Two articles in the July 4 edition highlight a fundamental flaw in the One Fund Boston disbursement process. The front-page story “Victim payout method faulted” detailed fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg’s focus on physical injury and number of days in the hospital in determining compensation for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Issues of a more psychological nature, such as the traumatic brain injury suffered by one spectator, were ignored. The second article, “An echoing of terror,” which appeared on the Metro front, described the devastating symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder that persist in many victims of and witnesses to the bombing.
Why are PTSD symptoms not considered worthy of compensation by the One Fund? Is it only because Feinberg’s expedited formula isn’t nuanced enough to handle psychological injury? Are we still living in an era when emotional pain is not considered to be real?
The Metro article tells of a psychologist who donates her time to the Boston Area Trauma Recovery Network. Why not apportion some of the remaining money in the One Fund to directly support this kind of invaluable and necessary work?
The writer is a psychiatrist.