LYNETTE Burrow's article, "Handicapped By What? Expert Opinions" (April 10) deeply saddened and angered me. As a Social Worker in the field, I failed to recognise even one colleague who fitted her description.
In my experience, my fellow professionals who care for people with a mental handicap are caring and conscientious workers, totally committed to promoting the dignity and selfrespect of the people they serve.
The humanity of handicapped people has barely been recognised in the past; shut away in long-stay institutions their social, educational, recreational, and alas, spiritual needs — and yes, sometimes sexual needs have been largely ignored. It is the belated recognition that "they are not different from everyone else" that has brought the issue out into the open.
Like Lynette Burrows, I am totally opposed to sterilisation and to "contrived sexual relationships" (as I am sure are most of my colleagues). However, as a Christian I am equally opposed to her hate campaign — so full of malice and unjust bias — directed to a stereotyped group of social workers who exist it seems to me, only in the bigoted mind of Lynette Burrows.
Catherine Honour Merton Park