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Victims of Military Medical Malpractice Seeking Basic Legal Rights

Basic issues of fairness and constitutional respect often lead a Chicago medical malpractice attorney to advocate against the dangerous and misguided attempt to take away victim rights with so-called “tort reform” legislation. However, many advocates often forget the sad reality that there remains a huge group of medical malpractice victims who have already had all of their legal rights stripped from them. Veterans, military families, and other groups have no right to seek any compensation if they are injured by the medical malpractice of military medical personnel
Fortunately advocates believe that recent action by the U.S. Supreme Court may finally restore to these brave service members and families the basic legal protection so many take for granted. The AP recently reported on the effort.

The United State Supreme Court has asked for more information in the case of one Air Force sergeant who hospitalized for what should have been a common procedure, an appendectomy. The surgery went just as expected. However, following the surgery a military nurse anesthetist put a breathing tube into his esophagus instead of his trachea. The mistake deprived his brain of oxygen for an extended period of time. He remained on life support for three months before passing away.

The Court may use the case to overturn what has become known as the Feres Doctrine. This 1950 Court ruling essentially declared that all injuries suffered by military personnel because of the medical mistakes of their military caregivers was the same as suffering a battlefield wound. As such, the victim had no right to be compensated for the losses they suffered as a result of medical malpractice.

Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Peronti find it incredible that our military personnel sign away their basic legal rights to receive adequate medical care when they commit to serving the country. Access to the legal system must be extended fairly to all of those who have a reasonable expectation of basic care.

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