"Shareholder" interests in conflict with veterans health care
At the orders of the executive branch, the V.A. along with other branches of government, have been instructed to engaged in a open and transparency in government"propaganda campaign. I call it a "propaganda" campaign, as I am convinced that in spite of his simple and very comprehensible analysis, Chomsky was right about industry, politics, and propaganda. Still, it is true as another hopeful if skeptic commentator wrote, " the proof is in the pudding. Implementation over the next few months will reveal how much new transparency we will actually receive from this process. This first step, the instructions to the agencies, has gone well, now our work must focus on ensuring the next step, implementation by agencies, goes equally well and produces substantive change."Therefore, in the interest of democratic participation, and as someone with true grievances directly related to a lack of openness and transparency, or even a hint of honesty for that matter, I engaged in the dialogue. It turned out, this is just another instance of empirical evidence supporting Chomsky's his theory. Ironically even as I complained of this, while quoting Chomsky, some of my posts were labeled "conspiracy theory" and removed along with other posts that were critical of V.A. "stakeholder" interests. Here is how it went.
After many serious posts about conflicts of interests between education and research vs. Veterans medical care were removed as "off topic", I took a look at some of the comments being posted by moderators of the site. It lead to an interesting investigation, and then to the following post:
"The V.A. has too many interests that conflict with veterans medical care. I have been aware of this for some time, but something at this site made me think about this again, and the serious impact it makes on our "health care".
I looked at the moderators' posts and saw a redundant note to "shareholders", that this forum was for the public, not them. Now, I always thought the "shareholders" in the V.A. would be the tax paying public. Not so I found out with a quick google.
I googled "V.A. shareholders" and found these, among other links of the V.A.'s,
These links and others you will find show that the public, and veterans have very little influence over what goes on in the V.A. system and the conflicts of interests with veterans health care are overwhelming.
First the D.O.D. has far too much influence in our health care. This leaves veterans not only subject to military research without informed consent during service, but for the rest of their lives if they access V.A. health care. The D.O.D. can also influence other areas of V.A. operation that may not serve the veterans interest. In fact take a look at the virtual marriage between the D.O.D. and medial practitioners. I find this a very threatening marriage indeed.
Second, the Medical Schools have a long history of patient abuse in the interest of education and research. The V.A. shares this history. This makes sense in light of the fact that some of the "shareholders" are the Medical Schools, and thus administration and faculty that run those Medical Schools. The primary interest of these universities is not patient care or health, it is education, and patient health is often considered collateral damage to the benefits of education and research. The V.A. provides extraordinary protection for faculty from consequences of their actions including violating patients human and civil rights. Veterans are often reduced to lab rats and breathing cadavers in the interests to educating not just medical staff for the V.A., but for the entire nation, and beyond. So to a significant degree, veterans are the lab rats and cadavers for the world. Because faculty within the V.A. enjoy greater protections from lawsuits or even criminal charges in the V.A. system they play it fast and lose in their treatment of veterans.
The V.A. relationship with the pharmaceutical industry and other private corporations is also a problem. Conducting research in conjunction with the D.O.D., universities, pharmaceutical industry, and other private corporations, often in the absence if the veterans informed consent is a violation of our autonomy, our human and civil rights, and even at times our right to life and liberty.
Of course these "shareholder" interests, and their impact on what gets funded within the V.A. system also conflicts with veterans interests in many cases, where costs are cut by refusing veterans care outright or just not diagnosing known conditions, while funding goes to exploit the veterans as lab rats and breathing cadavers. As benefits are denied veterans, documents supporting their claims are destroyed, veterans are unknowingly being exploited by those very "shareholder" interests that compete for funds we are told go to providing veterans with health care.
Now, you may claim these are "accusations" but I have the evidence of some very ugly practices, including statements my medical professionals and staff, medical records, V.A. documents, and more. From unnecessary exams and procedures including surgeries, uninformed research, and more; even bait and switch practices where a patient is told one practitioner will be performing a procedure, only to be told at the last moment, if at all, that it will be team of trainees, residents supervising interns that will perform, veterans' rights to autonomy and dignity of autonomy, self determination, are grossly violated.
There are many abusive practices, and they all involve a lack of honestly, of V.A. openness and transparency with patients. They will not even tell us when they have harmed us, and will hide the medical records.
Veterans are not informed of these potential conflicts of interests when they seek medical care.
The V.A. should either, explicitly and clearly explain these conflicts of interests to every veteran seeking "medical care" in the V.A. system, and what this may mean for their "medical care", or the conflicts of interests should come to an end. In the interest of justice, of trust in doctor/patient relations, of democracy and freedom, the V.A. should not have such close relations with for profit industries, universities, and private corporations.
Also, veterans should be informed that V.A. physicians have been instructed not to diagnose and treat certain medical conditions.
I would prefer justice, but would settle for honesty, OPENESS and TRANSPARENCY.
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