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Feres Doctrine


vaf

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I've signed many petitions over the years and wrote letters to congressional representatives regarding an attempt to abolish this doctrine. As I'm sure most of you know, the Feres Doctrine allows the military medical system to provide substandard care to active duty military free of any culpability or vulnerability to lawsuits for medical malpractice, even when the substandard care results in death.

It was borne from a need many years ago to exempt wartime field medics from legal accountability for triage care administered on the battlefield. Now, it exists to protect military healthcare providers from accountability and lawsuit for substandard care.

I personally know a nurse anesthetist who went in for surgery on a hiatal hernia, and ended up accidently having her sympathetic nerve cut, which was not an expected outcome of surgery, and caused her to lose her career (in fact, ANY career). The first thing the USAF did was to pursue cancellation of her nursing credentials in the licensing state, and then kicked her out of the military on a medical. She's now living on a small military pension and social security disability. The two surgeons at Wilford Hall escaped any disciplinary action, and went on to lucrative careers in the civilian world.

On a personal note, we found out that the likelihood of receiving adequate diagnostic care at the base we were at was directly correlated to the availability of the equipment needed to assist in that regard at the base hospital. Otherwise, something very dramatic had to happen before the patient was transported off base for care that ended up costing the USAF a lot of money. In our case, it did.

The Feres Doctrine needs to be abolished, and military healtchare providers held accountable for negligence, just as their civilian counterparts are.

From what I read here, it appears that many of the members have been in the same boat as my husband, with no recourse to do anything about it. The VA medical system is supposed to take care of the residuals, but to discuss the ways in which it only aggravates the problem would be preaching to the choir.

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Why is this veteran on a "Military Pension" and not on a VA Disability. You should check that out. The hiatal hernia that requires sugery as a minimum will be 30% and that is not including the additional residual complications that you have mentioned. Forget about moving mountains in the Feres Doctrine, focus on your (her) immediate problem.

I personally know a nurse anesthetist who went in for surgery on a hiatal hernia, and ended up accidently having her sympathetic nerve cut, which was not an expected outcome of surgery, and caused her to lose her career (in fact, ANY career). The first thing the USAF did was to pursue cancellation of her nursing credentials in the licensing state, and then kicked her out of the military on a medical. She's now living on a small military pension and social security disability. The two surgeons at Wilford Hall escaped any disciplinary action, and went on to lucrative careers in the civilian world.

On a personal note, we found out that the likelihood of receiving adequate diagnostic care at the base we were at was directly correlated to the availability of the equipment needed to assist in that regard at the base hospital. Otherwise, something very dramatic had to happen before the patient was transported off base for care that ended up costing the USAF a lot of money. In our case, it did.

The Feres Doctrine needs to be abolished, and military healtchare providers held accountable for negligence, just as their civilian counterparts are.

From what I read here, it appears that many of the members have been in the same boat as my husband, with no recourse to do anything about it. The VA medical system is supposed to take care of the residuals, but to discuss the ways in which it only aggravates the problem would be preaching to the choir.

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To allow the Feres Doctrine to go unchallenged is to invite similar discriminatory treatment against the military community in the future. The mountain needs moving...

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Yes, the mountain needs moving. Replacing a lost paycheck does nothing to replace a lifetime of lost health, happiness, self respect, and all else that is lost. Not to mention a persons equall rights in a country founded on freedom.

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Go right ahead and spend your energy in trying to move that mountain. In the interim, forget about and don’t pursue the benefits made available to you for injuries and diseases resulting from military service.

In any major task, the rule is to pick the low hanging fruits first. Prioritize the harder tasks and so you can continue to progress. In this case, work on obtaining the benefits first.

Abolishing the FD will do nothing to replace the health of that Nurse. Additionally, the doctrine protected that nurse and it also protects all other military members.

Feres refers to the name of a decision handed down by the United States Supreme Court* in 1950 which held that soldiers who were serving in the armed forces could not sue the United States for injuries received while on active duty. The opinion actually covers three different fact situations: in the Feres case itself, the soldier had burned to death in a barracks fire started by a defective heating plant; in the companion case of Griggs v. United States, the soldier was alleged to have died from medical malpractice by army surgeons; and in the case of Jefferson v. United States, the plaintiff, while on active duty in the army, had undergone an operation on his abdomen. Eight months later, after being discharged, he had to undergo another operation due to recurring pain in his abdomen. After opening him up, the surgeons pulled out a towel, 18 inches wide by 30 inches long, that had stenciled on it: "Medical Department U. S. Army"!

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Feres is continually being challenged.

http://www.petitiononline.com/fd1950/petition.html

This subject brings something to mind that always bothers me-

I know some former Corpsmen. They were trained, even in a battle situation, to somehow document all injuries and treatment for the injured serviceperson. In a war course I took recently , war medics in the Civil war had left detailed documentation of injured soldiers they treated and the results. Civil war docs even had to document and control their medical supplies in the war theatre and account for their pack animals and the food and water allotted to them and their patients-

My point is this- knowing that Corpsmen had to document what they did-why is it that a vet's SMRs dont always have any of this info at all?

Lets face it, Corpmen answered to Command too and somewhere their documentation has to exist.

In the Nam-when an injured soldier was heloed out ,didnt -in some cases- some paperwork have to go with them?

I am volunteer with local Fire/EMS as auxilliary.

If we get a MVA- and you have maybe 4 patients or more and paperwork on all of them before the ambulance gets to the hospital-

I don't get it- a vet can have the PH based on a statement from a superior yet-

what happens to the paperwork on the actual GSW itself?

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I always wondered that too. With my injury, I was treated (stitched) by field combat medics, transported to a feild medical station that included surgeons, transfered to a naval feild hospital, then to a permanant hospital in Germany. The only records available are the regular hospital records even though records (or notes) went with me the whole way. The medical story was deluted by the time I got to permanant treatment. That can't be very accurate, but then the Veterans account is allways doubted. Hmmmm.

Time

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