The VA scandal is caused by a recent culture shift in public policy that is threatening to public safety. In the 1930s, states started passing professional licensing laws to protect the general public from being deceived by undereducated charlatans in matters concerning finance, law, public safety and health. These license laws were to ensure people with proper education were making decisions based upon protection of individuals, not on financial motives.
However, in the past 20 years, both government and businesses have made business and communication majors managers of licensed professionals. These managers lack the training for their positions and often used their authority to override the decisions of the licensed professionals under them.
The current situation in the Phoenix VA is a perfect example of the above. Sharon Helman, the Phoenix administrator with a communications degree from National University, an online college with questionable accreditation, was making decisions about triage, a practice only reserved for medical doctors and specially trained nurses after an initial examination.
There appear to have been deaths caused by Helman’s overreach of authority and because of her lack of education she failed to recognize her liability. The people who placed her in this position of authority are equally culpable.