record of such a phone call, and
denied that the hospital refused to
admit Ritter because of his addiction
and lack of health insurance. He said
Ritter had been treated at University
Hospitals in 1982 without health in-
surance when he received a heart-
"If someone comes into E.R. and
asks' to be admitted, we treat them."
the efficiency with which humans and
animals run. His findings led him
back 4 million years to when man's
ancestors roamed the African
"The earliest hominids may have
been endurance predators," based on
their ability to exhaust and kill
quicker animals that ran in short bur-
sts, he said.
The quicker animals might have in-
cluded rabbits chased down by day
when their ability to cool off was
dissipated by the African sun's heat,
Goldman compared Ritter's suit to
a student walking into a classroom
and "demanding to be enrolled
because he likes that teacher better
than his own," regardless of school
policy and quotas of students per
"In a case of a transfer from
another hospital, the U-M policy is to
investigate the case to see if we can
offer the treatment that the other
hospital can't and to see if we are the
closest available hospital (that can of-
fer the treatment)," he said.
Four-legged creatures generally
breathe once per "locomotion cycle,"
or stride, Carrier said. Changing that
pace can cause increased oxygen con-
sumption, interrupt the cycle and for-
ce frequent stops, he said.
By contrast, Carrier said; "When
you look at humans there is not an op-
timal speed. We may be able to shift
gears and compensate (while
breathing) for the speed at which we
1e skin cancer risk
adolescence ran twice the risk of later
melanoma. About half the melanoma
patients had experienced such sun-
burns, while less than a third of the
other group did, Sober said.
The study also found that people
who took vacations of a month or
more in sunny areas during
adolescent years ran a risk of
melanoma 2 times greater than
those who had not.
SOBER blames such vacations and
other short-term sun exposure for a
dramatic rise in melanoma rates,
which he said have increased 700 per-
cent between 1940 and 1980, and
nearly doubled in the past seven
years. The cancer society expects
23,000 melanoma cases this year and
"Our feeling is people probably are
spending a lot more time indoors in
their work and their schooling, and a
lot more time outdoors in intense ex-
posure situations," Sober said.
"It's now becoming more popular to
go down to the Caribbean for a tan,
and you only have a week" to do all
the tanning, he said.
Melanoma is a cancer of the
pigment-producing skin cells, and
sunlight may nudge those cells or
moles toward cancer, Sober said.
"I WOULD like to see all children
protected from traumatic sun ex-
posures," especially those at higher
risk, such as those with light complec-
tions, tendency to sunburn or
relatives who've had melanoma,
Protection can include avoiding
sunlight during its maximum inten-
sity, between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., he
said. A good sunblocker with high
protection factor and wearing a shirt
at the pool when not swimming are
other steps, he said.
Darrell Rigel, a skin cancer resear-
cher and clinical instructor of der-
matology at new York University
Medical Center, called Sober's
research "a very good study."
It and previous studies linking sun-
burn and melanoma provide "pretty
strong circumstantial evidence" for a
link, Rigel said.
COMPILED FROM ASSOCIATED PRESS AND
UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL REPORTS
U.S.-supported rebels say
they bombed American oil rigs
LISBON, Portugal - U.S.-supported Angolan rebels said yesterday
they bonbarded and dynamited key oil installations operated by
American companies in northern Angola, leaving them heavily damaged
and in flames, but a U.S. oil company denied the claim.
A spokesman for the anti-Marxist National Union for the Total In-
dependence of Angola, known as UNITA, said he did not know if there
were any casualties in the attack Monday on the Chevron-Gulf complex
where more thna 100 Americans work,
A Chevron spokesman in San Francisco denied the facility had been at-
"Chevron Corp. yesterday said that it received a report this morning
from its Malongo Base Camp in the Angolan enclave of Cabinda saying
that the base camp has not been attacked," a statement from Chevron
spokesman Larry Shushan said.
Swiss freeze Marcos' assets
BERN, Switzerland - The government yesterday ordered a
"precautionary" freeze on assets in Switzerland linked .to Ferdinand
cos, the deposed president of the Philippines. A top police official said the
move was unprecedented.
The measure blocked "until further notice any assets held by the Mar-
cos family and persons, companies and the like connected with them," an
official announcement from the governing Federal Council said.
The announcement said the order followed indications that attempts
were being made to withdraw some funds linked to Marcos. It did not
provide any details.
Marcos fled the Philippines Feb. 26 during a military-civilian rebellion
that brought Corazon Aquino to power. He is now in Hawaii.
The new Philippine government believes that up to $10 billion was
moved abroad by Marcos and his cronies and that much of it was in Swit-
zerland, which has strict bank secrecy laws. Aquino named a com-
mission to find ways to recover government funds purportedly plundered
during Marcos' rule.
Soviet weapons threaten
U.S. 'edge,' official says
WASHINGTON - The Soviet Union's modernization of its weapons ar-
senal is continuing at such a pace that is "challenging the technological
edge" on which U.S. security depends, Defense Secretary Caspar Wein-
berger said yesterday.
"Soviet modernization has not abated," Weinberger said in releasing
the Pentagon's latest annual assessment of Soviet military power.
"Based on current trends, our projections for the '90's give us no reason
to feel that we can rest in our effort to prevent the Soviets from achieving
a very significant, exploitable military advantage," he said.
"They have more weapons of higher quality and higher capability,"
He released the study, entitled "Soviet Military Power 1986," during a
press conference Tuesday beamed around the world by the U.S. Infor-
"It's not necessary for us to match the Soviet forces in each category
because we rely on our technological leadership to provide systems that
are sufficiently superior so as to offset (their) numerical advantages,"
"But their military has moved increasingly into an era of high
technology, and they're challenging the technological edge on which our
security depends," he added.
NASA to re-examine shuttle
SPACE CENTER, Houston - The new shuttle boss promised NASA
workers yesterday that every element of the spaceship will be re-
examined and, if necessary, redesigned before it flies again, and said
when launches do resume the emphasis will be on "conservative flying."
In addition, Richard Truly, a former astronaut and NASA's associate
administrator for space flight, said in a speech that he will direct a
reassessment of NASA's management, and a redesign by "this nations's
best talent" of the rocket booster suspected of causing the destruction of
the shuttle Challenger.
Space shuttle flights have been suspended since Challenger exploded on
Jan. 28, killing its seven-member crew.
Truly said he could offer no date when flights will resume, or say how
many flights would be planned initially.
Senate rejects budget bill
WASHINGTON - The Senate narrowly rejected yesterday a con-
stitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget, killing by a
single vote a proposal that opponents argued could "grind the gover-
nment to a halt."
The vote was. 66-34, one vote short of the 67 votes - two-thirds of the
Senate's 100 members - needed for approval.
The Senate's vote reversed one taken four years ago, when the chamber
approved a balanced-budget constituional amendment by a vote of 69-31.
A similar proposal in the House that year failed by 66 votes to get the
needed two-thirds margin.
Before the vote was taken, Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, (R-Kan.),
said "it's well to keep in mind a clear majority of this body will vote in
favor of a balanced-budget amendment."
The proposed constitutional amendment, which would have required
Congress to spend no more in a fiscal year than the government collects
in revenues, needed approval by two-thirds of the Senate's 100 members,
and also would have needed approval by two-thirds of House members
and ratified by 38 states.
Vol. XCVI -No. 119
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Surgeon general declares
tobacco, snuff health risks
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WASHINGTON (AP) - The
surgeon general yesterday declared
snuff and chewing tobacco to be "a
significant health risk" that can lead
to addiction and cancer.
Surgeon General C. Everett Koop
said long-time snuff dippers may face
nearly a 50 times greater risk of cancer
of the cheek or gum. He said scientific
evidence has established that snuff
and chewing tobacco are not safe
alternatives to smoking.
"MY message is the same as it is
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with smoking: If you chew, quit. And
if you don't, don't start," Koop told a
"But I would go further with young
people and say that it is not a sign of a
macho personality. It is not a sign of
virility," Koop added. "The white
outline of a circular snuff can showing
through your jeans pocket does not
mean that you.can lick the world."
The report, described as analogous
to the landmark 1964 surgeon
general's report on smoking and
health, concludes that "the oral use of
smokeless tobacco represents a
significant health risk. It is not a safe
substitute for smoking cigarettes. It
can cause cancer and a number of
non-cancerous oral conditions and can
lead to nicotine addiction and depen-
WHILE the number of direct
studies is not large and some have
limitations, the report said, "the pat-
tern of increased oral cancer risk ...
is generally consistent across
studies" and supports "a strongly in-
creased risk of oral cancer, par-
ticularly for the tissues that come in
contact with the tobacco."
Michael Kerrigan, president of the
Smokeless Tobacco Council, the prin-
cipal trade association for the in-
dustry, said further research is
"We don't believe this report has
resolved the scientific controversy,"~
Kerrigan said. "There has not been
any new scientific advances since the
1982 surgeon general's report" on
smoking, which dealt in passing with
smokeless tobacco. That report con-
cluded only that long-term use of snuff
"appears to be a factor" in oral can-
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NEWS STAFF: Eve Becker, Melissa Birks, Laura
Bischoff, Rebecca Blumenstein, Marc Carrel, Dov
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Herz, Mary Chris Jaklevic, Philip Levy, Michael
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kami, Jill Oserowsky, Joe Pigott, Kurt Serbus,
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