A dangerous 'conscience rule' | Column, June 10
Don't interfere with living wills
Kim Callinan's column about the new "conscience rule" that the U.S. Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights just announced alarms me. With this ruling, the government is essentially telling medical institutions that it's fine to disregard the living wills of patients. Advance directives lay out the wishes of individuals for when they near the end of life. My own living will states my values and end-of-life wishes because I do not want to be subjected to painful and useless medical interventions if my condition is terminal. My family supports my wishes, and the living will I have signed is clear as to what medical treatment I want and don't want.
I can accept that some medical employees hold religious beliefs that may conflict with my directives. I cannot accept, however, that their beliefs are more important than mine when it comes to decisions about my own health care.
I find it unconscionable and unacceptable that this mandate can legally protect a doctor or other employee who not only refuses to follow my living will, but even refuses to refer my case to another professional.
Anne Burnham, Palm Harbor
President Trump: He'd 'want to hear' foreign dirt on 2020 rivals | June 13
It's time to impeach now
Up until today, I have been on the fence about impeachment. President Donald Trump's latest statement — his invitation to other nations to interfere in our 2020 election — is the factor that finally moved me. Trump needs to be impeached, and I implore House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to abandon her measured response. While it's clear that he will not be convicted by the Republican Senate and that his base will buy into his typical "Poor me, I'm the victim," moderate Republicans and independents will remember next November if the Democrats do not act on an impeachment inquiry now.
Susan Nigro, St. Petersburg
South Korea agencies can't confirm Kim brother as CIA source | TampaBay.com, June 11
An unbelievable bromance
President Donald Trump has announced that he just received a warm letter from Kim Jong Un, apparently reaffirming their unalterable bromance. Shortly thereafter, a reporter asked about the CIA's alleged ties to the North Korean leader's half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, whom he had assassinated with a nerve agent at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2017. Trump replied that he would not sanction recruiting a spy so close to the North Korean despot. The president's statement doubtlessly astounded CIA employees.
Fred Kalhammer, Sun City Center
Board backs change for school mascots | June 13
Move past offensive mascots
American Indian-themed mascots for schools and sport teams are insulting to Native Americans. Disagree? Then suppose you are a Jewish man and you turn on the TV to see a ballgame and running around the field is a caricature of a man wearing a yarmulke and the team name is the Tampa Bay Jews. How would you feel? We are growing beyond stereotypes. Let's change with the times.
Anthony Abbate, Valrico