Sunday, October 19, 2014

* Today

Saturday, October 18, 2014



Letter to the Editor
The New Haven Register

 Dear Editor:

Last week’s brief ebola scare at Yale  is not the first time a Yale-New Haven Hospital isolation procedure has had national attention. 

In a 1984 “60 Minutes” reported  the plight of a two year old infant with AIDS who had spent his entire life in a Yale-New Haven Hospital  intensive care unit, believed to have been the first known case of heterosexual transmission of AIDS in the United States. The baby had been born with AIDS and his mother was a New Haven prostitute and heroin addict.

The national urgency --- uncomfortably close to panic ---  which set in after last week’s transmission of the ebola virus to two Texas nurses treating a now deceased ebola victim at Texas Presbyterian Hospital,  is reminiscent of the intense fear  provoked by the “60 Minutes” broadcast in 1984 about New Haven’s “AIDS prostitute”.

 In both cases mistakes were made. 

 The Centers for Disease Control last week actually seemed out of control, backtracking its protocol recommendations as they became contradicted by reality; in the case of the Yale/New Haven AIDS prostitute, Connecticut officials seemed out of control, as she was arrested on drug charges, sent to a drug rehabilitation center, and allowed to walk out of security doors purposely left unlocked by a staff who were terrified of dealing with a person whose disease was a mystery --- and certain death --- at the time when the source of transmission of AIDS was uncertain and medical remedies were unknown.

 When I visited the patient at St. Raphael’s Hospital in 1983  as a volunteer and Yale Divinity School  graduate, to secure her promise to stay off the streets if  donors paid her rent and grocery bill, I was required to wear a head–to-toe protective suit, and my notepad and pencil were confiscated by nurses as I left the room, for fear they were contaminated.

When I returned the next day to visit the patient, she had fled the hospital.  She died  a year later. Her infant, who she visited regularly at Yale/New Haven,  died soon thereafter.

In both the ebola and the AIDS prostitute situation, Yale-New Haven Hospital has a record of courage and preparedness: it admitted the 2014 ebola researcher  for observation and it kept the 1983/84 AIDS infant as a patient for the entire two years his life, both in the midst of public frenzy and publicity.

We --- and perhaps the Centers for Disease Control --- can learn much from Yale- New Haven Hospital.



Paul D. Keane
M. Div. ‘80
Yale Divinity School




Wednesday, October 8, 2014

* Like Yale, Abolish the Department of Education


In 1949 Yale President A. Whitney Griswold abolished
 Yale's Graduate Department of Education
 saying its existence was "unnecessary."


Sunday, September 28, 2014

* Amendment Number One at Yale

William F. Buckley, Jr.
as editor of the Yale Daily News
William F. Buckley, Jr.,
founder and editor of The National Review

A gracious acknowledgement
my dedication of Holy Smoke:
"To William F. Buckley, Jr.,
whose writings alerted me that man is God at Yale."
 I had written him that I hoped the dedication and prose would please him even if the ideas did not; hence, his reply.

The William F. Buckley, Jr. Foundation at Yale generated a bit of controversy this year by sponsoring a speaker whose invitation to speak at Brandeis had been withdrawn last year due to her controversial opinions about Islam. (Link above). 
This reminds me that I proposed in this blog months ago that the Buckley Foundation perform just this function of providing a safe-harbor for free speech  denied at other academic institutions (think Condoleeza Rice). 
I'm glad they took my suggestion, whether they knew it or not.
Mr. Buckley very generously encouraged my own use of the First Amendment at Yale in (link) Holy Smoke, 33 years ago (see below).

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

* Linda Carbino Does Enormous Good

Through her CATV-8 Public Access Television program "Walking Through Life" Linda Carbino has helped hundreds of people around Vermont cope with  personal problems and addictive behavior, encouraging self help and challenging prejudice against various kinds of illness.

I have no comment about this particular opinion of hers (seen below), published in today's Valley News, but I do admire Ms. Carbino's work in Vermont, and have done so for years.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014