Some thoughts on personhood
To the editor:
After reading Mr. Powell’s column regarding his thoughts on personhood (Dec. 9), I wanted to take some time to respond to his statements.
When we are speaking about personhood in this case, we are actually talking about deciding the life and death of children based on what our definition of personhood is. The definition of person from Webster’s Dictionary is “one (as a human being, a partnership or a corporation) that is recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties.” And if we look further into the definition of a “human” from Webster’s, it states, “having the qualities typical of people, or human beings.”
Scientists state that life begins at fertilization. An example from one of Princeton’s references: “The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.” The heartbeat of a fertilized egg can be heard at 9 weeks.
I have seen more people begin to take a stand for life to protect both the mother and the baby. Equally concerned for both lives, as opposed to just the life of the mother. Knowing the difference between a moral choice and a preference choice. Should the life of someone else be ended because of circumstances, size, environment or dependency on another? When a baby is born, they are still completely depending on someone else to take care of their needs, and if a doctor would kill the baby at that point, they would be charged with infanticide.
Mr. Powell’s column starts out by saying many of us have lived a full life. He should thank his mother for choosing life.
Independent consultant study a good first step for EDC
To the editor:
As a local resident and a professional management consultant, I was distressed by the Herald-Mail editorial “EDC shouldn’t need a study to know its role.”
You stated the EDC “is proposing to spend $125,000 to gaze into the navel of the local commercial scene and figure out the answers …” Evidently, the editorial staff of The Herald-Mail has no knowledge about the value of consultants.
While I do not intend to submit a proposal for this engagement, please understand that consultants bring two things to any engagement: an independent perspective and recommendations based on best practices. How can anyone involved day-to-day in the challenges Hagerstown and Washington County face be independent? Why not learn the details of how cities large (such as Pittsburgh) and small (such as Frederick) have gone from nearly dying to thriving through best practices?
As to consultants’ studies sitting on shelves, this is common among businesses, nonprofits and, yes, even local governments. Consultants can make independent recommendations based on best practices. But it takes a commitment by any organization to rigorously review those findings and recommendations and then implement those that make sense. Oftentimes, a consultant study will result in some near term actions, other longer term actions and some recommendations remaining “on the shelf.” This is to be expected.
I encourage the local leadership and citizens to demand something more and better than our current business as usual. An extensive and independent consultant study is a good initial step.
George F. Franks III