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Stress Claims

April 29, 1993

Mentally and emotionally ill people did not just disappear when we closed the hospitals and then the mental health clinics; they are there, plain to see, on the streets, and, to pay for dearly, in jails and prisons.

Doing away with all "stress claims" in workers' compensation because a few crooks were stealing money from us all will cause irreparable harm to thousands of good, hard-working people who have legitimate stress claims and psychiatric complications of physical injuries.

I've been, I think, a good and neutral evaluator for many state agencies, courts, the L.A. Fire and Police Pension Board, and the workers' compensation system. I've been a caring physician, treating the disabled within the same system for fees unchanged since 1987. Nevertheless, with the present hysteria, I guess I'm history, as the kids say--but the sick and injured are still here and, unevaluated, uncompensated, and untreated, they'll be back.

The Legislature should take care not to throw out the patients with the trash.

MICHAEL B. COBURN MD

Diplomate in Psychiatry

Van Nuys

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