Fighting military medical malpractice

Capitol Review

There’s no malpractice in military medicine, according to law.

It’s called the Feres Doctrine, named for a case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court nearly 70 years ago. It bars military personnel from suing the military for injuries they receive on active duty. However, it’s also been used to protect military doctors and the U.S. government against lawsuits for malpractice.

Army Sgt. First Class Richard Stayskal wants to change that. He says Army doctors failed to identify a suspicious growth in his lung. He was later diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.

Stayskal is still alive, and he and others who say they’re victims of military medical malpractice testified on Capitol Hill this past week. Brie Jackson reports they want Congress to change what they call an outdated, unsafe and unfair law, and Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Florida) has introduced legislation to do just that.

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