Please be aware that my comments on this web site reflect my PERSONAL OPINION. The right to have an opinion and to share that opinion is protected by the First Amendment. My opinion is based on my personal experience with Dr. (name not disclosed), attendance at the National ANA Symposium in Milwaukee, the latest ANA Survey, medical research regarding acoustic neuromas, personal reports of post-treatment outcomes on the AN Newsgroup, a visit to the Radiation Oncology Department at the U of CA Medical Center at Irvine, conversations with Dr. Williams at Johns Hopkins, coordination with the U of Texas Medical Center, visits to the Otology/Neurotology Department at the U of WA, and visits to the Radiation Oncology Department and the Otology/Neurotology Department at Virgina Mason.

My hope is that you will seek the best information from the best sources and that your information on alternative treatments will come from specialists in that area. In my view, this is the only way to make an informed decision regarding treatment. In the process, you will form your own PERSONAL OPINION which you will no doubt share with others.

With the great gratitude I acknowledge Dr. Barnickle who had the insight to realize that something was wrong with me. She ordered the first MRI, and for that, I brought her a dozen red roses--not really enough to say thank you to extent I wished.

Subject:   Internet Postings re Dr. (name not disclosed)
Date:      Tue, 17 Sep 2002 22:41:40 -0600

Dear Mr. Harris:

I am in receipt of your certified letter of September 13, 2002, threatening legal action if I do not remove my web pages on the internet  which reference Dr. (name not disclosed).  In essence,  a big money attorney has used the threat of legal action against me, a disabled person living on SSDI,  to take away my right of free speech, all because a big money doctor doesn't like an opinion of him posted on the web.


About posting Dr. (name not disclosed)'s letter with my comments
I maintain that the comments on my website are my personal opinion,  that this opinion is based upon fair and reasonable grounds, and that I offer my opinion for the sake of information and not with malicious intent. Compromise:
I have a Constitutionally protected right of free speech.  I have a right to have an opinion, and I have a right to share that opinion.   If we must keep our opinions  to ourselves, then what purpose would the First Amendment serve?

However, in the spirit of cooperation and compromise,

You may review the changes I made via the link the main page of my brain tumor website:

Key phrases missing?
You indicated that I had deleted "several key phrases" from Dr. (name not disclosed)'s letter.  It certainly wasn't  my intent to purposefully omit words when I retyped his letter.   At the time, I did not have a scanner and had no way other than retyping to get the letter on my website.  Out of curiosity, I would appreciate knowing the particulars of these alleged missing key phrases.

An interesting consideration . . .
In my opinion, it borders on malpractice for a doctor of one specialty to give medical advice to his patient about a second specialty for which he is neither trained nor board certified.  For example, would a board certified radiation oncologist give neurosurgical advice to one of his patients?  I think not, and especially not when it pertains to patient informed consent regarding treatment of something as critical as a brain tumor.  It naturally follows that a board certified neurosurgeon would not give radiation oncological advice to his patient but would refer that patient to the appropriate specialist instead.

Dr. (name not disclosed) did not refer me to a radiation oncologist but chose to speak as a radiation oncologist.  And it appears from Dr. (name not disclosed)'s letter of June 1, 1999 (now removed from my website), that I am not the only patient who received anti-radiation information directly from Dr. (name not disclosed) without being referred to the appropriate expert.

The specialties of neurosurgery and radiation/oncology are as different as night and day.  To my knowledge there is only one doctor in this country specializing in the treatment of acoustic neuromas who is board certified as both a neurosurgeon and a radiation oncologist; and that is Dr. Jeffrey Williams who practices at Johns Hopkins.

In closing:
The internet is a global version of the "great library at Alexandria."  It allows doctors and patients alike access to medical information never before available on such a grand scale. This is quite a different paradigm from the days when the doctor was the "fount of all knowledge" and the patient knew nothing.  Laypersons can now read medical journals on line, search large medical libraries, and network with doctors, researchers, and other laypersons from all over the world.   The internet allows information previously shared between only the doctor and his patient to be shared with "the world."  This has it good points and its bad points, depending on your viewpoint.  My viewpoint is that I have done no wrong.

Information sharing, not malice, was the motive for my website; and I've provided fair and reasonable justification to substantiate the beliefs reflected in red text on Dr. (name not disclosed)'s letter.  But, most importantly, I have a free-speech right to voice those beliefs.

Three things are apparent to me at this point:

I don't want to get in a pissing match over Dr. (name not disclosed)'s letters, so I capitulated by removing them.  However, I have posted your letter on my website, as well as this reply.  If you or Dr. (name not disclosed) wish to write a rebuttal, I will be happy to post those letters as well.


Inez P. Petersen
3306 Lake Wash Blvd North #3
Renton, WA 98056-1978
Telephone 425-255-5543
Brain tumor website:


List of Documents | Link to attorney's letter | Email Inez

File: strongarm3.html
Posted: 09/18/02