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Letters, Feb. 15

Shame on spineless senators

SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! on all the spineless members of our Senate who voted to acquit the former president. SHAME on those Senators for allowing the rabid, racist, terrorist trump followers to violate the Capitol of the United States, terrorizing and brutalizing all therein, to go unpunished.

Even with any federal charges they may face, they are essentially getting away with it. How dare the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, et al., use the chant U-S-A, U-S-A while attempting to destroy the very basis of American democracy and beat people with poles carrying the flag of the USA.

How dare you, Republican senators. The Senate has just disregarded and disrespected true American Patriots. And it will come back to bite us all. SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!

Judith Hirsch


The effectiveness of CPR

As a retired internist and emergency room doctor, I endorse Terri Stewart’s advice that lay persons become trained in CPR (Alarm Box — Tidings, Feb. 3). However, her assertion that CPR in the field for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) has increased survival rate for heart attack victims by 50% is misleading.

The overall prognosis for OHCA victims is poor. In urban centers with networks of trained first responders and state-of-the art hospitals, around 44% survive long enough to be admitted to the hospital. Of those, around 10% are eventually discharged alive after extensive treatment including ICU care. The prognosis is partly determined by the cause of the arrest and the age of the victim.

By age 80, according to a recent study in the Journal of The American Geriatrics Society, the chance of meaningful recovery is nil. Even if you should be discharged alive, the associated neurological injury will leave you cognitively impaired such that resuming the independent life you enjoyed before will be impossible.

The rare miraculous recovery to normal life is why we have EMS and hospital teams standing by. But if you are in your 70s, 80s or 90s, give careful thought when writing your advance directive if you want these heroic measures.

The most likely outcome after OHCA is death. The second most likely is recovery to diminished cognitive and physical capacity, dependent on others for support during your remaining years.

In addition to your advance directive, which should be added to your electronic medical record, discuss with your physician the benefit of the Physician’s Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST). My POLST permits ordinary limited treatments in a hospital for correctable problems, but forbids CPR and intubation. It has been scanned into my medical record and registered with the Oregon POLST Registry. It is legally enforceable.

William (Bill) Southworth, M.D.


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