Health Law

Panel Allots Blame for Va. Tech Massacre


A lack of communication, misunderstood medical privacy laws and inadequate mental health treatment options share the blame along with gunman Seung Hui Cho for a shooting spree in which he killed 32 fellow students and faculty at Virginia Tech earlier this year before killing himself

Those were the conclusions of a review panel appointed by Viriginia’s governor, reports the Washington Post in a page-one story that describes the panel’s conclusions in detail. It released its findings Wednesday. The panel also said that a campus warning by Virginia Tech about initial shootings early on April 16 probably would have saved some lives later on in the day, and noted that a judge had ordered treatment for Cho that he didn’t receive.

“I think the one thing that caught the panel by surprise was the magnitude of the problems today in our mental health system,” says W. Gerald Massengill, chairman of the panel. “This is an issue that has national implications, because this is not a problem unique to Virginia.”

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