June 24 was proclaimed as Drs. William and Howard House Day by the cities of Newport Beach and Los Angeles. A dual celebration was held that day honoring the lifetime accomplishments of these two dedicated physicians in their efforts "so all may hear." Most recent recognition has come with the Food and Drug Administration approval of the "House" cochlear implant originated by William House, M.D.
These two men have redefined the Hippocratic oath by their extraordinary stature in humanitarian service. Humility, warmth, Yankee ingenuity and a sincere appreciation of each other's talents have made each man truly his brother's keeper.
Coincidentally, June 24 also marked the 40th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, an organization dedicated to listening and resolving world differences through communication. It was a noble concept in light of the World War II reality that dialogue must be attempted to prevent future devastation.
How prophetic to have the doctors honored on that day. Through their work thousands have thought that only language can give. Their family of patients know what joy can come from simply understanding another human being.
If only the exchange of ideas, so relished by the hearing impaired, could be shared by the ideologically impaired, perhaps June 24 might be celebrated as the day the philosophy of the brothers House was reflected in the Home of the brotherhood of man.
BETTY L. McMICKEN
Betty L. McMicken is a speech pathologist at the Western Medical Center in Santa Ana.