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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Same story everywhere...

It has come to light that the US Army may have discharged many soldiers on the basis of a wrong diagnosis leading to denial of disability and pensionary benefits.

Rather than acknowledging soldiers with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), they were stamped as having personality disorders.

This article throws light on this very grim problem being faced by Iraq veterans of the US Army.

It’s the same story here in India for we analyse psychiatric disorders in a manner which is more mathematical than clinical. But more on that later….


ninihala said...

Doctors all over are in a noble profession and are hence looked up to. Laws and conventions also protects them when they commit a mistake. However, because of the nature of skill that they practice, this profession is by and large self supervised, unlike others like lawyers and architects. Often, doctors in bureaucracies use this situation to further the cause of their own fraternity within the given bureaucracy. This particularly is practiced in military bureaucracies where a persons depends a lot on such MOs. Army doctors are not averse to use this soft power to provide services as favor and; take such bureaucratic oriented medical decisions( med bds etc)for reasons which are not rooted firmly in medical ethics and departmental rules etc. I am happy to note that we are not alone in this suffering, US Army is keeping us company. But that is no consolation. This sort of arbitrariness in medical advise and decisions has to be rooted out. There has to be a setup, non medical in origin, to supervise functioning of Medical Officers. A sort of tribunal with powers to impose exemplary punishments upon erring MOs.

Col NR Kurup said...

Attributing psychological disorder to persistant complaints of medical problem is not new to Indian Army. I had come across a case where a soldier grade S3 due to his persistant complaint of pain at varying places in his chest. The real problem was that he had breathed in his small denture. According to the MH this is not possible. But later he was admitted as a case of surgical emergency when his denture ruptured his lungs. I have seen this dentures when he was presented for a case study in CTC Pune.

smadhan said...

Overall a very informative page.