Letters to the Editor: Saturday, Feb. 2, 2024

Credit: NYT

Credit: NYT

The Supreme Court has a problem. Should the Court allow censorship on privately owned media or not? Is it an invasion of free speech to censor private companies? Is it right to have the public exposed to untrue comments? Should the government set guidelines or can we trust private companies to set their own guidelines? To censure free speech is very dangerous, but to allow misinformation on public media is equally dangerous. As reliable and diminishing of good press and TV reporting becomes more of a problem, should government guidelines be established? Well, maybe. To address all of the above, I believe the government should set MINIMUM guidelines; I believe each company should pause the publication of any material until it has passed at least one fact check, then the article should be allowed along with the fact check. With today’s technology, I believe this is possible and it is the government’s responsibility to its citizens to put it into effect as soon as possible.

- Thomas H. Routsong, Centerville

The voices of people with Alzheimer’s have been silenced for far too long. Despite its prevalence, people with Alzheimer’s face pervasive stigma and unmet needs. The stigma can cause reluctance among people experiencing early signs of Alzheimer’s to seek a diagnosis. Among friends and family, individuals with Alzheimer’s are often treated and seen as less than they were before. As the home caregiver for my wife of 53 years she and I have experienced over four years of this stigma and unmet needs. Decision-makers must listen to the perspectives of those living with Alzheimer’s and care partners to overcome obstacles like these and others. As a champion with the advocacy organization Voices of Alzheimer’s, I am proud to have helped draft a Bill of Rights for People Living with Alzheimer’s. People with Alzheimer’s have the right to: 1) Dignity and Respect 2) Freedom from Discrimination 3) Prompt Diagnosis and Treatment 4) Annual Cognitive Screenings 5) Affordable Medicare and Private Payer Coverage 6) Equal Access for Younger Onset Alzheimer’s 7) Participation in Clinical Trials 8) Complete Information About Our Conditions and Shared Decision-Making 9) Continuity in Alzheimer’s and Non-Alzheimer’s Care 10) Quality Care in All Medical Settings We cannot afford to wait any longer. It is more important than ever that decision-makers hear the voices of people living with Alzheimer’s because they are being dismissed by the current systems in place. Find out more about Alzheimer’s yourself and become an advocate.

- Robert E. Toia, Jr., Centerville