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Schumacher a feeler, not a thinker

To the editor:

Once again, the Review-Journal’s Geoff Schumacher doesn’t let us down. His columns never fail to amuse or agitate thinking readers.

His Sunday Viewpoints column condemning the NRA and gun ownership in general for the spate of teenage killers roaming our streets is in line with his usual handwringing, liberal pap. His vapid, emotional reaction to gun violence is to condemn the gun as the culprit.

One becomes weary in pointing out that guns in the hands of citizens are actually a deterrent to violent crime. This documented argument has been made clearly and precisely over and over again. Oh well, to hell with facts, let’s just spout fuzzy, feel good twaddle, eh what Mr. Schumacher?

If one had wished to read a cogent, intelligent treatise on the subject, he had merely to scan down the page Sunday to find the Vin Suprynowicz column. Thank you, Review-Journal for carrying his astute commentaries. Yes, it is infinitely more constructive, though more difficult, to think than to feel.

Ernie Mathews

HENDERSON

Let the state punish

To the editor:

It did not take long for the personal injury law firms to sink their teeth into the current medical malpractice event occurring in Las Vegas, as a result of health-threatening practices at several gastroenterology clinics in the valley (March 6 Review-Journal).

At issue for these firms, however, is the state’s $350,000 cap on punitive damages, enacted to keep doctors in the state from fleeing due to unaffordable medical malpractice coverage.

Medical malpractice is defined as care below the level that the profession considers standard for the practice involved. The liability involved covers the costs of subsequent health care along with that which is defined as pain and suffering. Generally it can be stated that doctors liable for malpractice did not act knowingly to harm. In other words, intent is not at issue. The damages are the result of substandard care, i.e., “poor doctoring.”

Punitive damages, on the other hand, are levied as a penalty or fine to punish and deter further wrongdoing. Punitive damages may make sense in the world outside of medicine, but the profession of medicine transcends that of everyday business. The practice of medicine is not analogous to Ford producing the Pinto and accepting the fact that profits would exceed damage awards as a result of same. For a doctor to knowingly, and with an indirect intent, harm, with a motive of profits, there is and there must be a higher, more punitive law than civil law.

Here is where the legal profession has it wrong. In its attempt to drain the medical malpractice insurers of its obscene share of damage awards, for generally little if any more work than the mailing of a demand letter, the legal profession demonstrates its own pecuniary motives, and those motives are not in the best interests of its clients.

Given the position of the medical profession, when acts rise to the level at which punitive awards are brought into question, it should be the state and its criminal law code that spring into action to protect the public and to punish and deter further wrongdoing.

Having civil personal injury attorneys in charge of such proceedings is akin to having the fox guarding the hen house.

Jack L. Kane

LAS VEGAS

Gift cards

To the editor:

Friday’s Review-Journal editorial on the gift card market was distressingly accurate. It is amazing to me that in the modern retail climate, consumers still have so little official protection in the event of gift card loss, expiration and retailer bankruptcy.

To address this concern, last year my business partner and I created a free Web site that for the first time puts customers in control of their gift card assets. On LeverageCard.com, users can register their gift cards to ensure that cards from participating retailers never expire or depreciate. Furthermore, cards registered on the site actually earn interest over time, and all balances can be swapped with other users at no cost.

In light of the recent Sharper Image bankruptcy, we have also instated a bankruptcy insurance policy, which guarantees that all gift cards with a verifiable balance purchased through Leverage can be exchanged for a gift card of the same value from the Web site’s network in the event of bankruptcy.

JENNIFER MATHE

IRVINE, CALIF.

THE WRITER IS CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER OF LEVERAGE INC.

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