Army denies requests to reveal results of PTSD study

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, February 28, 2013 10:03 EDT
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This file photo shows US soldiers arriving at an airbase in Kandahar via AFP
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Multiple public information requests for the results of an extensive inquiry into the treatment of soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have been denied according to NBC News, but the Army says the results will be made public sooner or later.

The probe centers on Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington, where some soldiers claim their PTSD diagnoses have been wrongly changed to save the government money. The review was launched after an Army psychiatrist at Madigan gave a lecture citing a memo that claims veterans suffering from PTSD could get up to $1.5 million in health benefits over their lifetimes.

That memo was obtained by The Seattle Times in February 2012, resulting in the suspension of Madigan’s top official. But now that the probe into how Madigan treats PTSD patients is complete, the Army is mum on its results.

A Pentagon spokesperson told NBC that the probe covers every single mental health diagnosis issued going back to 2001, but cautioned that the files contain sensitive medical information. Nevertheless, the spokesperson said that work to filter out sensitive information would be “completed shortly,” after which “we will be able to share not only the findings, but the way ahead.”

Roughly one soldier committed suicide every 25 hours in 2012, the Army said, for a combined total death toll of 349: an all-time high that outpaced even combat deaths. Veterans who’ve experienced traumatic brain injuries and have suicidal thoughts as a result are urged to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Photo: AFP.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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