SUICIDE APPOINTMENTS: Veterans Denied and Delayed Care at VA Hospitals Making Their Final Visit Deadly

More Veterans Are Killing Themselves at VA Hospitals Nationwide in 2015 as Delays and Denials for Medical Care and Benefits Continue

May 20, 2015

PHOENIX — Homeless veteran Thomas Murphy, 53, died May 10 of suicide in the parking lot of a VA facility. He shot himself in the head with a handgun after writing a note about his frustrations getting his care and benefits from VA.

He is among the more than 100,000 veterans since 9/11 to die from suicide.

More and more veterans are arriving at VA hospitals and administrative offices in a final and symbolic act of desperation. Just how many veterans have come to die by suicide at VA facilities is unknown, and VA isn’t talking.

Former U.S. Marine turned VA counselor in Phoenix, Brandon Coleman, says the problems at VA hospitals handling suicidal veterans are systemic and that most VA staff are poorly trained to deal with suicidal veterans. Coleman recently came forward as a whistleblower to expose the problems of handling suicidal veterans who come to VA for help.

Some are delayed or denied care while others are often allowed to walk out of the emergency room on their own.

On March 30, in the parking lot of the Pittsburgh VA, 31-year-old Former Army staff sergeant Michelle Langhorst also shot herself in the head with a handgun.

It has been more than a year since the secret wait list scandal at VA hospitals became headline news, yet nothing has changed. Several new programs and bills have been passed by congress, yet veterans desperate for the care and benefits they have earned continue killing themselves at VA facilities.

Congress has failed once again to take any action that effectively ensures VA provides the care and benefits veterans need and are entitled to by law.

Click here to read more about the suicide deaths of Thomas Murphy and Michelle Langhorst.

DEATH VOTE: Congress Wants Deadly Pharmaceutical Cocktails to Continue at VA, No Medical Cannabis For Vets

House Votes Down Equal Access Amendment That Would Have Allowed VA Doctors to Offer Medical Cannabis Treatment Option to Sick Vets

May 4, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Let the overdoses continue. That is what Congress voted for 213-210 when they failed to pass the Veterans Equal Access Amendment this week.

The amendment would have allowed VA doctors to recommend medical cannabis to patients — especially those suffering from PTSD — instead of the dangerous pharmaceutical drug cocktails now standard issue at VA hospitals.

At least 30 percent of new patients at VA have been diagnosed with PTSD. Most are treated with an often lethal mixed bag of prescription psychotropic drugs.

The standard VA drug cocktail nearly always combines the following:

SSRIs (Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac) for depression
Benzodiazapines (Klonapin, Ativan, Xanax) for anxiety
Cyclopyyrolones (Lunesta, Ambien) for insomnia
Trazadone for depression
Anti-psychotics (Seroquel, Risperdol, Abilify) for PTSD.

Patients with both PTSD and orthopedic injuries are also given powerful Opiod pain medications such as Oxycodone or Morphine. A high percentage of veterans suffer some sort of orthopedic injury during their military service, especially those in combat units.

Nearly all the listed pharmaceutical drugs above carry the FDA’s most serious warning (Black Box) label for dangerous side effects, especially for suicide ideation.

Congress’ vote against giving VA doctors the ability to offer a cannabis option to treat the symptoms of PTSD, and for use in pain management means veterans will continue getting bags of dangerous pills from VA that greatly increase the likelihood of toxic drug overdose and suicide.

Congress essentially voted to keep VA doctors in the business of killing veterans via “pharmacide.”

Medical cannabis used under a doctor’s supervision is proven safe and effective in a majority of patients suffering from the symptoms of PTSD and chronic pain. There are no known cases of overdose with cannabis therapy, and cannabis is not contraindicated with alcohol consumption.

At least 50 percent of new veterans self-report as frequent binge drinkers; having five or more drinks in a single drinking session.

All the above pharmaceutical drugs are not safe for use by patients who consume alcohol. They are nearly always deadly when combined with heavy alcohol consumption.

To read more from the Tech Times about Congress’ vote to keep VA doctors from recommending medical cannabis to sick and wounded veterans click here.