Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Army is pressuring doctors to under-diagnose PTSD. Why?

The answer probably has to do with money. "Each diagnosis is an acknowledgment that psychiatric casualties are a huge price tag of this war," said Rudd. "It is easiest to dismiss these casualties because you can't see the wounds. If they change the diagnosis they can dismiss you at a substantially decreased rate."

David Rudd, the chairman of Texas Tech's department of psychology and a former Army psychologist, explaining that every dollar the Army spends on a soldier's benefits is a dollar lost for bullets, bombs or the soldier's incoming replacement.

Oh, but wait -- it gets better! There's tapes! Seems a soldier who had problems remembering things brought along a digital voice recorder. Great stuff.

"OK," McNinch told Sgt. X. "I will tell you something confidentially that I would have to deny if it were ever public. Not only myself, but all the clinicians up here are being pressured to not diagnose PTSD and diagnose anxiety disorder NOS [instead]." McNinch told him that Army medical boards were "kick[ing] back" his diagnoses of PTSD, saying soldiers had not seen enough trauma to have "serious PTSD issues." "Unfortunately," McNinch told Sgt. X, "yours has not been the only case ... I and other [doctors] are under a lot of pressure to not diagnose PTSD. It's not fair. I think it's a horrible way to treat soldiers, but unfortunately, you know, now the V.A. is jumping on board, saying, 'Well, these people don't have PTSD,' and stuff like that."

This will go down like Abu Ghraib, no doubt. Just a few rogues, nothing to see here, move along.

[edit] ...and now the VA "has launched an investigation into whether there is a connection between improperly sterilized endoscopy equipment and a veteran's positive HIV test."

Is it beyond the pale to wonder if cost-cutting wasn't involved here, too?

Hutesium et clamor from Boss Limbaugh if it happened on a Clinton's watch but right now not a peep.


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