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7 years ago  ::  Feb 01, 2008 - 7:36PM #1
cinthia_29
Posts: 519
The Feres doctrine A legal doctrine that prevents people who are injured as a result of military service from successfully suing the federal government under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The doctrine comes from the U.S. Supreme Court case Feres v. United States, in which servicemen who picked up highly radioactive weapons fragments from a crashed airplane were not permitted to recover damages from the government. Also known as the Feres-Stencel doctrine or the Feres rule.

http://www.nolo.com/definition.cfm/Term … B/alpha/F/

What protects men and women in the military from negligent doctors? Do you think that the US Government should have the right to deny this right to military members? 

News Report Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5l7BObKkb5Q
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 02, 2008 - 2:04AM #2
dunimus
Posts: 228
Do military sign any waver of rights when they join???
Come check out my forum thread!!!

http://community.beliefnet.com/go/thread/view/43901/14386648/The_Biblical_Answer_to_The_Epidemic_of_Sickness
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 02, 2008 - 10:13AM #3
cinthia_29
Posts: 519
Yes it's mandatory.
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 02, 2008 - 7:18PM #4
mindis1
Posts: 7,933
Feres v. United States, 339 US 910 (1950) was indeed a horrible ruling, based on three classic logical fallacies.  It effectively interpreted a military exemption in the Federal Tort Claims Act of 1946 to mean that active-duty service members and their families, as well as people civilly employed at military bases, cannot recover for torts when the tortious act is in any way related to a service member’s military service.  The Court arrived at this ruling by clearly distorting the language of the FTCA.  Since then, the most outrageous acts of negligence and abuse by military personnel that have resulted in permanent injury and wrongful death of service members and their families, racial and disability discrimination claims, and a variety of other wrongful acts have all gone without redress due to the Feres precedent.

Basically every lower court has complained about the illogic and unfairness of Feres and having to dismiss valid tort claims on the basis of Feres.  And in Court cases since the ruling, the three fallacious arguments upon which Feres was based have each been voided as controlling caselaw. Feres itself would have been overruled by the Supreme Court (in United States v. Johnson, 481 US 681 (1987)) but for one vote.  It will eventually be overruled, since there is simply no rational way to defend it.

And since Feres is an interpretation of a federal law, Congress could have at any time during the past 57 years clarified the exemptions allowed by the FTCA.  The Feres ruling itself specifically noted, “if we misinterpret the [FTCA], at least Congress possesses a ready remedy.”  Congress has never enacted that remedy.

So anyone can sign the petition to abolish the Feres doctrine, and, more importantly, lobby your US representatives to pass the Veterans Equal Rights Protection Act, introduced in 2003.

You can read more about the legal history and implications of Feres in this paper.
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 02, 2008 - 7:29PM #5
cinthia_29
Posts: 519
Mindis thank you for your response and for the petition.
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 07, 2008 - 5:03PM #6
mindis1
Posts: 7,933
Thank you, Cynthia, for bringing up the Feres Doctrine.  I had no idea how far-reaching it is until I looked it up.  Even people in the National Guard would find their tort claims dismissed under the Feres Doctrine. 

I find it stunningly hypocritical that every member of Congress for the last 57 years would readily sing praises about service members yet not work to abolish the Feres Doctrine, which would require nothing but a simple vote. 

Have you known anyone affected by Feres?
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 07, 2008 - 7:52PM #7
cinthia_29
Posts: 519
No, I don't know anyone who has been affected, but I have heard a few stories. I knew about the law but haven't thought about it much until I saw this story. I wouldn't want to sue the government for anything but I would like to see military doctors had accountable. What bothers me more than anything about this law is that you have no complaint record for your doctor. With any other doctor you can go online and look up any complaints or malpractice suits those open and those settled. It's public record you don't have this in the military, so if your doctor has is incompetent theres not any way to know other than word of mouth. Service members don't have a choice on who they see. They see whatever doctor is in the clinic at the time. Families have a very hard time getting to see an outside doctor, we see doctors on base as well. We can however request referrals and ask for a doctor out in town, it has to be approved by out PCM. And if you are in the military good luck on trying to get a second opinion. I know a guy when he was first in the military he asked for a second opinion on something and got cussed out. The doctor didn't take well to a 3third class enlisted member questioning him because he was an officer. But we have no way of researching our doctors of checking their backgrounds and that is my biggest problem with this law
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