Editor’s Column – January 2005

We want your thoughts and new plans for 2005. One thing we would really like is to have a better […]

We want your thoughts and new plans for 2005. One thing we would really like is to have a better understanding of our demographics and what you, the readers, like about the paper. What would you like to see changed or added? So, in the next few months you’ll be seeing surveys and questionnaires that need to be filled out. Please take the time to fill them out. There will be gifts given for participation. We will all benefit in the long run.

It seems as though Mai Thor shorted the outreach count by about 400 in last month voting article. Mai said, “It’s really not a big deal, but the work was important, and it would be good for the public to know the actual numbers.”

Anne Henry reminded us in her article that the governor believes we have a “health care spending problem.” We may have a health care spending problem but cutting programs is not the answer. It will take looking far beyond the next two years and into the next 20 years. It will take years before we’ll see the real ramifications of cutting many of these health-care spending programs. How do we want to treat our most vulnerable? How are we going to treat the newly disabled veterans?

Recently I took a class that focused on the question “what is the meaning of an educated person?” One of the assets that most of the class believed necessary was the ability to undergo critical thinking processes. What is critical thinking? There is no one right answer to this question; critical thinking is a combination of many thought processes that result in an improvement or deterioration in the state of affairs. It is the ability to take in new information, analyze and determine the quality and validity of the new information. A critical thinker would then synthesize that information and uses it as a comparable for use in other circumstances. Was the effect of using this newly gained knowledge an upgrade or downgrade in the state of affairs and was the upgrade or improvement large enough to warrant the time, energy and expense of this process? The next step in critical thinking is determining whether the improvement or upgrade in the understanding, circumstances or incident would benefit the whole society. If not, ethically one should not proceed, but if it is proven to be the improvement for all society ethically then one must proceed. Now, I bet your wondering where am I going with this? Well, I was thinking that if our legislators are educated people and are good critical thinkers why do they have such a hard time determining the right thing for society as a whole?

Detroit Medical Center will be opening a rehab center this summer unlike any other center in the United States. Dr. Steven Hinderer, director of the new recovery center will almost exclusively be doing follow-up research on surgeries being done in China and Portugal. Both countries are doing different approaches with olfactory cells, harvested from above the inner ridge of the nasal passages, which have shown to be capable of rejuvenating the spinal cord. In an article in the Detroit Free Press by Patricia Anstett dated Dec.13th; two Detroiters have already had this procedure and according to Dr. Hinderer, “Their progress way exceeds my expectations. Both procedures are new and promising, but are not yet studied well enough to understand the benefits and risks of the operations.” Is this just another “get your hopes up for a miracle we have all heard a million times”. I don’t know? I would like to see some of these studies talking about increasing hand and dexterity function, control of incontinence or stem cell for healing pressure sores. We will keep you updated on the results of these new procedures.