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Military precedent prevents malpractice suits

People in Louisiana who give of themselves to serve their country in one of the branches of the armed forces deserve to receive the best medical and dental care possible. The same is true of their family members. Unfortunately, medical errors can and do happen even in military facilities. Even more unfortunately, there is a current legal precedent in effect that prevents military personnel and their relatives from pursuing compensation for these errors. 

The precedent dates back to 1950 and is called the Feres doctrine. Military.com explains that this precedent was meant to prevent service personnel from suing the government for alleged errors that occurred directly as part of their service and related to care provided in a combat zone or other situation. The law has since been used to bar family members from seeking compensation after the death of a new mother at a military hospital in the U.S., among other situations.

This is exactly what prompted one man to initiate a lawsuit as he lost his wife and the mother of his hours-old baby girl due to excessive bleeding. He had been in the Coast Guard and she was in the Navy. The birth took place at a Washington State military hospital. The case has since made its way to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court but Newsweek reported that the high court refused to hear the case

A Louisiana Senator has now introduced an amendment to the defense policy that would enable people to sue the government for non-active duty injuries or illnesses experienced by medical malpractice.

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