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Questions about the coroner’s inquest

To the editor:

I’ve always been curious. Is the coroner’s inquest just a rubber stamp?

In your Friday story, “Officer outlines critical situation,” a witness and an officer involved in Erik Scott’s shooting said he pointed his pistol at the officer. This should justify the shooting. End of story.

The problem arose when I continued reading your story, which states, “Police recovered Scott’s .45 caliber handgun, in its holster, from the ground near where he fell.’

Did Scott put his pistol back in his holster after being shot seven times? Did anyone conducting this inquest question these two facts?

Arthur Cesare

Las Vegas

Tragic death

To the editor:

I am deeply sorry for the family, officers and everyone else involved in the tragic death of Erik Scott.

After the medical examiner’s testimony reporting a potentially lethal level of prescription pain killers in Scott’s blood, I am angry. Angry that our health care system is such a mess, angry that seeking psychological help is still seen as “mental weakness” and yes, I am angry at Scott.

Dr. Klein tried to help Scott but stated he was “unable to afford her services.” Why could he not afford her services? Why could he not afford a psychological evaluation that she believed would help him? He was employed, young, “dedicated to daily exercise and eating well” as described by Dr. Gnoyski as well as “working 60 hours per week.”

Physical therapy and psychological services often require several visits. Even though these services are a normal part of treating pain they are “extra health care costs.” That means you have to pay for them out of your pocket.

The cost of health care in this country is out of control. Regardless of your view of the new health care plan ask yourself if you could afford those needed services.

Dr. Gnyoski called Scott “a pseudo-addict, someone who appears to be an addict but is just trying to find relief for their intense pain.” I am certain these physicians were doing their best to help Scott. Drs. Klein, Gnyoski and Kim work in an environment where they are asked to decide not only who is in pain and how much, but who really needs these drugs and who is just drug seeking. They set rules for patients to follow for sound medical reasons.

These are powerful medications with potentially severe complications not to mention accidental death. Scott had drug tolerance and admits in e-mails to having depression. I have wondered aloud many times how many deaths ruled suicide when prescription drugs are involved are actually just an attempt to temporarily escape debilitating pain that results in death.

I am very angry that Scott decided to increase his pain medication and doctor-shop to get what he thought would help him. That action alone affects thousands of people, myself included, who seek medical treatment for intense chronic pain every year in this country. Many doctors refuse to prescribe pain medications. Scott was not using his medications as prescribed, may have been seeing multiple doctors or obtaining pain medication from friends or family.

Depression or any type of psychological evaluation is stigmatized as “mental weakness” regardless of the overwhelming evidence of brain chemical imbalance. Chronic pain and depression are partners. I hope this tragedy shines a bright light on depression and the abuse of prescription medications. Chronic pain is no fun, but it is manageable with the help of great doctors like those named above.

Scott had secrets and regardless of who pulled the trigger, those secrets ultimately killed him.

Cynthia Grant

Henderson

University fees

To the editor:

In response to Len Kreisler’s recent letter urging the university system to raise tuition:

Mr. Kreisler hardly understands that people in Nevada are struggling to pay for tuition as it is — and that a tuition increase would only cause further damage to the social structure of this wonderful city. By increasing tuition, the Nevada system of higher education would lower domestic attendance and essentially lessen the opportunities that Las Vegans have in regard to employment in the long run.

Yes, it’s true that Las Vegans generally pay less for college tuition, but the reality is that Las Vegans also have less options in regard to their education. While I certainly believe that tuition must be based partly on the value of the education being offered, I also believe that in situations in which there are limited options, education costs must be monitored to ensure that everyone with the desire to learn and the intellect to pursue such a desire has an opportunity to do so.

Mr. Kreisler needs to think about the well being of the city and the benefits of higher education rather than saving a buck for residents of Nevada.

Vahid Saatchi

Henderson

In house

To the editor:

Why do we always need to go outside of our community to find a new superintendant for our schools (“Candidate gets Dallas offer,” Friday Review-Journal)?

We spend a lot of money paying others to find us somebody, rather than taking a serious look at the many qualified educators working within our existing school district.

We need to consider people who live and work here in our state and know and understand what is right and wrong with our schools, rather than go out of state and attempt to hire rejects from other school districts.

Is it because if the new one doesn’t work out then those decision-makers can run and hide?

What am I missing?

R.A. Salter

Henderson

 

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