editorials

robin williams’ gift

November, 2015|0 Comments

To the Editor of The New York Times: Re “Widow Cites Dementia in Suicide of Williams” (Arts pages, Nov. 4), in which Susan Schneider Williams discusses the various health challenges the comedian Robin Williams faced: The extraordinary Robin Williams has given us yet another extraordinary gift: an urgent invitation to discuss one of the most challenging medical and ethical issues of our time. What do we do with knowledge of our futures, especially when clouded by the likely emergence of dreaded medical disorders? As we enter a new era of [...]

empathy inequality

February, 2015|0 Comments

To the Editor of The New York Times: Re "Where's the Empathy" by Nicholas Kristof: The empathy gap depicted by Nicholas Kristof is an ugly attitude of blaming, projection and distortion, yet even more complex and malignant than we might easily recognize. This gap perversely intensifies, as does the inequality that fuels it. Many of us, quick to feel the terrible injustice of a society that helps destroy lives like Kevin Green’s, harbor within ourselves another kind of empathy failure. We vilify the wealthy, the economically privileged, that 1 percent. In [...]

dialogue with the wealthy

February, 2015|0 Comments

To the Editor of The New York Times: Re “A Family Office for the Superrich, and Lessons for the Less Wealthy" by Paul Sullivan (Wealth Matters column, Feb. 15): It is not an easy time to be wealthy. On some level, a laughable problem. But in this era when everyone from the pope, to our president, to Nobel Prize-winning economists deem income inequality to be among the most pressing and potentially divisive issues of our era, all sorts of ugly sentiments about the wealthy have risen to the surface. The wealthy [...]

response to nobel laureate heckman on early childhood development

September, 2013|0 Comments

To the Editor of The New York Times: James J. Heckman suggests that “unfounded doubt and fear of doing things differently” are the primary deterrents to radical change in our investment in early childhood education. The neuroscience of early childhood development, however, suggests another factor: old brains. It is far more difficult for a member of Congress to integrate new ways of thinking and doing than it is to effect positive transformation in the very young children whose futures are dependent on our representatives’ votes. While neuroplasticity, the capacity for [...]

how sandy could affect the election

November, 2012|0 Comments

To the Editor of The New York Times: Government is a social contract. It has been working brilliantly in this week of Hurricane Sandy. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's endorsement of President Obama's re-election based on his environmental stance is a powerful reminder that this contract must ultimately extend beyond city, state and even national borders. We are one global citizenry. Let's start acting like one. RONNIE S. STANGLER in Response to Storm Propels Bloomberg Into Obama's Corner  published New York Times November 2, 2012

response to the new york times on sanctions for penn state

August, 2012|0 Comments

To the Sports Editor of The New York Times: Although the N.C.A.A. punishment is significant in terms of financial repercussions for Penn State, a critical question is whether such consequences serve the most constructive purpose. It would be heartening if some of the money were earmarked for education, prevention and clinical research in sexual abuse. That would be a fitting and therapeutic legacy to counter the egregious behavior of a huge community of so-called educators, who, even if not directly involved, participated in victimization by their silence. RONNIE  S. STANGLER [...]

response to new york times in defense of antidepressants

July, 2011|0 Comments

To the Editor of The New York Times: Dr. Procci’s advice is for the depressed patient to identify the ethical caregiver. That is not so simple in a medical care system that denies access, limits complex consultation, and rewards technology and procedures. Questions about the efficacy of antidepressants are but one chapter in a larger moral and social tale without clear answers. Except perhaps one: the medical system we have today plainly does not work. What to do next is far more challenging than listening to Prozac. RONNIE S. STANGLER [...]

response to new york times about system failure on terrorism profiling

December, 2009|0 Comments

To the Editor of The New York Times: Yesterday, returning from Vancouver, Canada, to Seattle, I sat in a 90-minute line of automobiles at United States Customs. Profiling is a primary mechanism for terrorism deterrence at such borders. Airline passengers concealing minute amounts of explosives present different challenges from drivers, who could be ferrying weapons hidden in car trunks with the intent of destroying downtown Seattle buildings. Nonetheless, yesterday’s customs officials did not appear to be primarily focused on detection of “bad things.” Intelligent and strategic interrogation of drivers and [...]

how heart disease and depression are linked

June, 2003|0 Comments

To the Editor of The New York Times: ''Your Zoloft Might Prevent a Heart Attack,'' by Peter D. Kramer (Week in Review, June 23), and ''More Americans Seeking Help for Depression'' (front page, June 18) address an emerging understanding of the two-way relationship between heart disease and depression. We know that depression occurs as a complication in 25 percent of heart attack victims; depression is also associated with a profoundly negative cardiac course, tripling or quadrupling the rate of heart attack recurrence and cardiac death. While the annual cost of [...]

mental health, on equal terms

November, 2001|0 Comments

To the Editor of The New York Times: After reading ''Furious Lobbying Is Set Off by Bill on Mental Health'' (front page, Nov. 6), I received an e-mail from a former patient, a kind and gentle young woman. She said her sister had received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, as has she, and was involuntarily hospitalized for three weeks. A day after being discharged, the woman, still despondent, took her own life with her father's gun. Despite all the awareness about the powerful impact of emotions stimulated by the Sept. [...]

answering cries for help: guest column in the seattle times

July, 2001|0 Comments

answering cries for help  by Ronnie S. Stangler, M.D. Guest Columnist to the Seattle Times/Special to The Seattle Times Carol M. Ostrom's front-page story about Martha Silano, Langdon Cook and their baby boy, Riley, was deeply disturbing. The aftermath of Group Health Cooperative's refusal to reimburse the majority of medical treatment for Silano's devastating postpartum psychosis has produced a sad irony. This family demonstrates far more intelligence, generosity and courage than the system of care that refused to support their medical treatment. Silano and Cook have assumed the burden of [...]

response to frank rich on shootings and mental illness

August, 1998|0 Comments

To the Editor of The New York Times: Frank Rich's eloquent plea for a sane and meaningful response to the shootings at the Capitol (column, July 29) should be required reading for every member of Congress. Mental illness is identifiable and treatable. Our society deserves the benefits of compassionate care. We pay either way. We can either support a culture of unemployable, homeless or imprisoned, untreated mentally ill or we can pay for psychiatric treatment and social support. RONNIE S. STANGLER, M.D. The writer is a former president, Washington State [...]