A Letter to The Editor Published in the Daily Camera January, 2015

I wrote this to call attention to the lack of consideration for moral principles by the government, corporations, and even by the Physician at the head of Colorado Department of health and the environment.

Karen Dike: Governor’s approach to oil and gas a sham

The blue ribbon panel on oil and gas has once again shown that the governor’s approach to addressing the health concerns of citizens is a sham. The latest example of this was the biased panel of state “experts” set up to discuss health concerns in Greeley. Dr. Larry Wolk, director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, started off with a disrespectful charade, displaying cigarettes and coke bottles, likening legitimate concerns about toxic emissions from fracking operations next to one’s home to voluntary lifestyle choices. Sorry Dr. Wolk, this matter isn’t funny to those of us subjected to the daily air pollution from the oil and gas industry. We are concerned about our health and health of our children.

I want to ask Dr. Wolk and others who want to take more time to study the health impacts on citizens before taking action to protect us from toxic air emissions — Where is your adherence to medical ethics? There are four main ethics principles followed in health care. None of these are met with the plans Dr. Wolk and others outlined to study health effects.

• Respect for autonomy — people have the right to refuse treatment.

• Beneficence — a practitioner should act in the best interest of the patient.

• Non-maleficence — “First, do no harm.”

• Justice — In research ethics, this means the fair selection of research participants. This also means that the research is voluntary.

Those of us who live in or near Weld County are not lab rats. We have a right to refuse the experimentations being outlined by these so-called experts. We did not consent to this, it is not in our best interests, it is harmful, and it is not voluntary. Let the industry prove that breathing benzene is healthful, then they can drill next to my home.
Karen Dike


About Karen Dike

I retired in 2013 after working for over 40 years as a Registered Nurse. I worked mainly in the critical care areas as an Administrator. After I moved back to Colorado, to be near my grandchildren, I discovered how fracking was decimating this beautiful state, damaging communities and affecting health of the citizens. I am now spending my retirement fighting this reckless, dirty industry.

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