Vet says VA hospital violated his privacy - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Vet says VA hospital violated his privacy


By: Chris Cheng

TEMPLE – Patient confidentiality is probably the most important part of a hospital's foundation but the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Temple is being accused of breaking that promise.

A veteran, who suffers from Military Sexual Trauma or MST, said hospital employees probed him about his visit and then forced him to wear a badge that identified his condition.

"James," as he preferred to be called, said he battled with MST for more than 20 years before he decided to come forward and get help.

Last week, James and his wife went to the VA Hospital and when they arrived they were told to go to the domiciliary building.

When they arrived, James said he was asked why he was there and to put it in writing on a public sign-in sheet.

"I was very embarrassed; it was like reliving the situation again,"

James said.

The couple was then told to put on a badge that said "MST" on it, before they were allowed to go upstairs for their counseling.

Both James and his wife were very embarrassed that they had to walk around the building with the label on them and admitted to getting stares.

"It was like I was a marked man walking around the whole place wearing this label out," James said.

James had enough of the stares and decided to take off the badge and finish his counseling.

During their visit the couple said they were questioned by employees, not once, but three times about their visit.

"It's very embarrassing you already dealt with it and then you come forward to seek treatment and it's like doing it all over again, you know it hurts a lot," adding, " It's the first time I went out there and its probably the last time," James said.

The VA said that James and his wife should have never been questioned about their visit and that this is an isolated incident.

Officials said they are making sure things like this don't happen again by educating their employees about sensitive situations like this.

James understands how hard it is to come forward with a condition like MST and hopes what happened to him does not happen to anyone else.

"You know a lot of veterans, like me myself deal with issues, suicide issues and stuff like that and when you go through things like this it makes you kind of wanna end it all," James said.

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