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ANSWER ING 0,0441144, eetitt SER VICE KATHLEEN O’CONNELL P.O. BOX 3005 477-8278 AUSTIN, D\( 78764 Our outstanding lunches have been an Austin must for eleven years. Our international grocery features food and wine from around . the world. Come see us at our new home. 1610 San Antonio Austin, Tex. 78701 472-1900 Hours: 7am 7pm Mon. to Fri. and 8am 6pm on Sat Life Insurance and Annuities Martin Elfant, CLU 4223 Richmond, Suite 213, Houston, TX 77027 Sytife author of the indigent health care bill, Lena Guerrero, Paul Colbert, Ernestine Glossbrenner, and Al Luna, among 49 others. I felt that the planning component of the Health Facilities Commission was necessary to help contain rising health care costs. Others felt differently, and Mr. Perlin obviously was one of them. Oddly enough, during that same session, we had a whole package of nursing home reform legislation. In reviewing my votes on those issues, I find that they were consistent in support of better care for nursing home patients. I voted for disclosure to patients’ families of any complaints against a nursing home, for certification and training of nursing home aides, for an emergency services fund for residents of nursing homes that are closed for violations, for whistleblower protection for nursing home employees who report abuse or neglect of patients, and to require damages for contract-care violations in an effort to deter violations. I really don’t know why Mr. Perlin is upset with Rep. Thompson. She and I voted differently on the health facilities commission bill. Throughout the years I’ve served with Senfronia, I have certainly known her to be committed to improving services for the poor, the elderly, and those in need. I have a great deal of respect for her. I do find it puzzling why Amy Johnson’s very good article \(TO, few women in office in Texas should engender an attack upon me and Rep. Thompson. We’re the only two women in the 34-member Harris County delegation, but I guess two are too many for some. Debra Danburg State Representative Houston Let Them Stew I enjoy reading your newspaper and always appreciate a look at the other side of the coin which you deliver. After reading “Austin’s Lost City” \(TO, As a former Travis County Deputy Sheriff assigned to the Montopolis area I can truly say the area’s inhabitants have turned living off the state into a new art form. Studies of multi-problem families show that many of those being supported by the taxpayer are people who didn’t bother to learn when they were in school, didn’t bother to obtain job skills or work experience afterwards, and often don’t bother to obey the law either. There are consequences to this kind of behavior. The social meddlers are trying to force the rest of society to pay the consequences along with the people of Montopolis. I’m for letting them stew in their own juices. They always seems to have funds for dancing and playing around. Jim Cline Beeville Death and Texas “The Modern Way of Dying” \(TO, issue in our society, but because it is a review of Daniel Callahan’s book it fails to include some very important issues in connection with the problem addressed. Changes in public policy are undoubtedly needed, but we in Texas already have a means of providing for a sensible and dignified way of dying for ourselves and our loved ones, under some conditions, if we will but use what is available. The Texas Natural Death Act allows an individual to direct a physician to allow natural death to proceed without the use of artificial or mechanical means to sustain vital functions only to postpone the moment of death. The directive becomes effective upon certification by two physicians that the patient is in an incurable and terminal condition and is an expression of one’s legal right to refuse medical or surgical treatment and accept the consequences of such refusal. Forms on which this directive is to be executed may be secured from the Texas Medical Association, 1801 N. Lamar, Austin, TX 78701. Even more thoughtful and humane actions regarding planning for death may be taken by securing full informa tion from the Austin Memorial and Burial Information Society, P.O. Box 3282, Austin, 78765. In return for a permanent membership fee of $10, an individual or family gets full information about burial, cremation, and/or donation of body and body parts; price information on local funeral establishments and cemeteries; suggestions about death observances that maintain dignity and simplicity; and information about the Texas Natural Death Act and Hospice programs. Information is provided to encourage determination well in advance of the procedures and observances one wishes to have implemented; also forms for sharing this determination with all those who come into play at the time of death are provided. Similar societies exist in Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Lubbock, and San Antonio. The Modern Way of Dying is certainly in need of public attention and development of public policy to influence it. But, like many such problems, some partial solutions are already available for those who have the information and initiative to take action to see that their wishes are carried out. Frank L. Wright Austin East Dallas Printing Company Full Service Union Printing 211 S. Peak Dallas, Tx 75226 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5