Organ Donor Benefits
The generosity of live organ donors is remarkable ["Mix, Match, and Switch," October 16]. But we wouldn't need as many live organ donors if Americans weren't burying or cremating 20,000 transplantable organs every year. There is an easier way to put a big dent in the organ shortage-if you don't agree to donate your organs when you die, then you go to the back of the waiting list if you ever need an organ to live. Registered organ donors receive priority should they ever need an organ. This policy should persuade more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. People who want to donate their organs to others who have also agreed to donate can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a nonprofit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs when they die, first to other organ donors. They do this through a form of directed donation that is legal in all 50 states and under federal law. Anyone can join for free at www.lifesharers.org or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88.
DAVID J. UNDIS
Insight Into PTSD
"Treating War's Toll on the Mind" [October 9] was helpful in illuminating the enormous toll that post-traumatic stress disorder is taking on the lives of the men and women involved in war. Untreated PTSD damages the lives of the soldiers. Unfortunately, your article mentioned but failed to accurately represent an effective treatment for PTSD called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. EMDR is actually a treatment of choice for combat-related PTSD and has been listed in the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense's Practice Guidelines as "highly recommended" for the treatment of trauma.
DAVID J. MACDONALD
Certified Therapist in EMDR
I couldn't agree more with David Gergen's "Let's Get It Together" [October 16]. It's become apparent for quite a while that the sole objective of both political parties is obtaining and maintaining political power. In any political race, there should be a third box on every ballot for every office that states "Neither Candidate" or some similar verbiage. This would be the voters' signal for both political parties to go back and choose better candidates. Who knows, after a few do-overs, the Republicans and Democrats might actually move beyond focus groups and the Madison Avenue marketing techniques they've so carefully developed. I don't need a candidate I agree with 100 percent of the time but only one who has principles I can mostly accept.
We don't need a third, middle party, as Gergen suggests. What this country needs is a vibrant, moderate, independent movement that can deny both parties majorities in Congress and statehouses. Independents would be largely immune to the pressure tactics party leaders exert on their members. Instead, major party leaders would have to woo independents, one by one, for their votes by moderating their bills. A major party House speaker would serve at the convenience of the independents. Annoy too many of them, and they swiftly replace him or her with a speaker from the other party.
D. S. ZODY