WEST LOS ANGELES: Veterans Facility Ethics Lapse Probed by U.S. House
Two U.S. House subcommittees are launching investigations into the West Los Angeles VA Healthcare Center after Veterans Affairs officials ordered research shutdowns last week at the facilities, the Los Angeles Times reports. Rep. Terry Everett (R-AL), chair of the oversight and investigations subcommittee of the House Committee of Veterans Affairs, said, "Apparently at least one VA researcher didn't understand that our veterans are not experimental animals. This cannot be allowed to happen again." In a "scathing" letter to the VA undersecretary for health, three House members announced that they have scheduled an April 21 hearing in Washington, DC, to address "the most serious matter to confront VA medical research in recent years." The Times reports that the investigation will center on "[w]hether the hospital failed to report the ethics violations to appropriate federal and state authorities"; whether conflicts of interest by the hospital hampered the investigation; and "[w]hether hospital officials had the proper legal authority to make a settlement" with Dr. Philip Sager, who admitted to conducting research on patients without their informed consent (Monmaney, 4/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.