Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Former VA Scientist Tells Congress of Ethics Concerns

Dr. Steven S. Coughlin, Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology, Emory University testified before Congress last week concerning his ethical concerns over on going VA research.

"For the past 4 ½ years, I was a senior epidemiologist in the Office of Public Health at the Department of Veterans Affairs. In December 2012, I resigned my position in the US Civil Service because of serious ethical concerns that I am here to testify about today.

"The Office of Public Health conducts large studies of the health of American veterans. However, if the studies produce results that do not support OPH’s unwritten policy, they do not release them. This applies to data regarding adverse health consequences of environmental exposures, such as burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan, and toxic exposures in the Gulf War. On the rare occasions when embarrasing study results are released, data are manipulated to make them unintelligible.