The legacy of Cherry Ames lives on
I could not contain my excitement and surprise when I read Cherry Ames' name in Linda Laskowski-Jones' editorial, “The Legacy of Cherry Ames” (August 2018). Immediately, I relived fond memories of reading the book series as a 13-year-old in 1965. I had just exhausted the school library supplies of the Nancy Drew series and was looking for similar excitement that a teenage mystery story could bring. Finding the Cherry Ames series gave impetus to my germinating desire to be a nurse. Despite being a fictional character, Cherry became my idol as I pursued my career. The legacy of Cherry Ames and her visionary author, Helen Wells, truly lives on.
—JOSEFINA INOTURAN ALEJANDRO, DNP, RN
Harm reduction strategies: Two views
In “Making the Case for Harm Reduction Programs for Injection Drug Users” (June 2018), the authors endorse “harm-reduction” strategies such as supervised injection sites and needle exchange programs. I find this troubling. Drug abuse is harmful to individuals and society at large. Although striving to prevent infection is good, the ends do not justify the means here. Doing wrong to do right is never justified. Medical professionals should not enable and assist patients in self-destructive practices.
—MELISSA GILLILAND, RN
I completely agree with the authors' points about needle exchange programs, which are critical for decreasing the transmission of HIV infection and other diseases. Unfortunately, these programs are still hard to find in many places across the US, especially in rural areas.
While I was in nursing school, my community health clinical instructor helped develop a program, in part, for needle exchange to decrease HIV transmission rates. While it's not exactly what the article is about, it's closely related and I would absolutely support similar programs throughout the US.
—MICHELLE LOOSE, BSN, RN