A-12474, JANUARY 16, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 486

A-12474: Jan 16, 1926

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TRANSPORTATION AND PAY OF INSANE ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY TRAVEL TO HOSPITAL OF ATTENDANTS WITH ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY DISCHARGED ON MEDICAL SURVEY BECAUSE OF INSANITY IS AUTHORIZED. PAY FOR SUCH DISCHARGED ENLISTED MEN WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED UNDER A POSTDATED DISCHARGE WHICH IS NOT DATED BEYOND THE NECESSARY TIME OF TRAVEL BETWEEN THE PLACE OF LAST TREATMENT BY MEDICAL AUTHORITY OF THE NAVY AND THE HOSPITAL TO WHICH ADMITTED. RESPECTING ENLISTED MEN WHO ARE DISCHARGED ON MEDICAL SURVEY BECAUSE OF INSANITY. WHO ARE ENTITLED BY REASON OF WORLD WAR SERVICE TO TREATMENT IN VETERANS' BUREAU HOSPITALS. WHO ARE ISSUED A DISCHARGE AT THE PLACE OF LAST TREATMENT BY MEDICAL AUTHORITIES OF THE NAVY POSTDATED TO BE EFFECTIVE ON DELIVERY OF THE MAN TO THE VETERANS' BUREAU HOSPITAL SELECTED.

A-12474, JANUARY 16, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 486

TRANSPORTATION AND PAY OF INSANE ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY TRAVEL TO HOSPITAL OF ATTENDANTS WITH ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY DISCHARGED ON MEDICAL SURVEY BECAUSE OF INSANITY IS AUTHORIZED, AND PAY FOR SUCH DISCHARGED ENLISTED MEN WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED UNDER A POSTDATED DISCHARGE WHICH IS NOT DATED BEYOND THE NECESSARY TIME OF TRAVEL BETWEEN THE PLACE OF LAST TREATMENT BY MEDICAL AUTHORITY OF THE NAVY AND THE HOSPITAL TO WHICH ADMITTED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, JANUARY 16, 1926:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY YOUR INDORSEMENT OF DECEMBER 23, 1925, LETTER OF THE PAYMASTER GENERAL OF THE NAVY OF OCTOBER 15, 1925, RESPECTING ENLISTED MEN WHO ARE DISCHARGED ON MEDICAL SURVEY BECAUSE OF INSANITY, WHO ARE ENTITLED BY REASON OF WORLD WAR SERVICE TO TREATMENT IN VETERANS' BUREAU HOSPITALS, WHO ARE ISSUED A DISCHARGE AT THE PLACE OF LAST TREATMENT BY MEDICAL AUTHORITIES OF THE NAVY POSTDATED TO BE EFFECTIVE ON DELIVERY OF THE MAN TO THE VETERANS' BUREAU HOSPITAL SELECTED, AND WHO ARE SENT IN CARE OF ATTENDANTS TO SUCH HOSPITALS. THE PAYMASTER GENERAL REQUESTS DECISION WHETHER OR NOT PAYMENTS OF THE FOLLOWING CHARACTER ARE PROPER IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH CASES:

(A) PAY OF ENLISTED MAN WHILE BEING TAKEN FROM THE PLACE OF DISCHARGE (OR PLACE WHERE HIS UNFITNESS FOR MILITARY SERVICE IS ASCERTAINED) TO THE VETERANS' HOSPITAL DESIGNATED AS THE PLACE OF FURTHER TREATMENT.

(B) THE EXPENSES OF SUCH ATTENDANTS WHO ACCOMPANY THE MAN TO THE VETERANS' HOSPITAL.

(C) IN THE EVENT IT BECOMES NECESSARY TO TRANSPORT A MAN TO A VETERANS' BUREAU HOSPITAL AT A POINT GREATER THAN THE DISTANCE FROM PLACE OF DISCHARGE TO HIS HOME, MAY THE EXCESS COST INVOLVED BE BORNE BY THE GOVERNMENT?

THE QUESTIONS ARISE BECAUSE OF DECISION OF THIS OFFICE OF SEPTEMBER 3, 1925, A-10562, 49 MS. COMP. GEN. 149, CASE OF SAGEY, AND DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 29, 1925, A-1119, 49 MS. COMP. GEN. 1169, CASE OF HERNANDEZ, WHICH CONSIDERED THE RIGHTS OF THE ENLISTED MAN IN SUCH A SITUATION TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE UNDER THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 22, 1922, 42 STAT. 1021, FROM THE VETERANS' BUREAU HOSPITAL TO WHICH ADMITTED BACK TO THE PLACE FROM WHICH SENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IN THE CARE OF ATTENDANTS. IN THOSE DECISIONS THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENTS OF THE CHARACTER REFERRED TO BY THE PAYMASTER GENERAL, NOT DIRECTLY PRESENTED BUT CASUALLY REFERRED TO, WERE NOT QUESTIONED.

WHERE AN ENLISTED MAN BECOMES INSANE WHILE IN THE SERVICE IT IS OF COURSE IMPRACTICABLE TO DISCHARGE HIM FROM SERVICE AND RELEASE HIM UPON THE COMMUNITY IN WHICH HE WAS LAST STATIONED. THERE HAS LONG BEEN A PROVISION OF LAW FOR THE CARE AND TREATMENT OF SUCH PERSONS. SECTION 4843, REVISED STATUTES, PROVIDES FOR THE TREATMENT OF THE INSANE OF THE ARMY, NAVY, MARINE CORPS, AND REVENUE CUTTER SERVICE IN ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL, WASHINGTON, D.C. SECTION 1551, REVISED STATUTES, PROVIDES THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY MAY CAUSE PERSONS IN THE NAVAL SERVICE OR MARINE CORPS WHO BECOME INSANE WHILE IN THE SERVICE TO BE PLACED IN SUCH HOSPITALS FOR THE INSANE AS IN HIS OPINION WILL BE MOST CONVENIENT AND BEST CALCULATED TO PROMISE A RESTORATION TO REASON. THE TRAVEL OF SUCH ATTENDANTS AS HAS BEEN NECESSARY TO DELIVER INSANE PERSONS OF THE NAVAL SERVICE TO ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL HAS NOT BEEN QUESTIONED IN THE PAST, AND IF UNDER SECTION 1551, REVISED STATUTES, THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY DETERMINES THAT ADMISSION TO A VETERANS' BUREAU HOSPITAL SELECTED WITH REFERENCE TO THE MAN'S HOME WILL BE BEST CALCULATED TO PROMISE A RESTORATION TO REASON OR BE OF BENEFIT TO THE MAN, THIS OFFICE WILL NOT QUESTION THAT DETERMINATION NOR THE TRAVEL OF ATTENDANTS NECESSARY TO MAKE IT EFFECTIVE. QUESTIONS (B) AND (C) ARE ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.

IT WOULD APPEAR THAT SECTIONS 4843 AND 1551, REVISED STATUTES, CONTAIN SUFFICIENT AUTHORITY FOR RETENTION OF CONTROL OF A PERSON DISCHARGED FROM THE NAVY BECAUSE OF INSANITY WHILE BEING TRANSPORTED TO A HOSPITAL FOR THE INSANE IN THE CARE OF ATTENDANTS PURSUANT TO ORDERS OF THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY. SEE 31 OP.ATTY.GEN. 431. HOWEVER, IT IS DEEMED NECESSARY WHERE THE TRANSFER IS NOT BEING MADE TO ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL,THE POSTDATING OF THE DISCHARGE, INDUCED BY THE CIRCUMSTANCES IS NOT CLEARLY UNLAWFUL AND WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED IF THE POSTDATING IS NOT BEYOND THE NECESSARY TIME OF TRAVEL BETWEEN PLACE OF LAST TREATMENT BY THE NAVAL MEDICAL AUTHORITIES AND THE HOSPITAL TO WHICH SENT. QUESTION (A) IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.