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Capitol Health Call
June 11, 2008

Veterans’ Suicide Attempts

JAMA. 2008;299(22):2620. doi:10.1001/jama.299.22.2620-a

Some members of Congress are calling for the resignation of Ira Katz, MD, mental health officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Katz is under fire because of reports suggesting he was involved in efforts to cover up the number of veterans attempting suicide.

At a May 6 hearing before the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, lawmakers focused on an internal VA e-mail sent by Katz. The e-mail said, “Shh!-Our suicide prevention coordinators are identifying about 1000 suicide attempts per month among the veterans we see in our medical facilities. Is this something we should (carefully) address ourselves in some sort of release before someone stumbles on it?”

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