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When Patient and HMO Disagree

November 13, 2000

I read with more than a little interest your report "He Knew What He Wanted, but His HMO Disagreed" (Oct. 23), regarding the dispute with Kaiser Permanente and Don Pugh's search for a surgeon whose specialty and experience was with prostate problems.

Around 1995 my husband had a very similar experience. What my husband did not do was the research that Pugh did, and the end result is just as described in your article.

Smart man, Mr. Pugh. And thanks, Mr. Carey, for reporting on this type of surgery. Hopefully it will help many men to live productive and sexually active lives, and hopefully, Kaiser Permanente will rethink their surgical practices.

--JUDITH BERKE

Los Angeles

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