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The ‘Feres doctrine’ prohibits military personnel from pursuing medical malpractice lawsuits against government practitioners. A proposed amendment could change that.

Rebekah “Moani” Daniel was a labor and delivery nurse at the Naval Hospital Bremerton. When it came time to give birth herself, she arranged to do so at that same military hospital. Shockingly, the 33-year-old servicemember bled to death shortly after delivering her daughter, Victoria.  Her husband, U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Commander Walter Daniel, believed…

Language Barriers and Medical Malpractice

One misunderstood word resulted in 18-year-old Willie Ramirez becoming quadriplegic. It was the year 1980. Ramirez had been enjoying a night out when he felt a sudden, sharp pain.  “It felt like someone was sticking a needle through my head,” he recounted in a recent interview for Health Affairs. Ramirez managed to drive himself to…

USA Today Investigation Incites Concerns About VA Hiring Practices

USA today recently released the results of an investigation into some pretty questionable hiring practices by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital system. The VA has knowingly hired multiple clinicians with extremely problematic employment histories. One example is neurosurgeon John Harry Schneider, who was hired despite over a dozen malpractice suits against him –…

Maternal Mortality in the United States

The likelihood of a woman dying from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes in the United States is higher than that of a woman in any other developed nation. Currently, the rate of maternal mortality (estimated at 26 out of 100,000 live births[1]) is almost six times what it is in Scandinavia (2). It is higher even…

National Survey Reveals 21% of Americans Have Personally Experienced a Medical Error

The IHI/NPSF Lucian Leape Institute and NORC at the University of Chicago recently released the results of a survey on medical errors, with a nationally-representative sample of over 2,500 American adults. Distressingly, 21% of their participants reported having personally experienced a medical error, and 31% had been involved in the care of a family member…

The “Michigan Model” for Responding to Medical Errors

The University of Michigan medical system, Michigan Medicine, is a pioneer in reforming hospitals’ responses to patient harm. Read more about the “Michigan Model” and how it has impacted policies across the country. What Is the Michigan Model for Responding to Medical Malpractice? When patients are harmed during treatment, medical professionals are often reluctant to…