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Alarming Amount of Medical Malpractice in Military

Posted by Thomas Pettinicchi of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jan 12, 2013 in Medical Malpractice

Most civilians aren't aware of the Feres Doctrine, a 1950 Supreme Court ruling that prohibits those serving in the military from suing the government for medical errors committed by military doctors. In civilian cases involving a doctor error or medical negligence, the patient can pursue compensation for damages that often result by various types of medical malpractice.

Numerous attempts to overturn the doctrine have been heard, but it is still leaving those in the military or their families with no recourse when death or serious illness or injury occurs as a result of medical malpractice on the part of military doctors. This information is disturbing to citizens in Connecticut and across the U.S.

One such case noted in a recent attempt to overturn the Feres Doctrine involved a 29-year-old Marine Corps Sgt. who died as a result of gross medical error. After enlisting in the Marine Corps, the man was given a medical examination and a physician found melanoma on his buttocks. However, the young Marine was not informed of the condition. While serving overseas eight years later, he reported the skin condition but it was left untreated. He was eventually informed of the diagnosis, but not until it was too late. Eleven years after the melanoma was first identified by a military doctor, the marine died from the condition.

In another disturbing case, a woman in the military gave birth to a baby boy in a military hospital, only to have the caesarean section botched by the attending physician at an Air Force medical base. The woman's uterine artery was cut during the procedure, causing severe bleeding. As hospital staff worked to stop the bleeding and repair the damage, two sponges were left inside her. She died 12 hours later, never having held her newborn son.

The Feres Doctrine protects military doctors and civilian doctors working in military facilities from facing punishment for medical errors that can ultimately result death. Hopefully there will be a change to the complicated system so that patients are protected from often serious mistakes that can happen in a military hospital. If you were the victim of medical malpractice while serving in the military contact a Connecticut personal injury lawyer today.