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    letters | ROADS WITHOUT THE REGISTRY?

    Licenses essential when lives are at stake

    SO, JEFF Jacoby thinks that “you shouldn’t need a license to drive a car any more than you need one to use a computer’’ ( “Eliminate the Registry,’’ Op-ed, Jan. 29). Last time I checked, a computer isn’t a potential lethal weapon - that is, unless you hit someone over the head with it.

    Would Jacoby extend this argument to include school bus drivers, MBTA bus and train drivers, operators of heavy construction equipment, and perhaps airline pilots? After all, as he says, such people would be “liable for damage caused through negligence or irresponsibility,’’ implying that a license to operate such vehicles would be superfluous.

    What’s next - letting doctors, or anyone for that matter, practice medicine without being licensed? Would Jacoby have any qualms about having a surgical procedure performed by an unlicensed doctor, as long as the surgeon was liable for any bad outcome caused by negligence or irresponsibility?

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    Dr. Ira Kirschenbaum

    Brookline