Does This Make Sense?

June 9, 2008
By

Voices: Does this make sense?

June 08, 2008 09:50 pm

— The past few months have given us some pretty good gaffes from the political trail.
Obama’s bitter remark about guns and religion, Billy Boy writing off Obama as a Jesse Jackson wannabe, Hillary dodging imaginary bullets, McCain confusing Iraq with Iran. You know, those “what in the world were they thinking?” moments.
I had another one of those moments while reading the article (Globe, May 22) concerning Freeman Health System renaming its new west campus tower the Gary and Donna Hall Tower. I’ve nothing against the Halls. I must admit, I don’t even know them. Doesn’t matter, not the point. The point is, here you have a wonderful new state-of-the-art health-care facility and Freeman goes off and names it after people who made a good chunk of their change selling products that kill people by reason that they gave the largest donation?
I am referring to the reference in the article of Gary Hall’s ownership of several tobacco companies in the area. Yes, tobacco’s a legal product, and yes, Mr. Hall has every right to sell said legal product. Yet, this isn’t just a local corner shop offering up a pack of Lucky Strikes and a lotto ticket. These are wholesale distribution outlets whose products (legal as they may be) cause numerous health problems, shorten the lives of thousands of our fellow citizens and cost the rest of us millions more in residual costs than any one time 4.5 million donation.
In commenting about the donation, Freeman CEO Gary Duncan says: “We’re not just talking facilities, but about finding new ways to serve the community.”
Well, Mr. Duncan, here’s a starter. How about not glorifying a donor whose money came from products that destroy the very health Freeman purports to promote? But then again, Freeman does make millions each year treating the various diseases caused by the very tobacco that paid for the name on the tower. Hmm. Ethics or money, ethics or money, decisions, decisions.
Yep, Alice said it best: “It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.”
Geoff Caldwell
Joplin

Copyright © 1999-2008 cnhi, inc.

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