Judge Finds VA's Negligence Led To Iraq Veteran's Suicide

A sad and all-to-common story with a significant twist. A #veteran returns from Iraq with #PTSD and is a changed person. They struggle for years, grappling with #alcohol and other substance use disorders, domestic violence, and suicidal thoughts. They utilize the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for treatment, and are flagged as a high suicide risk--until that flag is removed without clinical review. They fall through the cracks and end up taking their own life. All families mourn, and some fight for accountability. CPL William P. Draughon's family sued the VA for negligence and a judge found in their favor.

"The VA breached its own standards of care by removing Draughon from the high-risk list for suicides, Judge Julie Robinson concluded after a weeks-long bench trial.

“This, coupled with the dearth of evidence that any clinician examined William, or reviewed his file before determining that the flag should be removed, is strong evidence that no provider exercised clinical judgment in removing the flag,” Robinson wrote in her 42-page decision."

There are thousands of William Draughons out there. Individuals hanging on by a thread without a safety net, hammered by the winds of PTSD, substance use, and other injuries and trauma. They need our help--and one way we can help is to #EndCannabisProhibition and ensure that Americans have access to the most effective medicine available.

EducationEric G