AUSTIN, Texas. ProPublica recently reported that the VA in Nevada may be using unproven medical treatments on VA mental health patients. According to the investigative report, Senator Dean Heller may have pressured doctors at the VA to adopt an unproven mental health treatment. Investigators are looking into possible business connections that Heller might have with the company that promotes the treatment. The treatment involves detection of a patient’s brainwave frequency and uses detection of certain frequencies to target for therapy. Electromagnetic therapy is then used on those targeted areas. The equipment used in the treatment is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but this is an off-label use, meaning the effectiveness of the therapy has not been tested. Supporters of the therapy claim that too many patients are suffering to delay treatment using promising therapies.
According to ProPublica, the Trump administration permits the VA to use alternative therapies for veteran mental health patients. While some alternative therapies can appear promising, doctors have expressed caution about using treatments that have not be widely tested. Veterans of Foreign Wars has expressed concern with the use of alternative therapies because the government doesn’t provide the VA with additional funding to adopt these therapies. The concern is that money will be diverted away from proven therapies to be used for unproven ones.
There has been some research into brainwave patterns and certain diseases. According to Parkinson’s News Today, researchers have found a link between abnormal brain wave patterns observed in Parkinson’s patients, depression patients, and patients suffering from neuropathic pain. While researchers believe that eventually these studies can lead to targeted treatments, it is a big leap to identifying similar brain waves and to finding a proven therapy that can treat depression or a condition like Parkinson’s.
However, some Veterans groups disagree, saying that veterans should have access to any promising new treatments available. Private companies have promoted their new treatments through Veterans Affairs, but the concern investigators have is one where conflict of interest between government officials and companies becomes an issue.
So, what can Veterans or their families do if they are having trouble accessing proven treatments or if they are harmed by the use of unproven treatments? Victims of medical procedures or treatments that go wrong may have the right to pursue a lawsuit. The Robson Law Firm are medical malpractice lawyers in Austin, Texas who work closely with individuals who believe they have been hurt due to medical malpractice or medical errors. Mental health patients deserve the same quality and standard of care as patients seeking treatment for their physical health. If you or a loved one has suffered adverse events after using an unproven medical treatment at the urging of your doctor, you may have certain rights under the law. Visit the Robson Law Firm today at https://robsonlawfirm.com/ to learn more about your options.
Robson Law Firm
1114 Lost Creek Boulevard
Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 345-8200