Space

July 29, 2013

Judge: VA can treat vets harmed by experiments

Paul Elias
Associated Press

A federal judge in Oakland, Calif., has ruled that Cold War military veterans who say they were harmed by government-backed chemical and biological experiments aren’t entitled to medical treatment outside the Department of Veterans Affairs medical system.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled July 24 that the veterans failed to prove that the VA system was inadequate to properly treat them. She did order the government to keep the thousands of veterans who participated in the experiments up-to-date on any new health hazards that may surface.

Several veterans filed a federal lawsuit in 2009 alleging that the government was failing to properly treat health problems allegedly caused by the experiments. The lawsuit was then turned into a class action, representing at least 7,800 veterans who say the government exposed them to chemical agents, germs and all sorts of drugs in researching how to defend against nontraditional weapons attacks.

The lawsuit alleged that the government failed to provide proper notice to many of the veterans about health hazards they faced by participating in the experiments. The lawsuit also alleged that the VA system is so overburdened that it can’t properly treat veterans now allegedly suffering health problems because of their participation in the experiments.

The U.S. government says it stopped experimenting on humans in 1976.

July 24, Wilken gutted most of the veterans’ claims by ruling the government has attempted to reach out and offer help to them over the years. In 2006, for instance, the VA sent letters to as many test subjects as it could locate, alerting them to file disability claims if they believed their health was suffering because of the experiments. The federal government also issued a blanket order releasing all test subjects from secrecy oaths they signed to participate in the experiments so that the vets could freely discuss their health concerns with VA doctors.

However, Wilken ruled that the government does ìhave an ongoing duty to warn about newly acquired information that may affect the well-being of test subjects after they completed their participation in research.

The veterans’ lawyer, Eugene Illovsky, said he was ìgratifiedî that the government owed a duty to the veterans to keep warning them of newly discovered health hazards. He said he was still reading through the 72-page ruling and consulting with his clients to determine whether to appeal.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Ninth Boeing GPS IIF reaches orbit, sends first signals

Boeing Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF satellites are steadily replenishing the orbiting constellation, continuing to improve reliability and accuracy for users around the world. The ninth GPS IIF reached orbit about three hours, 20 minutes after launching today aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech photograph

NASA asteroid hunter spacecraft data available to public

NASA/JPL-Caltech photograph The NEOWISE spacecraft viewed comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) for a second time on January 30, 2015, as the comet passed through the closest point to our sun along its 14,000-year orbit, at a solar distanc...
 
 
NASA and ESA image

NASA’s Hubble, Chandra find clues that may help identify dark matter

NASA and ESA image Here are images of six different galaxy clusters taken with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (blue) and Chandra X-ray Observatory (pink) in a study of how dark matter in clusters of galaxies behaves when t...
 

 
SOFIA

SOFIA finds missing link between supernovae, planet formation

NASA/CXO/Herschel/VLA/Lau et al SOFIA data reveal warm dust (white) surviving inside a supernova remnant. The SNR Sgr A East cloud is traced in X-rays (blue). Radio emission (red) shows expanding shock waves colliding with surr...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

NASA’s Opportunity Mars Rover finishes marathon

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./USGS/Arizona State Univ. This illustration depicts some highlights along the route as NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity drove as far as a marathon race during the first 11 years and ...
 
 
NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given

NASA announces teams for 2015 Human Exploration Rover Challenge

NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given Pedaling across a simulated alien landscape of rock, craters and shifting sand is one of the nearly 90 teams of high school, college and university students from across the United States and around the wo...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>