Having read every decision on HCV ever published by the BVA, I finally find one that incongruously declares (finally) that a Vet cannot declare he had HCV diagnosed prior to 1991. Keep in mind that I have read about 10,000 that point out with a straight face that there is no evidence of HCV in the Vet’s contemporary service medical records dating to the 60s-80s. For all these years I labored under the misconception that VA was unaware that Dr. Edwin Southern discovered this in 1989. Apparently VA is more than aware of it but professes ignorance on the subject whenever it will benefit the denial:
The Board finds one aspect of the Veteran’s statements to be not credible. Specifically, the Veteran contends that the Red Cross told him (in 1971) that he could not give blood because he had hepatitis C. The Board notes that the hepatitis C virus was not even discovered until the 1980s; it was not properly identified until 1989; and the screening process that made it possible to detect the hepatitis C virus in blood samples was not developed until 1991.
I find this almost too large a pill to swallow. In the next few days I’ll try to follow this with hundreds of others hopefully authored by this very same VLJ-J.A. Markey. How would one extricate himself from that sticky wicket? “Well, all Veterans have different circumstances and this is not a precedent-setting adjudication. Circumstances vary from one Vet to the next so this cannot be used as a definitive vehicle for all other similarly situated individuals.”
Sir Edwin Southern, M.D.( molecular Bilologist and our patron saint.)
P.S. I love search engines. Here we go J.A, Markey and Hepatitis C:
http://www.va.gov/vetapp12/Files4/1225677.txt (This one contains an error of law.)
A separate compensable rating for the Veteran’s hepatitis C associated with his service-connected status-post liver transplant is prohibited because it would constitute pyramiding of benefits under the Rating Schedule.
Most of these were remands so there is no smoking gun on Markey. However, the same cannot be said for the other 59 VLJs and the horde of AVLJs. Actually, one of the above recognizes what he espoused in the claim I discussed above which illustrates he is conversant with the disease etiology. Who woulda thunk it?