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VA Deaths: Families deserve answers and closure

It has been nearly a year since U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., learned of suspicious deaths at the Louis A. Johnson Veterans Hospital in Clarksburg — and asked for a federal investigation.

Since then, three lawsuits have been filed by relatives of people who died under suspicious circumstances at the Department of Veterans Affairs facility.

In March, Melanie Proctor of Ellenboro, filed a complaint regarding the death of her father, the late Felix K. McDermott. He was a veteran being cared for at the hospital, and medical examiners ruled his death a homicide from an unprescribed and unneeded insulin injection causing hypoglycemia. Their report also says staff and doctors acted outside the medical standards of care after the unexplained severe drop in blood sugar was discovered.

In fact, as information about the situation trickles out, it has been reported as many as 11 suspicious deaths occurred at the hospital in 2017-18.

VA officials have said a person linked to the investigation, and who once worked at the hospital, is no longer employed there. Federal investigators have identified a person of interest in their probe. It is known the VA has been looking into the deaths for at least two years.

The need for extreme caution in such a case is obvious.

Still, the sooner families of those who may have been murdered at the hospital get answers, the better. They have gone through too much, already.

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