Would the honorable elected representatives please answer the following question: “Are the veterans of America’s armed services the next ‘Tuskegee Syphilis Study?’”
While we await this answer, here is why the question is raised. The Department of Veterans Affairs – Office of Inspector General (VA-OIG) just posted their investigation results of the Critical Care Unit Staffing and Quality of Care Deficiencies at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia, and the results remind me of the game musical chairs and the disaster caused by the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Musical chairs because the VA-OIG was unable to ascertain direct harm because of record screw-ups, gross mismanagement, and a detestable and despicable perception of the patient. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study because real harm to real people was caused, and the leadership did not care enough to fix the problems without an official investigation.
More on the Tuskegee Syphilis Study – History can be viewed in the link.
The VA-OIG report begins with the following:
“Critical Care Unit Staffing and Quality of Care Deficiencies at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Augusta, Georgia discusses significant patient safety issues including events related to noncompliance with pressure injury policy, intensive care unit cardiac monitoring, and sitter availability for high-risk patients.”
But concludes with the following:
“Publication is warranted so that other facility leaders and healthcare practitioners can be made aware of OIG-identified problems applicable to their own facility.”
Leading me to ask, of the VA-OIG, is this warning to proactively fix, or retroactively hide the nefariousness of poor management and dead patients?
Pressure injuries are exceedingly painful, can become deadly very quickly, and leave scarring and pain. Pressure injuries are the nice term for bed sores, which are caused by critically ill patients who are already unable to move and circulate blood properly to the skin. Thus, the tissue dies, a sore develops, then the skin breaks, and by this time that patient who is already in trouble, is now in danger of death.
Bedsores, pressure injuries, are serious conditions; yet, the Charlie Norwood VAMC has record-keeping problems, staffing issues, and without outside impetus refrained from fixing the problems. All reminiscent of the “Tuskegee Syphilis Study.”
Hence the articles originating question, “Are the US Military Veterans the next ‘Tuskegee Syphilis Study?’”
If so, I refuse, and those leaders who think this conduct is allowable need to be held personally responsible for the harm they are causing. If the answer is no, why are so many VA-OIG reports of leadership and management’s nefarious deeds being allowed until the VA-OIG comes knocking? Even after the VA-OIG investigates, is anything being done? Are people being held accountable? The leadership issues are repeated, and while those repeats might not be an exact match from VAMC to VAMC, the leadership problems are real, glaring, and real people are dying!
America was shocked and angry when the whistle and plug were finally pulled on the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, and rightfully so.
Yet, it appears that the VA learned nothing from the history of Tuskegee except to keep playing musical chairs on responsibility, paperwork, and hiding the evidence from accountability.
America, your medical system, which before President Obama was the best in the world, is now on the same train of failure the VA Medical System is on. Are you paying attention to the harm caused to veterans? Do you want the same? I do not!
America, to correct the problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and to reduce the costs to the taxpayers, as well as beginning to correct the damage done to your health care, the following is needed immediately.
- Legislation needs to be written and passed repealing ObamaCare. Every single mandate, every single costly item, and sunder forever this socialism experiment. The answers to the rising costs of medical care, including dental and vision, are not to be found in increasing the size of an already bloated government.
- Legislation needs urgent action to provide Secretary Wilkie the powers of any other CEO to clean the Department of Veterans Affairs. The leadership between the veteran facing employee and the Secretary’s office needs to be culled, and the only way to do this is through legislation.
- Demand accountability. The VA-OIG reports these issues constantly, the findings need to be on the news and be topics of conversation. No longer should a bureaucrat be able to shift responsibility, harm patients, and keep their comfortable jobs and benefits. Real harm to real people is being caused by the medical system paid for by your tax dollars, demand more!
Understand the following principle, know it well, and let us begin processing the reversal of this trend. Charles Reich (1964) wrote a Yale Law Journal article describing “New Property.” The new property Reich discusses is you and me, and how we are used by bureaucrats like property to be abused, harmed, and mistreated, all through the largess of the government we pay for. Like a wheelbarrow or a hammer, we are the fodder upon which the bureaucrat steals money from one person to pay another person through government benefits, all to the enrichment and personal satisfaction of the bureaucrat.
The actions of the nameless and faceless bureaucrat are unconstitutional, but allowed in the name of “government action.” Every time you hear the government is acting on your behalf, it means that the power of the people has been stolen, and will be doled back to the taxpayer in infinitesimal amounts, while the bureaucrat keeps getting fatter. Think Reich (1964) is wrong, here are some examples.
- The government went to war against poverty, the poor have become poorer, poverty’s blight has spread, but the government offices “fighting” poverty are fat with people and taxpayer dollars.
- The government went to war against drugs, the only winner so far has been the government. The drug infestation has only gotten worse, and now states have begun selling harmful and illicit drugs for the tax money.
- The government got into student loans, to “make the lending field fairer.” Students were harmed, colleges and universities tripled, or more, their tuitions, and students are saddled with increasing levels of debt. But, the government officers in charge are living high on the debt and interest.
- The government allowed labor unions to represent government workers, now the taxpayer is abused, treated like scum, taxes went up, but responsibility and accountability under the “Rule of law,” that all citizens are expected to live by, have all but disappeared for government workers. Ever tried getting adjudication or remediation from a government worker?
- The government and some private citizens decided black health needed improvement. Planned Parenthood and the Tuskegee Syphilis Study are but two of the disasters that hit the black communities and have destroyed their community’s legacy, honor, and power, all for government largess, and the lining of private pockets.
Choose to stop being the property of the government; the US Constitution declares the government works for us, and we control them, not the other way around!
© Copyright 2020 – M. Dave Salisbury
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