Protection of free thought is essential to our freedom
Friends, I believe we are a nation in crisis and although it may not look like it from where you sit, we will all pay a steep price if we continue to ignore the signs and remain silent. The sky may not be falling, but with Trump in the White House the skies are getting darker and darker by the day as our civil liberties and democratic institutions come under attack. Just to be clear, the attacks on our civil liberties are just as pernicious coming from our universities, where faculty and students alike have abandoned the pursuit of critical thinking and do not allow the free exchange of ideas and opinions that may offend their sensibilities and cause them emotional distress. Safe spaces to protect you from ideas that may offend you have no place in our institutions of “higher learning.”
Faith in the West has collapsed and, amazingly, people have been slow to rise to defend it.

Leon Cooper


Physician promotes budget item for palliative care
The finish line is in sight for this legislative session, and I want to be sure an important issue is addressed in this budget.
So far, a Palliative Care Advisory Committee is included in the plan. Maybe a committee sounds a little boring at first blush, but it has my impassioned support. This committee would help the legislature understand and respond to the needs of Minnesotans with serious illness.
As a researcher studying palliative medicine, I know it can improve life for patients and families. Our results at Allina Health and those of others have shown that palliative care also cuts unneeded medical costs. Its potential has yet to be fully realized in Minnesota, but an advisory committee can help change that. When I testified before a legislative committee in February, the support for this idea was heartfelt and bipartisan.
Palliative care has a special place in the medical world. It is specialized care for serious illness, delivered by a team of trained providers. It is also part of the work of every primary care provider, every surgeon, every oncologist, indeed, all doctors and providers who care for patients with serious illness.
Palliative Care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness. It can be provided along with curative treatment. Good palliative care often helps patients tolerate their therapy better. The goal is always to improve quality of life by treating the whole person as well as the disease.
I hope that the governor and lawmakers will keep this legislation on track for adoption so we can increase access to this valuable medical specialty and improve quality of life for people living with life-changing diagnoses.

Eric W. Anderson, MD

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