The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs uses the words of Abraham Lincoln in its pledge to care for those “who shall have borne the battle” and for their spouses and children. Unfortunately, sometimes the VA falls short of its mission.
One part of the federal government that typically gets overlooked in San Antonio history classes is the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. But the story of the agency is a fascinating one; the VA’s origins can be traced back to 1789 when the brand new American government passed legislation creating pensions for disabled Revolutionary War veterans.
If untreated, his schizophrenia brought on vivid hallucinations. But the 55-year-old man was able to stave off the frightening figments of his imagination with daily doses of the powerful anti-psychotic medication Clozapine.
The 23-year-old woman who suffered from lupus showed up at the emergency room with shortness of breath and neurological symptoms that included facial numbness and slurred speech. The symptoms necessitated that a routine blood test (a CBC and a Chem-7 test) be performed.
Her husband was a Navy veteran who died from kidney disease after a Veterans Affairs hospital delayed treatment. Two weeks after his death, his widow received a letter from the VA addressed to her husband, urging him to get immediate care.
Regular readers of our San Antonio legal blog know that we frequently focus on our nation’s veterans and the medical care that they receive. You might have heard of a case in which a federal judge early this year found the Veterans Health Administration liable for the tragic suicide of an Iraq war veteran.
Sometimes it is the things that doctors don’t do that wind up being more harmful than the things that they do. An example of this can be found in the man whose doctors for years failed to test him for HIV despite known risk factors. When he was finally tested, the test came back positive.
When his country was at war, he answered loudly and clearly. Today, the 66-year-old Viet Nam veteran can't say a word.
It's likely that you haven't recently heard much about the infamous "bridge to nowhere." Though the proposed Alaska bridge was a big campaign issue back in 2008, it has long since faded from the political vocabulary.
The nation's health care system for military veterans continues to be racked by problems. Last year, politicians promised that the billions of dollars to be spent on a digital medical records system would deliver "faster, better and far better quality care."