The Scary Side Of Anesthesia: Mistakes, Awareness, Paralysis & More

This isn’t the Wild West. No, gone are the days where you reach for a shot of whiskey and clench a twig between your teeth. It’s nearly the year 2020 and we’ve got a MUCH  better way to deal with pain.

We’re talking about Anesthesia, the amazing gift that modern medicine has sealed with a bow and gifted us. Something almost all of us can be thankful for…unless you’re one of the few who’ve experienced it’s terrors.

In this article we’re going to talk about the scary side of Anesthesia…the side we hope you never have to experience.  But first let’s dig deeper into what Anesthesia is and how it helps patients.

A woman is comforted by her husband while in surgery.

The Purpose of Anesthesia

Most healthcare professionals are amazing. They work long hours and deal with stressful situations, all while doing their best to keep patients comfortable and healthy. One of the tools they routinely use is anesthesia. A combination of medications administered through a vein or breathed in, anesthesia is what keeps patients relaxed or even asleep during surgery. 

In case you weren’t aware, there’s actually three forms of anesthesia:

  • General anesthesia – Used for major surgeries, this is where you’re completely unconscious and unable to move your body; deep asleep and unaware of what’s happening. 
  • Regional anesthesia – Think a C-section, where a large part of the body is numb, but you’re still awake. 
  • Local anesthesia – Nearly the same as regional anesthesia, except the area under anesthesia is smaller. Local anesthesia is what dentists and eye surgeons routinely use.

When Anesthesia Goes Wrong

Anesthesiologists are responsible for giving patients the correct dose and combination of medications. They’re also there to monitor vital signs. Their job is incredibly important and surgeons rely heavily on their expertise. 

Now, for the most part they do an incredible job, but sometimes things go wrong. Maybe the body just reacts in an unpredictable way and it’s no one’s fault. Other times complications occur because someone didn’t do their job. Maybe they weren’t paying close attention or forgot to do something important.

Something important like:

  • Giving too high or too low of a dose.
  • Not tracking the patient throughout the procedure.
  • Failure to inform the patient how to prepare for surgery. 
  • Turning off the pulse oximeter alarm. (This is the device that is usually clamped on your fingertip. It sounds an alert if your heart isn’t pumping enough oxygen to your vital organs.)
  • Failure to recognize complications as they develop. Anesthesiologists should be paying close attention to your heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, etc.

A man sits in a chair visibly upset with his hand covering his eyes.

Anesthesia Side Effects:

There are a wide variety of side effects. Based on the severity of the medical error and how the body responds, mistakes range from trivial to catastrophic. In some cases they’re even fatal, which is all the more reason anesthesiologists need to exercise extreme caution. Here’s a list of varying side effects:

  • Postoperative pain
  • Nausea
  • Serious allergic reaction
  • Sore throat
  • Brain damage from a lack of oxygen
  • Tooth damage
  • Stroke
  • Coma
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hypotension
  • Breathing problems
  • Nerve injury
  • Heart attack
  • Death

Have you ever heard of anesthesia awareness?  This is another scary complication where a patient may wake up in the middle of surgery. Unable to speak or move, they have no way to tell the staff what’s happening. Sometimes patients not only hear what’s going on, but feel it. Talk about a nightmare. Patients that have lived through this describe it as horrifying. Take this story from CNN for example:

When Carol Weiher was having her right eye surgically removed in 1998, she woke up hearing disco music. The next thing she heard was ‘Cut deeper, pull harder.’

She desperately wanted to scream or even move a finger to signal to doctors that she was awake, but the muscle relaxant she’d received prevented her from controlling her movements.

‘I was doing a combination of praying and pleading and cursing and screaming, and trying anything I could do but I knew that there was nothing that was working,’ said Weiher, of Reston, Virginia.

Even after surgery, anesthesia awareness can provoke severe emotional distress, and patients may even develop PTSD. 

What to do if You’re a Victim of Malpractice

Anesthesiologists are experts in their field, we all know that. But they make mistakes like everyone else. If you’re the victim of medical malpractice, and the anesthesiologist made an error, they should be held accountable.

Medical errors are unfortunate no matter the severity. They can effect your body in a long term ways, change your emotional state, and seriously alter the trust you once had in medical professionals.

If you or a loved one are the victim of malpractice, it’s important to take swift action. In most malpractice suits there’s a statute of limitations; your time frame  to pursue legal action.

If you have any questions or you’d like to pursue legal action, please contact us. You don’t have to just accept what happened to you. You have the right to defend yourself or your loved one, and claim justice.

 

The Craziest Objects Left Inside People’s Bodies After Surgery

A sponge, gauze, scissors…

Items that should be left on the surgical tray,  NOT  in your body.

We get it, some people aren’t phased by the sight of blood and can even watch a surgical video without flinching.

But if you’re like the majority of people, you look away. When going in for surgery you may ask how long your surgery will be or what recovery’s like. But the rest…well you leave that to the medical staff. You don’t want all of the spine tingling details. You expect surgery to go smooth. To get in and out and have a nice place to rest your head while you recoup.

A girl lays comfortably in bed full of blankets and pillows.

What you don’t expect is to experience stomach pain and bloating for years and later find out two surgical sponges were left behind during your C-Section. Or come to find out your doctor left behind a towel, that’s now intertwined with your intestines…what?!

Here’s a few of the craziest surgical tales we’ve heard yet.

Missing Retractor

Unless you’re in the medical field, you probably don’t know what a surgical retractor is. Basically it’s a tool doctors use to keep your incision open and to hold back tissue and other organs.

Patient Donald Church knows all too well about these large, metal devices. It’s been nearly twenty years since his surgery, but it’s still one of the wildest stories yet.

Mr. Church’s surgeon left a 12 inch retractor in his abdomen. 12 inches! Can you imagine the misery he must have been going through? Being constantly poked and prodded by a piece of metal. According to Church it was agonizing:

There were days when I would just roll up on the floor in the bathroom and sob, because I was in so much pain. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.

Donald Church

Mr. Church voiced his concerns to his surgeon, but was told that pain post surgery was normal. Even thirty days after surgery, he was still communicating his concerns to no avail. Thankfully his family physician noticed a strange lump in Church’s chest during a routine exam. An x-ray was ordered which clearly showed the retractor. Church lived to share his story, and received some much deserved compensation for his troubles.

Infection Leads to Death

Not all stories have a happy ending. That’s why medical errors are such a huge issue that needs to be addressed. Sometimes people lose their lives because of careless mistakes.

In this story, a mother of three lost hers.

Geraldine Nicholson went in for surgery to have cancer removed. Scary enough, right? But weeks later she learned a surgical sponge had been left in her body from surgery. The sponge was removed, but Ms. Nicholson dealt with various infections spanning a year, because of it.

Cancer treatment saves lives but it also wreaks havoc on your immune system. Even the most mild infection can be life threatening. Because of the sponge’s aftermath, Geraldine wasn’t able to receive the chemotherapy and radiation she needed. She wasn’t left with a fighting chance. All because of a surgical error. Like others, she lost her life because of someone else’s mistake.

A doctor holds surgical tools while performing surgery.

Missing Needle

For many, there’s no surgery as scary as open heart.  It’s long and intense, and just seems so vulnerable. Imagine making it through a 9 hour surgery only to learn that a needle has been left somewhere in your body. Unlike some cases, at least the doctor acknowledged their mistake and tried to make it right, but needles aren’t easy to find. There’s a reason for the adage, “Like looking for a needle in a haystack.” Some things are nearly impossible to find.

Just a month after surgery Mr. Burns passed away because of complications from the needle. Only after an autopsy was performed was the tiny but devastating tool found.

Conclusion

According to the CDC there are an estimated 1,500 cases each year of foreign entities being left behind during surgery each year. The most common items are sponges and surgical instruments. Usually poor communication and organization are the culprit for such mistakes.

In most hospitals there are standard precautions in place to avoid errors like these. Such as the scrub nurse counting the number of sponges and instruments, both before surgery and after.

Mistakes happen. There will always be human error, but you shouldn’t be penalized because someone else made a mistake. Medical malpractice affects not only quality of life, but in some cases duration.

You are your best advocate. If someone treated you wrong, reach out to someone who can help.

 

9 Medical Malpractice Facts You Should Know

You’re reading this because you’re interested in medical malpractice. Maybe because:

The hospital treated you or a loved one negligently. Or you may be wondering if you have a malpractice case.

If that sounds like you, or if you’re interested in malpractice for some other reason, here’s 9 medical malpractice facts you should know.

9 Medical Malpractice Facts You Should Know

► One out of every three patients will be a victim of a medical error during their hospital stay. Truth is, there’s always going to be human error, but a third of all patients? That’s a lot.

Malpractice reports indicate that over $4 billion was paid out for medical malpractice lawsuits, in 2018 alone.  The average payout for a successful case was nearly $350,000. Money can’t fix what happened, but it can at least help. When you’re dealing with all of the emotional, physical, and financial turmoil malpractice causes, anything good helps.

► In 2018, payouts were for these top three malpractice allegations: 34.1% diagnosis, 21.4% surgery, and 21.1% treatment.

A woman wearing a surgical mask looks directly at the camera.

► About 34% of all doctors have been sued for malpractice. Why are the numbers so high? Many doctors admit that they’re overworked.

► You can’t wait too long to file a case. Every state is different, but there’s usually something called a “statute of limitations,” or a time frame you have to file. In Texas, for example, in most cases you have two years to seek legal action from the malpractice incident.

► Cases take time. Some are quicker than others, but it can take several months, and even years. Believe it or not, about 95% of cases settle out of court. This means that your law firm and the person or group you’re suing come to an agreement on their own.

A black and white photo of a jar full of coins.

► The majority of medical malpractice cases require no money up front. If your law firm believes you have a strong case they’ll actually foot the bill. If you win, your lawyer will receive an agreed upon percentage and will also be reimbursed legal fees. The good news is, if you lose you don’t owe them anything.

► Having a team of medical malpractice experts on your side is vital. In a malpractice suit, you’re usually going against giant corporations. You need expert witnesses and an experienced firm to win. Do your research and carefully select your firm.

10% of all US deaths are because of a medical error. Each with a family that deserves justice.

Justice For Medical Malpractice Victims

We’ve all seen the commercials where the lawyer looks straight into the eyes of the camera and says “we’ll fight for you,” right?

It can be a bit cringey, but the truth is, nobody can fight for patients unless they reach out, and many malpractice victims don’t reach out until they’re aware they may have a case, and receive an invitation to fight for justice.

So now that we’ve covered our medical malpractice facts to help with the first part (learn more about whether you have a medical malpractice case ), here’s our invitation:

If you or your loved one has experienced malpractice we urge you to contact a local malpractice attorney to get justice.

If you’re in the Houston area, contact our malpractice lawyers with any questions you may have, and we’ll help you.

 

What Are The 5 Most Common Types Of Medical Malpractice?

What are the 5 most common types of medical malpractice?

Let’s start with this — what do you think are the leading causes of death, in the United States?

Maybe heart disease comes to mind. Or cancer? We’ve all heard that word more than we should. Surely’s it’s high on the list.

How about accidents, diabetes, stroke? If you thought of any of these… you’re right. They’re all up there. In the top 12, in fact.

But medical malpractice? Many people wouldn’t think to mention that one.

According to a recent study conducted by Johns Hopkins, “More than 250,000 people in the United States die every year because of medical mistakes, making it the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.” Yep.

Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in our country. How is that even possible in a country as developed as ours?

In this article we’re going to cover the five most common types of the third most common cause of death, medical malpractice.

1. Birth Injuries

Black and white photo of adult hand with baby hand in it.

If you’ve searched through our site at all, you’ve probably noticed that we talk a lot about birth injury malpractice. It’s because we’re passionate about fighting for justice for families who’s child has been injured because of negligence.

Every family deserves to bring a healthy baby home. Of course, there are unforeseen circumstances and health conditions that are unavoidable, but if something negligent did happen, someone needs to be held accountable.

Birth injuries can occur in many different ways, such as nerve injuries, cerebral palsy, medication mix ups, and misdiagnosis. These injuries are costly, not just financially, but physically and emotionally as well.

Sometimes the injury is obvious, and other times they may not notice for quite some time. Either way, it’s important you reach out to a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible, as you have a limited window of time to seek legal action.

2. Prescription Drug Mistakes

Assortment of prescription drug pills.

Each day millions of patients are treated in healthcare facilities across the country.  It’s no easy feat, considering the numbers of patients compared to medical staff, and there’s always a need for more healthcare professionals. Some people pursue this field because of passion and the desire to help others. For others, maybe it’s for more practical reasons, like job security and good salary. Whatever the reason, the common thread among all medical professionals is that they’re human.

Humans make mistakes. Workers are often overworked and fatigued, which of course spikes the chance of a mistake occurring. Other times, people simply don’t pay enough attention. Whatever the reason, there has to be consequences for sloppy care. Errors like medication mix ups, prescribing errors, and overdoses shouldn’t happen.

It’s important that there’s clear communication among healthcare professionals, that charting is accurate and up to date, and that medications are labeled correctly.

All precautions need to be taken in order to avoid mistakes like these. But when people fail to take the proper precautions, mistakes happen, people get hurt, and they come to medical malpractice lawyers like us to seek justice and compensation.

3. Errors During Surgery

Group of surgeons and medical professionals standing near table.

We’ve all heard stories of surgery gone wrong. Like a doctor sewing up a patient with a medical instrument left inside. It sounds crazy, but it happens, and more often than you might think.

Surgical errors aren’t limited to foreign objects left behind, but also:

  • Operating on the incorrect body part.
  • Anesthesia errors.
  • Damaging healthy organs while performing surgery.
  • Failure to properly monitor vitals and blood supply.
  • Not taking enough precautions to avoid infection.

Like prescription errors, surgical errors often occur because of negligence at the hands of healthcare professionals. Surgery is meant to correct an existing condition, not create new ones. If you think you may have a medical malpractice case, read Do I have a medical malpractice case? to find out, or give us a call.

4. Misdiagnosis

Sad woman laying in hospital bed with a coffee cup in her hand.

Misdiagnosis happens a lot more than it should. In fact, diagnostic errors occur in 10%-30% of all medical cases. When a condition like heart disease or cancer is misdiagnosed, the results are often fatal. If you find an illness early on, the chances of survival are significantly higher. But what if you were diligent and expressed concerning symptoms to your doctor but they didn’t listen? Or maybe they didn’t take you seriously, and blew you off? Testing could have been done. Your medical record and family history should have been carefully scrutinized.

All too often patients don’t receive the treatment they should. If your doctor wasn’t comfortable with treating you, they should have referred you to someone who could. The worst scenario is knowing you could have survived had the disease been found earlier.

If this has happened to you or your loved one, reach out to an attorney. Poor care or untimely death because of misdiagnosis isn’t fair. There are things you or your family member can do to make it better.

5. Failure to Treat

Hospital room with chair and patient observation light.

So a diagnosis has been made… but the treatment wasn’t timely. Or you went in for surgery, but were released too soon and later got an infection. Healthcare professionals are responsible for seeing the big picture. Knowing which steps should be taken and how to get you back to health is a big part of their job.

There’s a reason you’re seeking care from a health care professional… because they went to school for years and trained to recognize signs and symptoms. They have the knowledge but if they’re not passing that on to you, what’s the point?

When a doctor or medical professional fails to treat you because of negligence or substandard care, it may be malpractice. Again, if you believe you have a medical malpractice case, read Do I have a medical malpractice case? to find out, or give us a call and we’ll help you find out.

Final Thoughts

No one wants to think about medical malpractice. That probably why most people don’t realize that medical malpractice is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. But changes won’t happen if people don’t know the truth about malpractice, and what they can do if they become a victim of malpractice.

If you or your family member has dealt with any form of medical malpractice, please reach out to us or an attorney in your area. The first step can seem hard, but it’s probably much easier than you think, and it’s the only path to justice and compensation.

 

Famous Medical Malpractice Cases

It’s easy to look at famous people and think they have it all.

Looks, fame, money, and status. Who doesn’t want that? But look past the shiny exterior and of course, they’re human like everyone else. Human beings face illness, family difficulties, and sometimes even tragedy. Celebrities are no exception.

Medical malpractice is right behind heart disease and cancer as the third leading cause of death. Celebrities are no more immune to medical malpractice than they are to the sickness that brought them to the hospital to begin with. Sure, they have access to the most acclaimed doctors and facilities, but money can’t buy everything. There’s still medication mix ups, botched surgeries, and human error, even for society’s elite.

Keep reading to hear about celebrity medical care gone wrong, and what they did to seek justice.

If you think you have a medical malpractice case, find out here.

Julie Andrews

Image of Julie Andrews in the movie Mary Poppins

You may know her as Mary Poppins, or Maria von Trapp, two iconic roles that made her famous. For decades, Julie Andrews has graced cinema with her talent. She brought songs like “The Hills Are Alive” and “A Spoon Full Of Sugar” into the world with the soprano voice most people know her by.

But in 1997, everything changed. Andrews’ went in for a throat procedure to remove non-cancerous nodules on her vocal chords. A typically low risk  procedure stole away one of Andrews’ most precious assets — her ability to sing.

The lawsuit which was filed in Manhattan, against Mt. Sinai Hospital, alleged that the surgery, which is quite routine for singers, was botched.

It’s hard to put a price tag on the thing that’s brought you fame and fortune but this is what Andrews’ had to say about it, “Singing has been a cherished gift, and my inability to sing has been a devastating blow.”

Her voice has never truly recovered, stealing potential roles, and earnings but fortunately Andrews’ has moved on with her life, and was able to receive the compensation she deserved though a lawsuit.

Quaid Babies

Photo of Dennis and Kimberly Quaid

Double the trouble but double the sweetness… They say you can never fully prepare yourself for twins, but in the end, it’s worth it. Well that end nearly came decades too early for the Quaid family.

For Dennis Quaid (you may remember him from the famous “Parent Trap,” “The Rookie,” or “The Good Stuff”) the birth of his twins turned into a complicated medical emergency, practically overnight. In 2007, Quaid and his wife Kimberly welcomed twins Thomas and Zoe via surrogate. Days later they diagnosed the twins: staph infections. While receiving treatment at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, the hospital gave the twins a nearly lethal dose of Heparin (a blood thinner). Instead of giving the 10 units of Heparin the doctor ordered, they gave each child 10,000 units. This happened not once, but twice.

The babies were black and blue, and bleeding out.

Not only did the hospital staff fail to notice they administered the wrong dose, the manufacturer of the medication refused to correct the process, even after they repeated the same mistake with their products.

Turns out the label for 10 units is nearly identical to the label for 10,000 units, and without taking another glance nurses grabbed the wrong one.

According to U.S. Pharmacopeia: “Between 2001 and 2006 more than 16,000 heparin errors were blamed on incorrect dosing.”

The Quaid twins became victims, failed by the manufacturer, the pharmacy technician, and the nursing staff. Thankfully both children survived and now appear to be just as healthy as anyone else their age.

Quaid believes the near tragedy is going “to raise public awareness and to get something done about computerized record keeping and bar coding in hospitals. That’s going to save lives—a lot of lives.”

The Quaids filed a lawsuit against the hospital and won $750,000 in compensation.

Joan Rivers

Black and white photo of Joan Rivers, when she was young.

Famous for her vivacious personality and somewhat controversial comedy, Joan Rivers made people laugh for over fifty years.

She worked heavily in the entertainment industry and even co-starred on the show “Fashion Police” until she passed on, 81 years in.

What was meant to be a simple outpatient procedure ended with Joan losing her life to medical malpractice. Hospitals perform tens of millions of endoscopies each year. Why did this one go so wrong?

According to Rivers’ daughter Melissa, the doctors at Yorkville Endoscopy were grossly negligent. They performed a laryngoscopy in addition to the endoscopy, but nobody had consented to this additional procedure. The physicians at Yorkville took the liberty of performing a procedure that neither Joan Rivers nor her family had agreed to.

Not only that, the anesthesiologist on duty warned against the procedure because she was concerned about her patient’s oxygen levels. And that’s exactly what happened. A loss of oxygen led to brain damage and ultimately her death.

Adding insult to injury, one of the doctors took a selfie of Joan while she was on the table having the procedure. Unprofessional? We think so.

In the end, Joan’s family received an undisclosed compensation for her untimely death.

Dana Carvey

Photo of Dana Carvey smiling.

Can you imagine the emotional stress a person must go through before having open heart surgery? Just wrapping your head around what’s about to happen and what your odds of recovery are. As if that’s not stressful enough, how would you feel if you found out that your doctor performed surgery on the wrong artery, and you may need to do it again?

WHAT? For the famous comedian Dana Carvey, this actually happened.

When the surgery was over, he thought the worst was behind him and he could move on with his life and career. Soon after he began experiencing the same symptoms he had prior to surgery. And then, they discovered the mistake.

This is what Carvey had to say about it,”I remember just lying in my bed just sobbing, I can’t believe they connected it to the wrong artery. I was absolutely just terrified that I was going to have another open heart surgery,” he said.

Fortunately he didn’t have to experience open heart surgery again, but did require an angioplasty to clear the blocked artery.

Dana Carvey ended up settling his $7.5 million dollar lawsuit. What’s even more amazing is that Carvey donated all of his earnings to charity! So happy ending for this one, sort of.

Now, as riveting as the stories above are, there’s many other famous malpractice cases, some of which are just as interesting.

Here’s a few of those cases:

Picture of Hulk Hogan in suit testifying in court.

Hulk Hogan: Sued for malpractice involving unnecessary spine surgery.

Photo of John Ritter

John Ritter: Family sued hospital for wrongful death.

Black and white photo of Andy Warhol.

Andy Warhol: Doctors overloaded him with fluids.

Photo of Michael Jackson in his youth.

Michael Jackson: Doctor helped him overdose on a cocktail of drugs including propofol.

Final Thoughts

Mistakes happen. Whether you’re famous or not, everyone endures difficult situations in one way or another. If there’s one difference from celebrities and everyone else, it’s this. Oftentimes, people without fame, power or wealth don’t realize they can fight for justice too.

Like the Quaid twins or Dana Carvey, we can use our stories to help others. Whether you’re fighting for change or seeking compensation for malpractice, each one of us deserves the same opportunity.

If you or your family has been a victim of malpractice please reach out to us or a law firm in your area.

Can You Sue the Military for Medical Malpractice?

We all know medical malpractice is a major problem. Thankfully there are laws that help protect patients from incompetent healthcare providers. But have you ever wondered if you can sue the military for medical malpractice?

You would think so. Sadly, you can’t if you belong to the group of 1.3 million active duty military members.

Members of our armed forces can’t file a lawsuit against government healthcare providers. Even if the nurse or provider treating them was completely incompetent and caused harm.

This means that the people who risk their lives to protect our country don’t have the same privileges or protection that we do.

Seems unfair. But could that change? More on that soon.

Can You Sue The Military? (Medical Malpractice Laws)

Suing the government is very long and tedious. That said, if something happens to you, you’d probably want the option to sue for compensation. Now, for most of us, the government allows this under the Federal Tort Claims Act.

If you’re active duty military however, brace yourself for an unpleasant surprise. Active members of the military do NOT have the right. But why?

The Feres Doctrine

The reason active members of the military can’t sue the military for medical malpractice has to do with a little something called The Feres Doctrine. It’s a law that originates from the famous Feres v. United States case (dating back to the 1950’s). It’s a controversial case where active service members became unable to file medical malpractice lawsuits against the federal government.

Based on the rule, active duty members can’t sue the military for injuries and damages that occurred during their duties. Even when it’s blatantly clear that someone is at fault. The bill also denies military dependents the ability to sue the federal government for any claims that involve active service members.

So, say your spouse experiences malpractice by a military medical professional. Maybe a nurse administered the wrong medication or a doctor misdiagnosed an illness. No matter the severity or the cause, you can’t sue.

A picture full of military dogtags hanging.

Who Can Sue The Military Doctors?

Okay, so unless the law changes, active service members can’t sue the military. But who can?

There are exceptions but the following groups often have the right to seek legal action:

Military dependents or spouses and children of an active service member (even a newborn child born to an active duty mother, who experiences a birth injury).

Retired military personnel who received injuries caused by substandard medical treatment at VA (Veteran Administration), DOD, and other federal healthcare facilities.

Veterans who received inadequate medical treatment at a VA facility or other federal hospitals.

And here’s an interesting tidbit. Service members can actually seek compensation for emotional distress should their family member be injured under military care.

The New Bill to Change the Current Ruling About Suing The Military For Malpractice

Most of us would agree that our service members should be treated with respect. People who dedicate their lives to serve our country deserve the same medical legal rights as everyone else.

Recently, partisan party created a new measure to change the outdated ruling.

A heart-jerking testimony from victims of military medical malpractice initiated the bill. A group of lawmakers then announced new legislation that would amend the current law.

Progress.

This new rule would give all military personnel safe medical treatment:

“We’re not talking about special treatment. We’re talking about giving service members the same rights as their spouses, federal workers, and even prisoners. When compensation schemes are insufficient, service members should have their claims heard in the justice system.” -Rep. Jackie Speier.

This bill, if it goes through, will finally allow active duty military members to sue the military for medical malpractice. (Keep an eye on the bill’s progress here.)

Final Thoughts

Military medical malpractice, as we all know, is inevitable. U.S. legislation protects most of us and allows us to sue the military for malpractice. So that’s good. But again, active duty service members cannot.

The silver lining at the end of this tunnel is the new bill that will hopefully change that. Amending the Feres doctrine will hold military doctors accountable to provide safe and competent medical treatment for all military members and dependents, including the 1.3 million active duty members in the US.