Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bush Goes to Court to Deny Mental Care for Veterans

Apr. 28, VCS Lawsuit in the News: Bush Goes to Court to Deny Mental Care for Veterans

Peter Collorafi

American Chronicle

Apr 28, 2008

April 25, 2008 - A wise President, who was also a veteran of multiple wars, once said: "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they preceive the veterans of earlier wars were Treated and Appreciated by their nation."

The issue of veterans affairs has seen an upsurge of interest in the past few weeks, as Dr. Ira Katz, an official in the Veteran's Affairs Department, is coming under fire from Congress, after giving misleading information to a CBS reporter, who was researching for a story about sucide rates among veterans.

During an interview given in November for the original CBS story, Dr. Katz told reporter Armen Keteyian that "There is no epidemic in suicide in the VA, but suicide is a major problem." When pressed for an answer to explain the VA's inability to come up with any suicide statistics among veterans, Katz replied "That research is ongoing."

However, "After a public records request, the VA provided CBS News with data that showed there were a total of 790 attempted suicides by VA patients in the entire year of 2007." This number does not match up at all with a private email sent by Dr. Katz to a colleague in which he states that the VA has identified "about 1000 suicide attempts a month in patients we see at are medical facilities," a far cry from his public estimate of 790 a year.

Compared with the number of suicide attempts, the number of actual suicides is monstrous in comparision. CBS news identified a total of 6,256 suicides in 2005 among veterans of the "war on terror" [VCS Note: this should read 6,256 suicides among all veterans], double the national average, although that number does not include the 5 states who refused to provide their suicide statistics for the CBS report.

As he did with the statistics for attempted suicides, Dr. Katz again played a two-faced persona. Katz declared that the "number is not, in fact, an accurate reflection of the rate."

Nevertheless, Dr. Katz told colleagues in another private email that "There are about 18 suicides per day among America's 25 million veterans," and "4-5 suicides per day among those who receive care from us [the VA]." Katz goes on to add that his figures are ironically "supported by the CBS numbers," which he disparaged previously in public.

In his later email titled "Shh!" Dr. Katz asks colleagues if the suicide statistics should be buried by dropping them into "a general release about our suicide prevention efforts," "before somebody stumbles onto them."
go here for more

No comments:

Post a Comment

If it is not helpful, do not be hurtful. Spam removed so do not try putting up free ad.