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‘IDES Daugh ter

flow of that blood. The hand that wields the scalpel certainly can use the guidance of the hand that controls the blood.

I will know the American blood industry has reached maturity when, instead of incessantly pressing for more and more donations, it reports to us that, through its efforts, so much unnecessary surgery has been eliminated that this year's blood drive has been cancelled.

While my readers certainly will continue to regard the donating of blood as one of the most noble acts of mankind, I nevertheless recommend a cautionary attitude concerning the commercial organizations which are involved in its collection.

I'm glad that, as your series of columns on blood has evolved, you've made more clear and reasoned your support of voluntary donor—based blood service. And I'm also glad that you've raised into clear public view the question of blood utilization in surgery. The subject is a good one. Many people in the blood organizations have been urging attention to it on their hospital colleagues, but much still needs to be done. Hope- fully, the surgeons read your column and will heed.——Maurice Flagg, Associate Director, External Affairs/Communications Management, American Red Cross, Washington, D.C.

I am happy to learn that the American Red Cross and I stand together on the issue of wastage of blood due to the epidemic of unnecessary opera- tions. Nevertheless, I do not share your optimism that surgeons will

either read or heed my column. In general, surgeons don't even like my

choice of language: When I say "cut," they'd prefer "incision." When I say "slice open the belly," they'd prefer "Caesarean section." When I say "lop off the breast," they'd prefer "radical mastectomy." And when

I say "scrape out the uterus,"

and curettage."

Since surgeons don't speak the same language people speak, how can they even begin to understand the mounting outrage Americans feel against unnecessary surgery? Indeed, the reaction of ordinary people to the excesses of surgeons may well take the form of refusal to line up at the blood banks. Therefore, I respectfully suggest that the interests of the Red Cross, as well as of every person in this country, can best be served by strict monitoring of every operation by those who control the supply of blood to the surgeons. Mr. Flagg, the American Red Cross has its fin- ger on that spigot.

they'd prefer the elegant French "dilation

Joyce Bichler, who received $500,000 in damages from Eli Lilly & Co. for the damage done to her by DES, has just published her story. "DES Daughter" (Avon Books, $2.25) is must reading for any young woman or man who suffers from gynecological or urinary tract symptoms. In some cases, they already know that their mothers were given diethylstilbestrol. In many others, however, because of destruction of medical records by hos- pitals and doctors, they do not know. DES has produced an ever—length— ening list of disease conditions, including vaginal cancer, breast can- cer, undescended testes, and infertility.

Ms. Bichler's book is also must reading for those who are interested in the ever—growing list of scandals in modern medicine. And "DES Daughter" belongs on the bookshelf right next to "Suffer The Children: The Story of Thalidomide," (Viking Press, $12.95); "The Patchwork Mouse," by Joseph Hixon (Anchor Press/Doubleday, $7.95), which is the story of the Sloan—Kettering cancer scandal; "Modern Medical Mistakes," by