Heart of the Matter

Two important issues need to be addressed regarding the article "A Heartfelt Revolution" by Lynn Simross (Dec. 3). The subject was heart transplants at UCLA Medical Center.

First, the long, stressful hours of the two coordinators of the heart transplant program, sometimes working 20-hour days and occasionally having to stay awake and functioning at the hospital for three days straight, does not a mentally competent, safely functioning individual make. When considering the monumental responsibilities of the coordinators as Simross related, the obvious expectation would be that the calmest, best prepared, most alert individuals would be in that position and that such an optimum state of functioning would be at all times assured.

Further such dangerous, inappropriate scheduling of coordination positions obviously contributes to the shut-out of other talented individuals who could be employed and trained to share the responsibilities of the coordinator role.

There are those of us who know well that there is a wide range of competent individuals out here who only need the proper preparation to step in and share the forward march of scientific progress. The health care field does not need any more over-worked, stressed-out kings and queens. It's both dangerous and discriminatory.



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