On Thursday’s show, we discussed this Salon article that claimed that a secret recording reveals the Army may be pushing its medical staff against diagnosing post-traumatic stress disorder.
Hardball invited a representative of the Army on the show to respond. We got an emailed response:
The Army, dedicated to compassionate, effective mental and physical
health care, strives to accurately diagnose and aggressively treat
Soldiers who experience post traumatic stress disorder.
The Army does not pressure health care providers in their determination
of a diagnosis, nor does it condone such activity. A 2008 Army
investigation in fact concluded that commanders were not influencing
health care providers. The investigation did, however, note that the
requirements for a PTSD diagnosis were too cumbersome, making it
difficult for Soldiers to complete the physical evaluation board
The Army responded, making it easier for psychiatrists to diagnose PTSD
by changing the requirements for boards to assign PTSD as a diagnosis.
Psychiatrists are no longer required to document the specific nature of
the traumatic event, which was sometimes difficult to confirm when the
events happened in the war zone.
- Lt. Col. Christopher C. Garver, U.S. Army
Media Relations Division, Army Public Affairs
(updated with full response, April 10, 2009, 10:30 a.m.)