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The Feres Doctrine Examined


In medical malpracticecases involving military medical personal, there is a separate law that that limits the doctors’ and hospitals’ liabilities. The act, known as the Feres Doctrine, was originally intended to limit the government’s liability for injuries which occurred in the line of duty, explains a doctor.

The Doctrine, while originally intended to limit lawsuits from wounded soldiers, was written in such a way that it has since been expanded to include injuries which are the result of malpractice at military hospitals and clinics. This has prevented numerous lawsuits against the government which would likely be brought against private physicians in similar circumstances. The Doctrine has undoubtedly saved the government billions of dollars in malpractice awards since it was enacted in the late 1960’s.

Arguments for the Doctrine claim that removing it would place a higher reward on injuries due to medical malpractice, potentially millions of dollars, than similar injuries which are the result of battle and that the cost to the government would be significant. Arguments against the Doctrine include claims that subjecting hospitals and doctors to liability encourages them to reduce the number of errors and improves overall care. Both sides have numerous supporters. The Doctrine has been addressed in several trials over the past six decades, but it has thus far stood up to criticisms.

There have been several lawsuits dismissed because of the Feres Doctrine in recent years, explains a Lawyer. Many of the cases in question have resulted in the death of members of the military or their families, while those that survived them received no additional compensation for the wrongful deaths.

A study in New York City and Westchester stated that all people should have the same rights when it comes to quality health care and doctors should be equally liable for their errors. The Feres Doctrine does not support this notion of equality for all people regardless of their military status. Family members of several soldiers who have died in military medical facilities are working to change the system and receive justice for those they have lost.

If you have lost someone due to a medical malpractice issue, you should seek out a New York Medical Malpractice Attorney who will be able to discuss your case with you.

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