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Friday, August 31, 2007

NRM's exclusive on Dr Kevin Patterson gets national coverage

Our new article about attracted some and other CanWest newspapers, including , and .

In our August 30 issue, Dr Patterson (left) made his first -- and, so far, only -- public statement about the case. The Department of National Defence announced in August it would investigate him for disclosing the name and treatment details of a soldier he treated for a gunshot wound during a recent stint as a civilian physician in Afghanistan. The soldier, Cpl Kevin Megeney (right), was killed by "friendly fire" and complaints from his hometown sparked the DND's two separate investigations into .

Reprinted here is the full text of Dr Patterson's statement made to NRM, August 10 by email:

"Talk to Me Like My Father," which appeared in the July/August issue of Mother Jones, is an emotional, accurate and admiring description of the ISAF troops in Afghanistan and their sacrifices. The essay describes the horror of war in strong language, but to understand the extent of the ongoing sacrifice of the troops, I believe that strong language is necessary. If the public is to get a sense of the price being paid on our behalf by these young men and women, it is necessary to face with open eyes the grotesque nature of war trauma. The recent disengagement and fatigue of the public with these matters is itself grotesque. Reasonable people may disagree on the prospects for a durable solution in Afghanistan, but no one could dispute that these young men and women are there for us, and that it is our duty to understand what it is they endure in order to truly honour them for their courage -- and in order to make appropriate decisions about what is to be done in the future.

Kevin Megeney's immediate family was approached by Mother Jones magazine prior to the publication of this piece, and his mother's response was strikingly gracious. Nevertheless, it must have been painful for anyone who loved him to have read this. My intention was to honour their son and brother.
The investigation into Cpl Megeney's death is ongoing, as are the Military Police and the Health Services branch investigations into Dr Patterson's disclosure.

In the meantime, Dr Patterson , according to a Nanaimo Daily News article.

Photo of Dr Patterson:
Photo of Cpl Megeny:

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