The Feres Doctrine: What it Is and What it Isn’t

What the Feres Doctrine Is!

The Feres Doctrine is a national disgrace. It is horribly unjust to active military injured in the course of medical care at a military or VA medical facility. When it applies, it is virtually impossible to get around.

The Feres Doctrine bars medical malpractice claims by active duty military against military or VA hospitals.

What the Feres Doctrine is Not

On the other hand, the scope of the Feres Doctrine is apparently and surprisingly widely misconstrued by veterans, active military and families who believe it to be a complete prohibition of claims against the VA and/or military medical facilities for medical malpractice.

  1. It is not a prohibition on claims by veterans, their spouses or their children harmed by VA medical malpractice.
  2. It is not a bar to the spouses and children of active military personnel for harm suffered by the spouses and children in the course of their own medical care through military or VA medical facilities.

In short, veterans and families may sue the VA for medical malpractice for injuries suffered by the veteran.  Families may sue the VA for injuries suffered by family members while under VA medical care.

Moreover, spouses and children may sue military hospitals for their own injuries suffered under the care of a military hospital.

Seek Experienced Legal Counsel in the State Where the Negligence Occurred

These types of claims are complex.  VA medical malpractice claims are governed by both state and federal law.  This would hold true as well for claims against military hospitals located in the States.  It is important to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney in the state where the medical malpractice occurred.

For cases arising in New Mexico, Collins & Collins, P.C. can be reached at (505) 242-5958.