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Letters to the Editor

I am a member of the chemistry support staff stationed on the third floor of Building 4. A succession of bicyclists, in-line skaters, and the occasional skateboarder pass my door in the course of each day. Not a few of them seem convinced that they are on the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge (my favorite was the 'boarder who did his speeding while wearing a Walkman). I have considered constructing speed bumps and passing them off as a hack, but the pedestrians might get hurt, as the lighting isn't so hot up on 3.

I have no problem with these alternative modes of transportation when I find them on the streets and sidewalks of Boston and Cambridge [insert usual disclaimer regarding safe operation and due regard for accepted rules of conduct]. They are convenient, nonpolluting, and good exercise. However, wheeled "vehicles" - be they in-line skates or Harleys - are inappropriate for indoor use. Once inside, walk the bike, change to Nikes, carry the board. It's as much a courtesy to the community (no matter how oblivious they sometimes are) as a safety issue.

Therese A. King

Administrative Assistant

Weinberg's Statements Were Inaccurate

The Tech received a copy of this letter addressed to MIT Medical Director Dr. Arnold Weinberg.

There are some glaring inaccuracies in your statements quoted in the Dec. 8 issue of The Tech ["Stab Victim Faced Wait for Treatment"]. I feel these statements must addressed.

First, you state that I was evaluated to make sure the injury was not life threatening, and that I "was in absolutely no danger." This statement implies that the physician could tell my life was not in danger, so it was all right for me to sit there. However, when I got to MGH, doctors there immediately began multiple IV's and used a CAT scan to determine whether or not there was bleeding in any intemal organs. They then kept me for observation until Sunday aftemoon. I do not believe you can seriously suggest that with a few minutes and a stethoscope the MIT Medical Center physician was able to say with certainty that everything was fine.

Next you say that I was "Drunk and abusive when he demanded to get into the Medical Center," and the nurse who let the "two young men in" was afraid of us, so she called the Campus Police. Let us please get some basic facts straight. There were three of us, not two. More importantly, the statement that we were drunk is blatantly false. Sean had had absolutely nothing to drink all night. I had three beers in two and a half hours. This does not by any measure constitute intoxication in a 255-pound man.

Next, I was not demanding to get in. The man who drove us there demanded that the nurse open the door when she continued to question him after he explained that there were two students with knife wounds who needed treatment. He became frustrated at what he perceived to be incompetence on her part. He simply wanted to see something being done about his friends, which I think is understandable. I said nothing until a CP asked if I had been stabbed, which I thought was self-evident. I answered, "Yes." In what way does that constitute abuse?

I can understand that the nurse may well have been frightened by an unfamiliar situation that involved two bleeding men, but I deliberately remained calm to facilitate some sort of treatment. I can back this up with statements from guests at our house that night and from two nurses at MG* who "couldn't believe how calm" I was. The statement that I was hard to manage because of these things is so blatantly untrue as to make me wonder where this information comes from.

You seem to have completely missed the point of why I spoke to The Tech. I was attempting to point out possible areas in which the preparedness and organization of our medical facility may be lacking. The Med Center is advertised as a 24-hour emergency facility. If this is to be the case, I believe some improvements should be made. If it is not the case, the community should not be led to believe that it is. I made my statements in the hope that they would be taken into consideration, so that if something similar or worse happens, it may be handled in a more organized and efficient manner.

Instead of this, you are disputing facts and making the situation into some sort of confrontation between the Medical Department and the victims of an assault. In so doing, you are adding more evidence to support the general student impression that the Medical Center is insensitive to their needs and incapable of offering the student body the quality of service it should.

I hope you can handle the situation in a more mature way than you have thus far, and at least take my statements into consideration. Please stop trying to deny any possible mistake or poor organization on the Med Center's part with the knee-jerk reaction of making personal attacks on me, and handle this situation like the responsible medical professional you are.

John P. Olynyk '94