Letters | 4-12-14


Please be responsible and objective

I am disappointed in West Hawaii Today for succumbing to the media witch hunt of Dr. John Stover, prosecuting him in the press based on innuendo and statements not necessarily based on fact. Stover is an excellent physician who has helped tens of thousands of patients on the Big Island. Unfortunately, negative outcomes do sometimes occur — with all doctors — and not because the doctor has necessarily done anything wrong.

Stover is one of the only oral surgeons on this island who treats Medicaid patients, all of whom can be considered high risk. He offers these patients the same care and respect he offers his paying patients. He does this because he feels that taking care of the less fortunate is part of his responsibility as a member of the Big Island community.

Anytime someone goes under anesthesia — whether on a hospital operating table or in an oral surgeon’s chair — there are inherent risks. People sign forms acknowledging all these risks. These risks can be exacerbated by a number of factors: pre-existing or undiagnosed illness or disease, smoking, history of drug or alcohol use, and drug allergies.

We don’t know what the facts are in this — or any other — case. Patient privacy laws prohibit doctors from releasing any information about their patients. This means anyone can make accusations about a doctor and the doctor cannot defend himself.

I ask that the media be responsible and objective in presenting information to the public.

Mary Stewart

Waimea

Helmets should be compulsory

We have just returned from a wonderful, first-ever trip to Hawaii. One thing which startled me, however, is the lack of compulsory helmets for either bicyclists or motorcyclists. Both are required here in British Columbia.

As a medical social worker, I am aware of the catastrophic outcomes of head injuries. Please consider protecting your cyclists.

Shirley Cohn

Burnaby, British Columbia