It seems that one either gets used to Living Without the Pill (Cover, March 15) or dies taking it. I had no idea of its many side effects. Too bad I had to be a user for three years. Now my problem is what lies ahead! —CHRISTINE PICHE,
I object to your use of anecdotes (e.g., a woman who developed blood clots in one eye) without supplying any other information (what other drugs was she taking?) and without commenting on the occurrence of this problem in nonusers of the Pill. —JANE AMBEAU,
Certainly the Pill is not for everyone. The risks are well documented. The woman over 30 who wishes to avoid childbearing but does not consider it a disaster might be much better off with an alternative contraceptive method. On the other hand, the sexually active adolescent really doesn’t have much to choose from. —RALPH SURE, MD,
Accusations of police force
Your article Ch arges of Mayhem on the Beat (Justice, March 15) was very disturbing. While the use of minimum force by police in emergency situations may be acceptable, the Gestapo-like conduct is outrageous. It is also ridiculous that anyone in this country should
be prevented from initiating a complaint against the police by being threatened with a charge of creating a public nuisance.
— A.W. PATERSON, Niagara Falls, Ont.
Citizens deserve and should demand all the respect and protection of the law, but let us not forget that police are due the same respect and protection.
Smiths Falls, Ont.
Your story impugned the judicial system for not convicting more police officers. The fact that most criminal charges laid against police officers are dismissed, and the fact that the Metro-
politan Toronto Police have successfully won about 50 malicious prosecution actions indicate that many complainants are liars. Yet your story seeks to convince your readers that the judicial system fails when a police officer is acquitted of a criminal offence.
—JANE EGAN, Metropolitan Legal Department, Toronto
Global news: not a weak showing
In your People section of March 22, you said that Global hopes that the signing of Jan Tennant will bolster its “weak showing against CBLT’s leading news team of Fraser Kelly and Valerie Elia.” Global News does not have a weak showing against CBLT in either the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement (BBM) ratings or Nielsen. For example, in the winter of 1980 between 6:00 and 6:30 p.m. we had only a 3 rating point compared to CBLT’s 7 in theToronto-Hamilton market. In the winter of 1982 BBM book, we had doubled to 6, whereas they were static at 7. In the Nielsen (Toronto-Hamilton market) we have increased from 5 in winter 1980 to 7 in winter 1982, whereas CBLT has decreased from 11 to 9. In other words, we —like CITYTV—continue to grow at CBLT’s expense. Our growth in ratings outside of the Toronto market in the past two years has been even greater than our growth in Toronto-Hamilton.
— RAYMOND HEARD, Vice-President, News and Current Affairs, Global Television Network, Toronto
Unwilling mothers, unwanted children
Thank goodness some press space is again being given to the belief that abortion should be a personal, private matter of a woman and those she chooses to include in her decision (Opting for the Right to End Life, Podium, March 8). I am tired of seeing posters of childless toys weeping.
How about a poster depicting thousands of children weeping because of physical and mental abuse and neglect?
How can we justify bringing unwanted children into a society that still has not found a way of protecting the rights
and dignity of the children already
Marian Engel’s belief that where abortions are concerned we are justified in sacrificing morality for reality overlooks the possibility that there is nothing morally wrong with abortion. Engel makes the fundamental error of confusing human life, which is merely biological, with humanity, which is of infinite value and deserving of every moral consideration. Fetuses are biologically human but are entirely lacking in the hopes, dreams, fears and expectations that give us our humanity. Truly, as beings deserving of moral consideration, it is as if they have not yet been conceived. —LOIS PINEAU,
While Marian Engel makes a good case for unwilling mothers, surely the dispatch of the unborn is not a civilized answer to the problem. Rather, if women ensured that their governments, as a matter of priority, produced a safe and long-term contraceptive, the funand-consequences syndrome need no longer apply. —CHARLES SURTEES,
New hope for cancer victims
The March 1 article A Renegade Doctor With a Cancer Cure accurately and honestly brings to the surface a man, Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, who has a legitimate claim to something that works on victims of certain types of cancer. We brought our mother to Burzynski’s clinic in Houston to save her life. Because she was almost dead when we found out about Dr. Burzynski, we were not successful. What we did achieve, however, was nine weeks of painless, concentrated life for mother. She left this earth knowing that other cancer victims in Canada have one thing that they will now be able to share—hope.
—CAMERON FRYE, Tecumseh, Ont.
Nkomo should have gone quietly
The dismissal of Joshua Nkomo was not only overdue but very desirable (An Uneasy Alliance Splits, World, March 1). No prime minister in his right mind would keep disloyal ministers in government, particularly if he had a majority in Parliament and those disloyal ministers belonged to another party. There is no doubt that Nkomo’s final dismissal by Robert Mugabe is a very popular move in Zimbabwe, and it is refreshing for us ZANU members to see that man go. Notice the venom he uttered when he knew that the ZANU
government was fed up with his blind pursuit of undeserved power. Ministers are supposed to be decent enough to go quietly. —DONNAN GWASHU,
Archetypal cowboy with spurs
In the mythic sense, the people of OldsDidsbury voted for the archetypal cowboy, Gordon Kesler, a North American knight on a high-priced cow horse, whose mission will be to ride into the legislature and do battle in the name of God, free enterprise and the right (A Shout of Western Protest, Canada, March 1). And what did they get? They got a man who wants to take medicare out of the hands of government and then establish a multilevel review board to examine pricing, competition and service levels. They got a man who believes in free enterprise and antitrust legislation with some teeth in it. Ronald Reagan with spurs. Kesler can thank the CBC, Maclean ’s and others who gave western separatism an audience and fuelled the most dangerous political party and set of non-ideas in Canadian political history. —SIMON VANDYNE,
If the federal government thinks that it has nothing to lose in the way of parliamentary seats as a result of the change it intends to make to the “Crow rate” (At Last, ‘The Crow Must Go,’ Canada, Feb. 22), it is in for a big surprise over the next few months. My prediction is that the spark ignited at Olds-Didsbury will rapidly develop into a prairie fire that will engulf all of Western Canada. Then the number of federal parliamentary seats held by westerners will be not only irrelevant but completely unnecessary. Fed up? You bet we are.
— CARL WILKE, Yellow Grass, Sask.
Still a place for the couch
As a psychotherapist who trained under the supervision of Dr. Habib Davanloo for two years, I can attest to the effectiveness of brief psychodynamic psychotherapy. However, in reference to your excellent article Prime Time for Short-term Therapies (Behavior, March l),you should know that patients are carefully selected to meet certain criteria before being treated. It is not the treatment of choice for every patient or client. There is still a viable place for the long-term psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapies and psychoanalysis. —ROBERT ENRIGHT,
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