Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Soon, The Name "Carmelo Rodriguez" Will Be Heard In Congress

Case Sheds Light On Military Law
Soon, The Name "Carmelo Rodriguez" Will Be Heard In Congress

WURTSBORO, N.Y., May 19, 2008

(CBS) Today the name Carmelo Rodriguez marks a modest grave in upstate New York, where his family still visits, and still mourns.

But soon - as early as Tuesday - that name will be introduced on the floor of the U.S. Congress, CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts reports.

"The bill is called the Carmelo Rodriguez Military Medical Malpractice and Injustice Act," said Rep. Maurice Hinchley.

CBS News reported exclusively on the life and death of Marine Sgt. Carmelo Rodriguez last January. While he was serving as a platoon leader in Iraq, his family says a military doctor there "misdiagnosed" the sergeant's skin cancer, calling it instead "a wart."

A condition first diagnosed in 1997 during Rodriguez's original medical exam from his enlistment.

But doctors did not inform him or recommend any follow-up.

Untreated for years, the melanoma worsened. By the time Pitts met Sgt. Rodgriquez, the once-fit, gung-ho Marine had lost nearly 100 pounds. As we were preparing to interview him … he died.

His death sparked a rush of e-mails, letters and calls to CBS News and members of Congress. Due to what's known as the Feres Doctrine, Rodriguez's family, including his 7-year-old son, cannot sue the military for medical practice.

Unlike every other U.S. citizen, the Feres Doctrine forbids active military from suing the federal government for malpractice. One argument: it would disrupt military order and discipline.

"No Congress has ever changed it," said Maj. Gen. John D. Altenburg. "They've had 50-some years to have opportunity to change the federal tort claims act and to effect the Feres Doctrine, and they chose not to do that and I think for good reason."
go here for more

No comments:

Post a Comment

If it is not helpful, do not be hurtful. Spam removed so do not try putting up free ad.