Go with common sense

In the June 2 news story, "At peace: Gentry succumbs to ALS," The Hook quotes Dr. Karen Schwenzer, chair of the committee, as saying that a patient with a terminal illness is "willing to try anything" and is therefore "vulnerable."

When rules interfere with common sense, common sense should take precedence.

If a person is definitely going to die, no matter what, it certainly is not right to exploit him or her– nor is it right to deny him or her a chance to perhaps live a bit better or longer. As long as Dr. Bennett's intent was to help ALS patients (rather than, say, just do research at their expense as was done years ago on black syphilis patients), he should have been allowed to continue what looked to be a very helpful study.

The crux of the matter is Dr. Bennett's intentions. He wanted to help people who have no hope. The possible benefits surely outweigh the risks– and there's nothing unethical about that.

Marlene A. Condon



Holiday 36