Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Truth Or Rumor?

I ran across this story yesterday. Normally I try to find a second independent source before I pass on stories like this. I couldn't find one, for the reason stated below. However, because there are a few veterans who drop by here from time to time I thought I'd go ahead and post it, and ask if they have any knowledge of this.

Here's the original story.

Veterans Affairs Bans iPhones For Veterans
Veterans are now receiving leaflets from Veterans Affairs prior to diagnostic appointments that show iPhones are among a short list of “prohibited items” at VA medical centers. Other items on the list are pistols, knives and backpacks.
Actually, based on the picture, I think it's all smart phones that are banned, not just iPhones.

I understand the ban on weapons, but backpacks? And smart phones? After all, backpacks can be searched. And everyone carries a smart phone today. Even airports allow backpacks and smart phones.

Someone in the story's comments asked about a confirmatory source. Here's the question and the reply.

Can someone cite a source for this please.
I am outraged that the VA would do such a thing but if so I want this to go viral.


This is an original story from this website written by me. The leaflet was recently received by a veteran in Colorado. I submitted a FOIA request for additional information from VA yesterday. It will probably take 60 days to get a response.
Like I said, I did a little digging myself. The best I could come up with is this statement from the Baltimore VA.
Prohibited Items

Patients may not have alcoholic beverages, narcotics, firearms, ammunition, knives, other weapons, lighter fluid, non-safety matches, straightedge razors or any medications from home while at the Baltimore VA Medical Center. If a patient has any of these prohibited items with them while in the VA, they will be required to turn them over to the VA Police.

Cameras, Video Equipment and Tape Recorders

For reasons of patient privacy, cameras, video equipment and tape recorders are generally not allowed in the Baltimore VA Medical Center. If your family or friends wish to bring in a camera, video camera or tape recorder, they must make arrangements with the Nurse Manager.
I get the need to protect patient privacy. And I understand that smart phones can be used as recording devices. But a total ban on those devices seems like overkill. Of course, this is the government we're talking about. And the VA doesn't exactly have a sterling record when it comes to taking care of our veterans. Still, I find this a little hard to believe.

If anyone out there has additional info on this I'd love to hear it.


Toejam said...

P-38's hanging on the D.T. chains are probably already on the "banned list" because they are dangerous.


They forgot "Christian crosses and Stars of David" on Dog-Tag chains.

A silly oversight that will be corrected as soon as a Veteran administration person or the ACLU reads this post!

Old NFO said...

Interesting... I was at the VA hospital in DC two months ago, and nothing was said.

CenTexTim said...

Toejam - I wonder what the rule is for Sikhs and their daggers...

NFO - maybe it's a regional thing. The 'no cell phones' pamphlet supposedly came from a VA hospital in Colorado. The regs I posted came from the Baltimore VA, and you went to one in DC. Who knows...?

Toejam said...

CTT don't forget our Scotch Vets.

How about the Scots and their "sgian-dubh's" (dirks) which they must carry in their kilt hose (socks).

Knickers absent, but who is gonna check?

Caitlyn Jenner, maybe?

Old NFO said...

As much pressure as VA in Colorado is under, that's probably a true statement... Don't want anybody taking pictures or ANYTHING out there...