Little Rock AFB, AR.† USAF Hospital.† Dr. Denise Kirkland. Internal medicine physician who entered the Air Force out of private practice. Alleges unwarranted letters of reprimand, letters of counseling, unfavorable information file, referral of officer performance reports, loss of physician bonus, loss of a retroactive promotion to major, and commander directed psychiatric evaluation for identifying substandard care at the USAF Hospital, Little Rock.† She filed suit in Federal Court for a Writ of Habeas Corpus relating to her contract. Judge dismissed the case because she did not appeal to the AFBCMR even though the law did not require it.† She appealed to the AFBCMR to resign her contract and was denied.† An appeal was filed in Federal Court and was also denied.† She was recently accused of refusing to treat or care for a critically ill patient while her, Dr. Kirkland's, dominant hand was in a cast.† Her privileges were suspended without a hearing and she was given an Article 15.† She refused the Article 15 and demanded a trial by court-martial.† The trial is set for September 9, 1991, at Little Rock AFB, AR.† Her husband, David, has made contact with ABC News Prime Time, Newsweek, Time, U.S. News, New Physician, U.S. Medicine,American Medical News, New York Times, and The Washington Post.† David spoke with Mr. Upschulte from Senator John Glennís office and Upschulte told him that his wife could file a Federal Tort Claim for slander and libel.† Upschulte also said that any military member can have court-martial charges brought against another member, regardless of rank or position, if they go through their major command and can prove the allegations.†
"A Current Affair" showed Representative Barbara Boxer discussing this case.† Dr. Kirkland won her case against her Air Force accuser.† She has left the Air Force.† Morgan Welsh, LL.B. attorney for Dr. Denise Kirkland, 501- 376-9900.† 620 West 3rd street, suite 100, 3685†† Little Rock, Arkansas 72203.†† Fax:† 501-376-3724.
I was a "rising star" in the Navy's flight surgeon program until I was assigned as the only medical officer at the Navy's Safety Center in 1978.† The mission of my particular office was to analyze aircraft mishaps to determine medical/physiological/psychological causes and contributing causes. At that time, alcohol, drugs, fatigue, circadian rhythm problems and the like, although very prevalent causes and contributing causes of aircraft mishaps, were not officially accepted.† The line admiral for whom I worked at the Safety Center was very safety conscious.† He endorsed our findings of alcohol, drug, fatigue, circadian rhythm and other medical problems as causes/contributing causes of aircraft mishaps.† Our findings were widely published. The Navy hierarchy, both medical and line, became very upset.† My admiral was forced to retire (fired) and I was sent to Guam for"final disposition". Soon after arriving on Guam, I was found to have serious paranoid personality problems (the examining psychiatrist later told me he was ordered by the hospital commanding officer to make that diagnosis, and the Commanding Officer was ordered to do so by the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.† The hospital commanding officer apparently was promised he'd be made admiral if he were to cooperate).† Since the examining psychiatrist had a"twinge" of conscious/medical ethics, he referred me to Balboa Naval Hospital Psychiatry Department for final diagnosis and disposition.† The then Commanding Officer of Balboa Hospital was very much involved in the character assassinations from the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery I endured at the Safety Center and assured all he would "take care of" me.† After 24 days on a "locked" psychiatric ward, with no facilities for either females or officers, I was declared not to have a psychiatric diagnosis.† (Before leaving Guam for incarceration at Balboa Hospital, I had secured a promise from a line admiral on Guam, who was unaware of what was going on in Washington, that, if I were not happy with Naval Hospital Balboa's psychiatric evaluation, he would ensure I would be re-evaluated by an Army or Air Force hospital. I repeatedly reminded my Balboa Hospital captors of this promise.) I then returned to Guam.† My Guam hospital commanding officer was extremely upset with the Balboa Hospital psychiatric results and said he'd "look into" it.† He apparently communicated with Washington and, within one week of my returning to Guam, I was decredentialed.† The procedures to do so were not legal and did not follow Navy written policy.† I was to be sent to Naval Hospital, Balboa, for "retraining."† I was told I would not "survive" the training program.† (If one who has been decredentialed is not "trainable", the physician is separated from the Navy.)† I was openly informed my "career (was being) ruined" since I was not a "team player".† I was encouraged to "save everyone the trouble" and resign my commission.† Being basically very naive and believing in the "American Way", I chose to fight back.† I filed Article 138 of the UCMJ complaints against my Commanding Officer (my only method of redress in the Navy).† I also had the presence of mind to call a Congressman who arranged for me to be evaluated by the Air Force, at Wilford Hall Medical Center and the U.S. Air Force School of Aviation Medicine.†† The Navy was livid.† The Air Force found no problems with my clinical capabilities and found no problem with the treatment I gave my patients on Guam (the treatment which was supposedly so bad I was decredentialed.)† I have not heard another word from the Navy about my clinical competence since that time.† My legal counsel has maintained I will never have my record cleared by Navy officials, in spite of the fact the voluminous documentation we obtained through the Freedom of Information Act clearly demonstrates the Navy purposely dirtied my records and lied about my clinical competence and psychiatric fitness.† I was advised I would probably win if I were to go to Federal Court, but that the Navy would "make (my) life miserable" and try to force me out in the interim.† I first had to go through all the legal"hoops" in the Navy for redress before I could go to Federal Court. The process has thus far gone on since mid-1982, and has cost me close to $100,000.00 of my personal funds.† My case is still pending in Federal Court.† The Navy is attempting to prolong the situation as long as possible, apparently hoping I will either run out of funds or desire, and give up the fight.† Every commanding officer of each subsequent duty station I have been assigned to since Guam has assured me he had "heard all about" me.† Each Commander has been more revengeful and vicious than the last.† I have been asked on several occasions why l don't just "save the Navy the trouble and leave".† I have had to endure two more psychiatric"evaluations".† The Navy cannot understand why I choose to fight back, as no one else does so.† I have only survived this long through Congressional intervention.† I will not leave the Navy voluntarily until my fraudulent record is cleansed.† As it is now, every state medical license I apply for, every hospital to which I apply for staff privileges, and every time I apply formal practice insurance, I must say I have been decredentialed and have been an inpatient in a psychiatric hospital.† I refuse to leave the Navy with such a fraudulent record.
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† V.M. Voge, CDR, MC, USN
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Rt. 3, Box 73
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Gonzales, Texas 78629
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 21 October 1991
Reprisal:† Reporting Pay Fraud Earns 21 Days On Psych Ward†† Michael Tufariello
†††† Chief Petty Officer Michael Tufariello (972-492-0464) reports that 600 Reservists were paid even though they never reported for weekend duty, Dallas Naval Air Station.† He eventually received a letter of thanks and of apology, but not before he was imprisoned in reprisal for 21 days on a psychiatry ward at Shepard Air Force Base.† Does this inter-service cooperation mean there is a military American Gulag?† He knows of 700 cases of abuse of military psychiatry, and states that because protective laws are little known, they are rarely enforced.† She testified before Congress on 19 November 1987 and on 24 March 1988.† He has appeared on television ("A Current Affair" and "Nightline") and been interviewed by Steven McGonigle, Dallas Morning News (800-431-0010).† His case is known to Senator Barbara Boxer, who champions correction of such human rights violations.† She described his treatment at the hands of his government as "un-American," and sponsored corrective legislation which he states was revised in 1993.† He testified before Congressional committees twice: 19 November 1987 and 24 March 1988.† The Senator's aide, Mr. Sean Moore, 202-224-3353, is well-versed in these issues.†
†††† Where were the doctors' ethics when Chief Tufariello was recommended by his commander for psychiatric hospitalization?† Why didn't the military doctor simply refuse to hospitalize him after finding him healthy?† Would the doctor have been similarly treated had he refused to imprison Chief Tufariello?† Who was the doctor?† Has he read The Nazi Doctors, by Dr. Robert Jay Lifton?† What means (e.g. ON CALL) of immediate medical-legal assistance, could be made available for doctors caught in such a moral dilemma?††