LAKEWOOD, Wash. --They've been suspended from their jobs, their medical ethics questioned. They've even been subjected to death threats. All because Madigan's forensic psychiatrists reversed several PTSD diagnoses.
Investigation clears Madigan's forensic psychiatrists of PTSD wrongdoing
They've been suspended from their jobs, their medical ethics questioned. They've even been subjected to death threats. All because Madigan's forensic psychiatrists reversed several PTSD diagnoses.
Those same doctors have reportedly been cleared in the first of three separate investigations.
Questions surrounded 17 cases in particular, and whether doctors deliberately lowered the number of PTSD cases to save the government money. Wednesday, the Army Surgeon General came under fire once again for the scandal.
On Capitol Hill today, Lieutenant General Patricia Hororo told a congressional subcommittee the army is reevaluating how it diagnoses soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder.
We're looking at everywhere we have variance and we're looking at how we can decrease that variance and be able to ensure we have one standard across army medicine, she said.
Doctors at Madigan first came under fire earlier this year when it was revealed 17 soldiers initially diagnosed with PTSD were told they didn't have the condition afterall-- changes made when Madigan's forensic psychiatric team reviewed their cases.
Army Specialist Jared Enger says doctors were already treating his PTSD when he was told his diagnosis had been reversed by Madigan's forensic psychiatristic team. Talking to a doctor on the phone trying to dispute the fact I didn't have PTSD while I was in an inpatient program for PTSD, recalls Enger.
But in at least one investigation--those same doctors appear to have been cleared. In an email obtained by KING 5, a senior Madigan official was told the investigation found Madigan's, standard of care was not compromised. And there was no indication of any financial incentive in reversing PTSD diagnoses.
Nevertheless--the investigation has taken its toll. At least one forensic psychiatrist resigned.
I find that i can no longer work in a system that requires me to sacrifice my professional and moral principles to political expediency, saidDr. Juliana Ellis-Billingsley
It was remarks by Madigan's chief psychiatrist--directing his staff to be good stewards of the public's money when considering a costly diagnosis of PTSD that got lawmakers' attention.
This particular investigation found no evidence money was a motivator.
A senior Madigan official tells KING 5 this is such a contentious issue that there have been death threats made against some of the doctors.
Senator Murray's office released a statement in response to the investigation's conclusion, the fact that every week we are seeing more and more service members having their PTSD diagnoses restored after they were taken away by this controversial unit, is undeniable proof that mistakes were made.
The results of two other investigations are still pending.
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