Retired Marine Jordan Buisman died waiting for an appointment, but somehow that didn’t stop him from rescheduling it. This isn’t a case of any spooky happenings, though: It’s a case of the veterans affairs office filling out paperwork in a dead man’s name after heavy delays.
Corporal Jordan Buisman was a Marine videographer who had developed epilepsy and was medically discharged. In June 2012, a VA neurologist instructed him to make an appointment if his condition changed. He had a seizure in September, and made an appointment on October 12.
Buisman’s appointment was confirmed for December 20. He died after another epileptic seizure struck on November 26, and four days later, the paperwork showed that he’d rescheduled his appointment for January 17.
The retired Marine’s family is outraged at the Minnesota VA’s actions. Whistleblowers have stated that it’s common practice for secretive rescheduling to be made without the patient’s consent. It makes it appear as though the delay was the fault of the patient and not the veterans affairs office.
That doesn’t mean they were right to do so, according to Minnesota Republican Representative Erik Paulsen. He told the press that something needs to be done and “there needs to be consequences.”
The Minnesota veterans affairs office claims that the action may have been made due to their automated call system, which calls patients 72 hours before the appointment. The problem with that explanation is that the change was made several weeks ahead of time.
The initial time it took to get an appointment may have been what led to Corporal Jordan Buisman’s death, according to his family. The Minnesota VA had set the initial appointment for December, two months after he made the call, and three months after a seizure.
Buisman’s family is suing the Minnesota VA for wrongful death, alleging that if the retired Marine had been able to make the appointment, it might have saved his life. His mother Lisa Riley believes the records had been falsified to hide the delay.
— MHV Champion (@MHVChampion) September 24, 2014
The VA is currently investigating what happened, by request of U.S. Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, and Representative Tim Walz. Klobuchar said in her letter to the Minnesota VA, “This case appears to be an egregious example of manipulating scheduling practices to conceal excessive wait times that put veterans’ lives at risk.”
Doctor Orrin Devinsky, director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at New York University, looked over Buisman’s records. He says they indicate a good chance that the retired Marine could still be alive today if he’d had access to specialty clinic services within the 14-day waiting period that the VA is currently aiming for.
What do you think of Corporal Jordan Buisman’s VA appointment being literally delayed to death, and then rescheduled afterward?
[image via KARE 11, Army Times]