* I would like to share a glimpse of the human side of an outpatient clinic at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. I accompany my son, who is a mentally retarded adult, and a staff escort from his group home when he is monitored at the hematology clinic for remission from Hodgkin's disease. With each semiannual checkup, I have the happy realization that at this clinic, the dedicated doctors and the helpful support staff practice enlightened human values as well as state-of-the-art medical care.
The hematology clinic is one of the few outpatient clinics of our County-USC Medical Center that was not dismantled during the recent fiscal chaos. This was largely due to the tireless efforts of Dr. Alexandra M. Levine, chief of the division of hematology and professor of medicine at USC.
I have been especially impressed that my son has received all the standard treatments and has been given the same necessary procedures as patients who were not mentally retarded, even back in 1977, before equal rights were an accepted reality for men and women with developmental disabilities.
The clinic staff provides a circle of support, while the supervising doctor is warm and responsive to him, healing with every interaction. The doctor has consistently treated the whole person, not only the illness.