Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: March 3

Professional conduct

Ethical boundaries are necessary

The final remarks in March Twisdale’s letter in last week’s paper (“This family has always been pleased with Dr. Sjardo Steneker”) compel a response. The statement that “trying to grow an off-Island relationship is time-consuming and expensive” implies that, because we’re an Island, members of the helping professions are free to use Vashon as their dating pool.

Quite the contrary. When those of us commit to serve as doctors, nurses, ministers, teachers, therapists or social workers, we are held to oaths that acknowledge those we serve are vulnerable to the inherent power in our positions “over them.” It is to protect them and preserve our ability to serve that strict ethical guidelines are adhered to.

Case in point: Years ago there was a gentlemen in a congregation in which I served who expressed an interest in a social relationship. I had to explain he would have to go my superior and declare his intentions were of his own volition and resign from the congregation; I would have to report every word we spoke to the head of the Pastoral Relations Committee and under no circumstances was he to expect sex outside of marriage.

Like I said, strict, strict ethical boundaries.

We in service to others approximate an intimacy and loving regard as well as practical help many hunger for. It is up to us to maintain those boundaries. Otherwise we violate a sacred trust and render ourselves useless to help. They are important rules if we are to do our jobs and fulfill the call of our vocations. Without them we are lost.

For those of us who are single and serving on the Island, it means our dating pool is over town, even if it’s “time-consuming and expensive.” The better to love and serve the people here on the Island.

— Deborah H. Anderson


There’s room for cuts

Sen. Joe McDermott cannot convince me that a state government that has increased in size 38 percent since Gov. Chris Gregoire has been in office has no place to cut (“Tax increase initiative should be suspended,” Feb. 17). My message to McDermott: Quit spending money, cut the government and start acting responsibly, like the rest of us have to do.

— Leslie Patterson

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