Hunter has good bedside manner

Posted: Monday, June 25, 2007

Has Dr. Miller ever been your surgeon?

Sound off on the important issues at

I am an animal lover, but I do realize that hunting exists. It is a fact of life. I read the Juneau Empire every day online. I think it added insult to injury, in my opinion, when Sherrie Jans' June 19, 2007 letter was noted to be the "Reader's Choice." Here is my opinion.

I credit Miller with saving my life not once but twice. The second time he voluntarily canceled a planned fishing trip with his sons to be available to operate. But Miller's surgical skill is only part of the story. In perhaps two months' time, I was in the hospital a total of perhaps a month (eight days, two-and-a-half weeks, and three times for an overnight stay).

Miller was in the hospital every single day checking on me. He has an excellent bedside and forthright manner, and he will not sugar coat the facts; he tells you exactly what is going on and why. I think the most telling part of his humanity, though, is his response one day when, as I started to recover, I asked him how I was doing. His response, "Well, I am no longer lying awake at night worrying about you."

Perhaps Jans missed the part of the story that noted they were hunting on a "farm where big cats typically kill 40 livestock calves a year" or that it noted the farmers were "eager" to have the hunters take a cat because they were "fairly numerous." All farmers do whatever is necessary to protect their crop or livestock; some choose to do so by allowing hunting on their lands. I don't know; I do know this:

All people have to find an outlet that they enjoy or to challenge themselves in their down time. And, in many of those activities, someone somewhere chooses to take offense. I would not choose to go on a hunting safari, and I definitely would not have animals mounted on my walls as trophies. But I am not going around lambasting individuals who choose to do so. There are so many more important things to worry about. There is a saying that I heard years ago, and I wish people could learn to do it: "Live and let live."

Tracy Hansen


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