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Unfair Feres Doctrine Might Finally Be Fixed

The unjust Feres doctrine was created by the Supreme Court almost 70 years ago. As a consequence, hundreds of thousands of active duty service men and women have been denied the right to bring a Federal Tort Claims Act case for negligent medical care – a right even federal prisoners have. Finally, Congress may be doing something to fix this longstanding injustice. Repeal of the Feres doctrine in malpractice cases has been added to the defense bill which is presently moving through the House of Representatives. The bill is expected to pass the House later this week. It will then go on to the Senate.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had the chance to address the Feres issue. It declined to do so, even though the case it was asked to review was one involving appalling medical care. It is difficult to have much confidence in Congress, but it appears that repeal of the Feres Doctrine has strong bipartisan support, so there is some reason to be optimistic, finally.

Cross your fingers or whatever, but it might help more if people contacted their representative or senator. Tell them to do the right thing: Repeal Feres.


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