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Feres Doctrine...justice Scalia...protects Guinea Pigs Ops.



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Is it clear what Congress opinion is on regarding the Feres Doctrine?




The U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the Feres Doctrine to mean that soldiers "injured in the course of activity incident to service" may not sue the Government for compensation. (Note 168) However, when inappropriate experimentation has resulted in suffering for military personnel, this interpretation stands in violation of established ethical standards, including the Nuremberg Code, the Declaration of Helsinki, and the "Common Rule." Congress should not apply the Feres Doctrine for military personnel who are harmed by inappropriate experimentation when informed consent has not been given.

The U.S. Supreme Court mentioned the Nuremberg Code in United States v. Stanley in 1987. James Stanley, an Army serviceman, volunteered to test the effectiveness of protective clothing and equipment against chemical warfare in February 1958. (Note 169) In the process, he unknowingly received LSD as part of an Army study to determine the effects of the drug on humans. Although Stanley suffered from periods of incoherence and memory loss for years, he only learned in 1975 that he had participated in the LSD study when the Army solicited his cooperation in a followup study. Having been denied compensation for injury by the Army, Stanley filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the opinion for the Court, split 5 to 4. (Note 170) Justice Scalia wrote that permitting Stanley to sue the Army would disrupt the Army itself and "would call into question military discipline and decision-making." However, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, writing for herself as one of the dissenting judges, stated that the Feres doctrine bar

"surely cannot insulate defendants from liability for deliberate and calculated exposure of otherwise healthy military personnel to medical experimentation without their consent, outside of any combat, combat training, or military exigency..." (Note 171)

Justice O'Connor also commented on the Nuremberg Code in her writing, stating that voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential, even for the U.S. military. It was, after all, the U.S. military who played an instrumental role in the criminal prosecution of the Nazi officials who experimented with human beings during World War II.

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If the military kills its members through negligence they should get sued. The thing is that they do it so often they would be broke if it were allowed. The Marine with the skin cancer is a case that is a shame and disgrace.

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