Sago Boulevard

Sunday, November 13, 2005

From This Week's New York Magazine

To the Editor:

I thought I had few illusions about doctors, but I was shocked to read that New York’s practice of publicizing the mortality rates of its heart surgeons has led “surgeons to turn their backs on the sickest patients in order to prop up their personal success records” [“Heartless,” by Robert Kolker, October 24]. Surgeons who put their own professional status above patients’ lives should go into another line of work. Maybe mine: No one is more status-conscious than academic philosophers, but at least philosophers’ obsession with their departments’ national rankings has never killed anyone.

—Felicia Nimue Ackerman, Department of Philosophy, Brown University