1. Dodd, Catherine J. MS, RN, FAAN

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Connie Barden bravely came out to the entire nursing profession by telling how she came out to the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. And she urges providers "to be more open-and open-minded-about sexual orientation." As the life partner of Mary Foley, former president of the ANA, I will never forget the combination of pride and fear that I felt when she acknowledged me in her acceptance speech before the ANA House of Delegates. The timing of Connie's coming out in AJN could not have been more significant, now that 11 states have constitutional amendments that prohibit gay and lesbian marriage and in some cases nullify civil unions that would allow partners to visit one another in the hospital or inherit homes they've shared for decades. President Bush's proposal for a U.S. constitutional amendment that would outlaw gay and lesbian marriage began a nationwide debate about enshrining discrimination. The constitution is about granting and protecting our rights and civil liberties, not eliminating them. Thank you, Connie, for working to protect gay and lesbian youths-they need it now more than ever.


"'The Fear Is Still In Me': Caring for Survivors of Torture," also in October 2004, was beautifully written and clinically relevant. Thousands of refugees who have been tortured live in the San Francisco area. And although there will be no shortage of victims of torture in the future, the Bush administration's recent Health and Human Services budget barely increases funding for programs that provide training on how to care for survivors of torture. I'm not surprised, given that President Bush has nominated Alberto Gonzales to replace John Ashcroft as attorney general. Gonzales drafted a memo that, according to Newsweek, included the opinion that laws prohibiting torture do "not apply to the president's detention and interrogation of enemy combatants." The memo also said that pain inflicted in interrogations must include "injury such as death, organ failure, or serious impairment of body functions-in order to constitute torture." It continued, "the war against terrorism is a new kind of war," and "this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions." The memo urged that al Qaeda and Taliban detainees be exempt from the Geneva Conventions' provisions on the proper, legal treatment of prisoners.


Catherine J. Dodd, MS RN, FAAN


San Francisco, CA