Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Should troops get the right to sue the US for medical malpractice?

A medically retired airman filed suit against the U.S. government Friday in Texas, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Colton Read contends military surgeons so badly botched a routine gallbladder procedure in July 2009 that his legs had to be amputated to save his life, the newspaper reported Sunday.

The case is the latest challenge to the so-called Feres Doctrine, which places strict limits on the ability of active-duty personnel to sue military doctors for medical malpractice. The 62-year-old legal precedent protects the U.S. government from being held liable for negligence suffered by troops while on duty.

The Supreme Court in June 2011 refused to hear a military medical malpractice case involving Staff Sgt. Dean Witt, who was left in a persistent vegetative state after an Air Force hospital botched what should have been a routine appendectomy in 2003.

Read the entire story here.

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