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they should not be exempt

The VA Hospitals are exempt from being put in a law suit. That should not be, If someone in the VA Hospitals make a major mistake that did or could have caused harm to that Veteran and family they should be held accountable. But as it sits the Attorney's for the VA Hospitals tell you all you can get is ZERO to $300.00 for their mistake. And I notice if one VA has trouble with an employee they tranfer he or she to another VA hospital so another Veteran gets the problem. I know I have first hand experience. Pleas comment on this so I know how far the problem lies.

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Idea#215

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Comments

  1. Comment
    suefrasier

    In the main body of VA laws, (USCA) they very much do have

    their own malpractice statute and it has been on the books

    for years.

  2. Comment
    smallrevolution

    Here is how it goes. The rules for "lawsuits" differ radically, than if it were a doc in private practice. Damages are so limited and rules so burdonsom that most attorneys decide that most all cases would be at a loss in terms of costs vs. their portion of recovery. The V.A. controls the lawsuits in such a way as often if you have no attorney they are just ignored.

    So, while they "have their own malpractice statutes" they do not serve to protect veterans. In fact, it is a well known fact that practitioners play it fast and lose in the V.A. system because they know they are protected from lawsuits. These are some of the things done with litte risk of effective patient response:

    1. conditions that do not need surgery are operated on just so interns and resisdents can learn the procedures.

    2. patients are lead to believe an experience sergon will perform an operation, or experienced doctor a risky procedure, only for an inexpereienced intern to step in supervised by a resident at the last moment.

    3. Patients are sedated and subjected to trainee practice exams, including pelvic, rectal, and breast exams, while they wait for surgery.

    4. Informed consent rules are often not follwed in terms of procedures and research.

    5. Patients are abused.

    6. Patients are infected due dirty equipment, facilities, and staff, with everything from Hep C to Herpes II, and even AIDS, while the V.A. just responds, "well they could have gotten it here, but they can not prove they were infected here", even if they know they did not clean the equipment used for you say, colonoscopy.

    Of course worse happens, folks are killed, raped, mamed, for life, and still the V.A.s response is inadequate. Of course the same is true of civilian medical review boards as well, it is just the V.A. with the "anti-lawsuite" malpractice statutes, is worse yet.

  3. Comment
    patrickdodd

    BTW I think we vets vote for what serves us and then employees vote our counts down. I think we need a break down of Veterans who do not work for the V.A. and V.A. employees votes. I would like to see the differences on several issues.

  4. Comment
    thetimberbroker ( Idea Submitter )

    thank you for your comment patrick. keep in touch

  5. Comment
    thetimberbroker ( Idea Submitter )

    I want to thank everyone that posted a comment there are so many.. keep the good work up. maybe we vets have a chance

  6. Comment
    suefrasier

    The 2 of you are confusing a lot of different issues

    all under the same concept. The VA-Watchdog article

    is on the use of lawyers for veterans Comp and Pen

    claims. Your post is about VA medical malpractice

    tort. For your information there ARE wrongful death

    VA lawsuits which are settled out of court. I agree

    there isn't much else outside of the death scenario

    for a remedy and todays lawyers are just too lazy

    to do any work anyway let alone, against the VA.

    I am both a veteran and a former VA employee, Washington

    DC. I am also a part time writer for that OTHER website,

    Vets For Justice so I keep up better on the lawsuit

    news than most everybody else. Your assumptions may

    be a little off track.

  7. Comment
    thetimberbroker ( Idea Submitter )

    suefrasier Now I know who you are I can see you are more on the VA side than the VETS side probably because the VA has not done you wrong. You need to understand I have been fighting the VA for my injury for over 24 years. and still fighting. And I even know there are other Vets out there that are in worse condition but at least I fight for them. Maybe I am my own watchdog

  8. Comment
    smallrevolution

    Sue,

    first you say, "In the main body of VA laws, (USCA) they very much do havetheir own malpractice statute and it has been on the booksfor years."

    True but in response to his post misleading lacking in substance to the point of not saying much of anything but a lie.

    You latter admit that when you state,

    "I agree there isn't much else outside of the death scenariofor a remedy and todays lawyers are just too lazyto do any work anyway let alone, against the VA."

    Interesting how you shift the blaim to lawyers, which is more B.S. Lawyers will take any claim that they can make a profit from. The V.A. has made sure they cannot profit. The rest of the medical field would like to do the same, while more Americans die of medical errors than anything else.

    But, at least you have now admitted, there is very little that a vet can do with the V.A. screws them up and over with their abusive medical "care". However, this is not as you state, because the lawyers are lazy; this statement says more about you than the lawyers. Rather it is because the deck is so stacked against the vet, it will cost the lawyers more to sue than can be recovered, save all but wrongful death or cut off the wrong arm stuff.

    The V.A. now wants the vets to have no opportunity to get lawyers for disability claims.

    I have heard the medical industry contributes to republicans and the lawyers to democrats; guess us VETS should ALL start voting democratic as a block.

  9. Comment
    smallrevolution

    There is also a link between the V.A. medical care and disability claims, as the word is that the V.A. physicians have been told not to diagnose certain conditions, (this goes way beyond just PTSD, including symptoms of PCB exposures, vaccine caused illnesses, and more) so as to avoid evidence of military related illnesses and service connection claims as well as the expense of treating the illness.

  10. Comment
    thetimberbroker ( Idea Submitter )

    Well, lets all cut to the chase. All Veterans need to get together and have a conference and maybe just maybe we can solve alot of the problems before they get worse. And when i say get together I mean in a peacful way. As they say you can do more with honey. I love all the e-mails. ALL of you have good opinions and bad ones Just like me. We are all human but most of all WE ARE VETS. keep the e-mail coming

  11. Comment
    popeye519

    I'm not 100% sure but I was told the VA would be subject to giving the veteran or the veteran's family some compensation in the form of disability, the percent of compensation would depend on the severity of the mistake and law suit. You can always ask someone at the DAV (Disabled American Veterans).

  12. Comment
    smallrevolution

    A pension is dependent upon:

    The V.A. admitting that they messed you up, and that either SOP or standard of care was violated, or informed consent was violated.

    This is hard to prove when they hide records, lie, and even degrade and retaliate against patients complaining and requesting documents.

    They try to minimalize the damage they do, shift the blaim, and ignore claims (D,D and Hope they kick the buckett).

    So, pensions cannot take the place of lawsuites and serve the vets fairly.

    Also, their lives may be shortened to the extent that it is better to pay them for damages up front, rather than through a pension.

  13. Comment
    Rachel Lunsford, Moderator
    ( Moderator )

    I really appreciate the discussion that has occurred over the last day. I have learned a great deal more because of it. I'm wondering how this relates to open government. Is it being honest and open when we make mistakes? Is it having a fair chance to correct those mistakes on either side?

    thetimberbroker makes to points I like: one-- we're all human. Our Veterans are human, VA employees are human, the Secretary is human, even the President is human. We're all going to make a mistake here or there.

    But the point I like even more is the conference for Veterans. If Veterans had their own conference annually perhaps held at different locations around the country, do you think people would gather? VA wouldn't have to it on at all... it would be a conference for Vets run by Vets.

    I am a VA employee and I am not a Vet. However I have several family members who served and several friends currently serving.

  14. Comment
    patrickdodd

    Rachael,

    The nature of this discussion turns not on "conferences", save as organizing tools for non-violent resistance. The V.A. should concern itself with stopping abusive and risky practices, including cleaning the gear. Good god man, just cleaning the gear and you all do not get it right. First colonscopy gear in over half the V.A. facilities doing the procedure and now the Endovginal transducers? http://www.vawatchdog.org/10/nf10/nfmar10/nf031710-1.htm

    We want good honest and open health care, our autonomy respected including good informed consent practices, and OPEN and TRANSPARENCY when the V.A. messes up. Tell us the truth, and give us what we need to offset the costs, including to our quality of life.

    AS it is the system is adversarial all the way, including "health care" and claims. So, why should the V.A. be able to limit lawsuit damages or access to lawyers ad hoc?

    This is the point. Conferences is just a step to organize to get what we need given the system is an adversarial one.

    Now you get it, no?

    btw

    Wow, had to misspell colenoscopie and endovgnal, because the were identified as "abusive/inflamatory/curse words and prohibited.

  15. Comment
    thetimberbroker ( Idea Submitter )

    Thank you Rachel for your comment. I enjoyed reading it. Yes we all are Human and Humune mistakes are made we are not perfect. If everyone was perfect just imagine what this world would be like. I t would not be a pretty sight. Yes we need to get together and have a Conference once a year and I would love to get it started. But it takes everyone here to help. I have always said that if the VA would let me open my mouth itwould be like trying to shut down a runaway locomotive. LOL I fight for Vets everyday of my life and will until my last breath and beyond. so lets get this thing going before the vets lose everything. The VA Hospitals belong to the VETS. If it was not for the VETS there would not be Vetrean Hospitals and the good employees that are out there that care for Us Vets. Let me know more.

    Steve Isaacson

    Fighting vet for all Vets

  16. Comment
    thetimberbroker ( Idea Submitter )

    oops sorry for the spelling thats what i get for not looking over my typing.

  17. Comment
    Rachel Lunsford, Moderator
    ( Moderator )

    Steve, I hope you've joined our facebook fan page. The guy who runs it is a OEF/OIF Vet, really smart, and works for the VA. I have the honor to work with him on a daily basis and he constantly reminds me of who I really work for-- Veterans. Please join that conversation on Facebook. There is a lot of great things that you might really enjoy if you aren't already.

    patrickdodd, the filter is maintained by GSA and ideascale. I'm surprised that those words weren't okay.

    I also really liked the idea of a conference because the tenants of open government are transparency, participation, and collaboration. A conference would definitely fit into one, two, or all three of those categories and I think could do some real benefit. I could be wrong about that idea and I'm okay with that.

  18. Comment
    patrickdodd

    Rachel,

    I think you are right about the conference; it would be good.

    My point is that this is not the only thing, or even primary thing that should be taken from this stream.

    The main issues are veterans:

    1. To say V.A. health care is less than open and honest is a gross understatement. When veterans are not being told about mistakes including neglect in the form of just not bothering to clean gear in spite of repeated note of problems, when drugs are used to facilitate consent (something that is not even legal), then superficial efforts such as this board and conferences are not enough. We are being infected with STDS, rendered disabled or even further degrading our quality of life, even reducing our life span or out right killing us, and rather than honesty we get cover ups, stalls and delays in reform and restructuring. I mean traced the dirty gear back a decade so far.

    If the V.A. were really open and transparent they would tell us they have failed at cleaning gear in the past before we consent to procedures. This requirement would encourage problems get fixed before a decade or so has passed.

  19. Comment
    thetimberbroker ( Idea Submitter )

    Rachel, tell me how to get to facebook fan club. I am on facebook

  20. Comment
    Rachel Lunsford, Moderator
    ( Moderator )

    Steve, Search for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on facebook. Or http://www.facebook.com/VeteransAffairs. You can also find a link on www.va.gov below the picture on the right hand side.

  21. Comment
    smallrevolution

    Limiting folks ability to bring lawsuits or access lawyers encourages abuse, esp. in the medical profession. This has played itself out in the ugliest of ways in the V.A. system to the point where patient battery is common place, informed consent is a considered something to end around or overcome rather than achieve. We do not need more of the same when we file claims, often related to incompetent, abusive, or negligent V.A. care. While not about the V.A. the link below is to a story that makes this point.

    Medical Malpractice Litigation Is Not The Issue, Patient Safety Is

    March 2nd, 2010 by Austin Kirk |

    In the recent debate over heath care reform, Republicans have attempted to put the focus on medical malpractice litigation and diminishing the rights of victims to be compensated for preventable medical errors. However, the real issue in the debate should be about patient safety and making medical care in America better, safer and more effective, which medical malpractice limits will not accomplish.

    STORY AT http://www.youhavealawyer.com/blog/2010/03/02/medical-malpractice-litigation-is-not-the-issue/

    Also, check out this link for facts rather than propaganda. Here you get the facts about the high rate of avoidable errors and the law rate of lawsuits. As well as some inside info on how women vets are being treated.

    Arrogance, Abuse, Fraud, Medical Malpractice: How Some Physicians Beg for Law Suites

    http://www.patrickdodd.com/bio.html

  22. Comment
    Rachel Lunsford, Moderator
    ( Moderator )

    patrickdodd, thank you for keeping me on track. I don't want to detract from this topic at all-- the conference thing just got me thinking. I admit that I don't know as much as I could about this topic, but I am very appreciative of all that you and thetimberbroker and others have shared.

  23. Comment
    thetimberbroker ( Idea Submitter )

    Just kep reading and commenting. I love what is said. puts more info out there from others to see whay direction we need to go