The VA does a lot of talk about how they’re trying to help the veteran community when it comes to suicide, yet they took nine months to sever ties with a doctor who reportedly made a comment, “[The patient] can go shoot [themself], I do not care.”

According to the VA, the doctor was not a VA doctor, but a contracted doctor…although we’re not really sure that matters. That would be like hiring me as a contractor to write this article, and then I decide to write some off the wall stuff…oh, but I wasn’t an RE Factor employee.

Read the full VA Report: Inadequate Emergency Department Care and Physician Misconduct at the Washington DC VA Medical Center

Last I checked, I’m still doing a service for the company, so what I publish ultimately falls on the company, and my contract should then be terminated, immediately. Shouldn’t the same go for the VA?

If the doctor was doing contract work for the VA, then that doctor should be held to VA standards—which isn’t looking very high, at this point.

“The OIG also found that Emergency Department and consulting psychiatry staff failed to complete required suicide prevention planning prior to the patient’s discharge. 2 Emergency Department staff’s failure to manage this patient’s care, according to Veteran Health Administration (VHA) suicide prevention policies, contributed to an inadequate assessment of suicide risk.”

-Office of Inspector General, VA Report

Apparently, the doctor was reported making this statement by other employees, but this wasn’t her only complaint.

“[The doctor] had a history of verbal misconduct including in fall 2018 toward the Chief, Emergency Department and another facility physician and in spring 2019 toward VA police.”

-Office of Inspector General, VA Report

Good job, VA, particularly the one in D.C., where this happened.

It was only 6 days after the doctor made the comment—which can’t be confirmed if the patient overheard it or not, or if this was the reason for his death—when the man, age-60, decided to shoot himself.

If this doesn’t make you angry…

The man came into the facility for suicidal ideations, was recommended admittance, and sent to the ER. However, he was then told he could be treated in outpatient care, and when he refused to leave was escorted out by police.

Despite the fact he went there on his own accord, asking to be admitted into the hospital, and was displaying mental health concerns, had a history of panic attacks, seizures, opioid withdrawals, and was given an assessment of “moderate suicide risk,” the veteran was sent home and told to come back for a follow-up the next day.

If you’re thinking your life isn’t worth it, please, know that it is. If you feel the doctors can’t help you, know you have an entire veteran community here to support you. As a veteran who understands what it’s like to feel you’ve lost your purpose, know that we do have each other, and being support for one another is a huge purpose. It doesn’t matter your age, how long you served, what you did, how many times you deployed, or where to; we must be there for each other.

Please, watch this video below to see what some veterans are doing to try and help, and then check out this website: Tango Yankee Chip



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