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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 10:08 AM
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Military Can't Be Sued For Malpractice
Source: CBS News

CBS Evening News: Congress Takes Up The Case Of Sgt. Carmelo Rodriguez, Which We First Brought You Last Year

(CBS) About a year ago, CBS News reported on the story of a Marine, Carmelo Rodriguez, who died of skin cancer that military doctors noticed but left untreated.

Rodriguez's family cannot sue the government for malpractice - the law won't let them. A year later, CBS News chief national correspondent Byron Pitts has a follow-up on our exclusive investigation.


His death sparked a rush of e-mails, letters and calls to CBS News and members of Congress. Due to what's known as the Feres Doctrine, Rodriguez's family, including his 8-year-old son, cannot sue the military for medical malpractice.


"Carmelo wanted his story to be heard, even if his life couldn't be saved," she said. "He wanted to ensure that what happened to him could not happen to another service member."

Today's hearing was just the latest step in a long legislative progress. It could be months before the Carmelo Rodriguez bill ever reaches the floor of Congress for a vote. In nearly 60 years, no one has ever successfully challenged the Feres Doctrine. But no ever made it this far either.

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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
1. I can't imagine any doctor writing "melanoma" in a chart, and doing absolutely
Edited on Wed Mar-25-09 10:15 AM by TwilightGardener
nothing about it--not even informing the patient. That's insane. When my husband went to an AFB clinic about a mole that I eyed with suspicion, they promptly removed it and biopsied it. When my son had a growth inside his mouth, the clinic removed it and biopsied it. I have no idea why this soldier was so terribly let down by his care providers--if anyone in the military should be allowed to overcome the Feres doctrine, it's got to be this guy.
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enlightenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. One would hope - but I doubt it will happen.
I grew up a military brat and served in the AF myself; I never experienced civilian health care until I was an adult. I could tell stories about my experiences and the experiences of people I knew (not to mention those I simply heard about) that would make your hair stand on end. I suspect any person with more than a short experience with the system could do the same.

Military health care is very hot and cold - either very good or absolutely horrid. I suppose that's true for all health care, but at least a person or family damaged by civilian care has some recourse in the law (if need be). The military seems to handle bad doctors like the Catholic Church used to handle bad priests - by transferring them to another location. Out of sight, out of mind.
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Retdisvet Donating Member (6 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
3. Malpractice
As a retired disabled veteran of the Air Force and VA health care recipient I have come to the conclusion that the true definition of "Military Member" is "EXPENDABLE".
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Tempest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Rumsfield had another name for the troops

"Fungible", which is as bad as expendable.
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