Military Group Supports Malpractice Bill for Service Members
A bill that would reverse a 60 year old Supreme Court ruling banning military service members from suing the federal government for medical errors or medical malpractice has gained the influential support of the Military Officers Association of America. Presently, those in our armed forces can not sue for medical negligence.
“Your legislation would remove an inequity,” retired Vice Adm. Norb Ryan, president of the 370,000-member Military Officers Association of America, wrote in a Friday letter to Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., the lead sponsor of the bill.
Rep. Hinchey’s bill, the Carmelo Rodriguez Military Medical Accountability Act, would allow service members to bring lawsuits against the federal government for damages arising from medical errors or medical negligence. According to Vice Admiral Ryan, the bill would be particularly appropriate since members of the military often have little choice in selecting their medical providers.
The bill is named after a Marine Corps platoon leader Carmelo Rodriguez, an Iraq war veteran who died at age 29 from a melanoma that was not properly treated. Initially, the melanoma was correctly diagnosed but not treated. It was later misdiagnosed as a birthmark.
The bill was approved by the House Judiciary Committee and is pending a full House floor vote.