16 June 2010
Alcoholics are by no definition the most deserving. Self–inflicted illness like alcoholism are comparable to those who commit suicide, which is considered a crime under law. This is why they are not covered by health insurance. The fact that many of them medically qualify for a transplant does not mean that they deserve a transplant. Certainly, the hospitals, the doctors and the family cannot decide on this matter as they all have vested interests. In my personal experience, nearly 50% or more who had liver transplants returned to consuming alcohol and later even lost their transplanted organ. Most of these patients had their liver transplants done after six months of abstinence from alcohol.
Six months of abstinence is by no means a magical period in which they give up on the addiction for good. Such patients need to be monitored vigilantly by social workers and also by the transplant team with surprise checks. This is never observed in India due to lack of infrastructure. In a nutshell, it makes complete sense to blacklist patients with active alcoholic hepatitis from transplants. Dr M R Rajasekar, director, abdominal organ transplantation, Sri Ramachandra University II This is with reference to the report ’Coast Guard stations in the offing’ (May 20). The description under the ship’s photograph reads ’Coast Guard Vessel Vishwast being towed to Chennai Port by pilot tugs’. IGCS Vishwast was never towed by any tug. She entered the harbour under her own power and I was a witness to that. The tug was standing by to handle any unforeseen requirement, as is the regular practice.
Naval and Coast Guard ships are never towed unless their propulsion power is affected or they are damaged and require assistance. The exception to this are capital ships like aircraft carriers or oil tankers which may require tug assistance to push or pull the ship in restricted waters.
P P Sivamani, Rear Admiral (Retd) , II The move by Chennai Corporation to rename road signs in the city is a ludicrous exercise. After shop names, they are now targeting roads and in the process tampering with history. The colonial era is a part of India’s history. What will they do next? Rebuild all colonial–era buildings in traditional architectural style? It is best to leave history as it is. There are many new areas coming up in the city. The corporation can name all the streets and roads in these upcoming areas after our noteworthy citizens. That way, we will be honouring the past and the present and leaving a roadmap of history for future generations.