To the Editor:

The news New Milford Hospital is possibly closing the birthing center is very bad on many accounts.

First, since its inception, New Milford Hospital has been a community hospital providing care to the community.

Now something so natural as giving birth could require a trip to Danbury.

This impacts New Milford in many ways. The town is now less desirable as a place to live.

Jobs are sacrificed. Doctors not wanting to commute leave the town. Husbands and others find it more difficult to visit. Visitors buy their flowers elsewhere and eat at a Danbury restaurant.

You get the drift.

Another consideration is the fact the first experience young adults have with a hospital is their first child. Babies are a miracle and wonderful, so the couple relates that to the hospital where the baby was born.

When subsequent health issues occur, the couple remembers the positive experience at the hospital where the baby was born and they go back.

But perhaps even more compelling is why can't New Milford Hospital have a birth center?

Statistics show a very high percentage of health- care costs are consumed by the elderly. Is that why the hospital is willing to spend $10 million for renovations to emergency and intensive care?

Is the reason Danbury Hospital is so much better because it has neonatal care? That means it is a safer place for Caesarian deliveries.

Does that also mean mothers are reassured about the dangers of Caesarian births because they will deliver in a safer place?

There is a lot that is wrong with health care.

Doctors and hospitals need to be protected by ridiculous amounts awarded in lawsuits for starters. The hospital should spend time and money changing the system.

Closing the birthing center will have a snowballing effect not only on the hospital but the town of New Milford and all surrounding towns.

Unfortunately, the message is the hospital no longer cares about the community.

Sally Rinehart

New Milford