Wildcat story about near-drowning unecessary


I am a friend of Maryam Kavoosi, about whom you published a front page story on November 15 ("Reports say near-drowning may have been suicide try"). Maryam is 32 years old, not 22, and that is only one of the items misrepresented in the article. She is very ill, and her family and friends have been living a nightmare since her near-drowning. Your article was hardly comforting and far from necessary. As I told one of Tucson's finest (University branch), Maryam was taking antidepressant medication but had never attempted or expressed intent to commit suicide.

Jennifer M. Fitzenberger is undoubtedly well-informed and has researched her topic (as well as any layperson could be expected to). However, she billed the event as a "suicide attempt" but, from a medical perspective, the etiology of this tragedy is really a moot point.

In the setting of near-drowning with subsequent code arrest, the acute concerns include ARDS (look it up, Ms. Fitzenberger) and end organ hypoperfusion, REGARDLESS OF THE PRIMARY EVENT.

What matters now is that Maryam's ICU team is struggling daily to maintain function of her vital organs. What matters now is that Maryam's mother, who lives in Iran, is struggling against bureaucracy and politics to obtain a visa in order to be with her daughter. What matters now is that Maryam is struggling for her life.

If you must write about something sensational and disconcerting, why not cover one of these issues?

P. Paniker, M.D.
a.k.a. "a University Medical Center employee"