Justice Thomas unleashes dissenting opinion in military medical malpractice case

If there is one thing we can all agree on, it is that there is still a lot of work needed to be done to straighten out the healthcare system for our veterans.

A recent case brought before the Supreme Court that could have put us one step closer to achieving that, but the majority of Justices would not accept the case.

Justice Clarence Thomas wasn’t shy about telling the other justices just how done he is with their reluctance to take on the case.

The Case

The case at hand is a regarding the death of Rebekah “Moani” Daniel. Daniel served as a labor and delivery nurse in the Navy. During the birth of her own daughter, Victoria, Daniel, bled out and died.

Her husband, Walter Daniel, a Coast Guard veteran, filed a wrongful death suit. The suit argues the medical team at Naval Hospital Bremerton did not take the appropriate actions to prevent this from happening.

Daniel’s case has struggled to gain any traction due to a precedent known as the Feres Doctrine.

Feres v. United States

The precedent that allowed the justices to send this case back was established in 1950 in Feres v. United States. The final decision in that case does not allow the U.S. government to be responsible “for injuries to members of the armed forces arising from activities incident to military service.”

According to Thomas, that case was “wrongly decided.” He further stated, “Such unfortunate repercussions — denial of relief to military personnel and distortions of other areas of law to compensate — will continue to ripple through our jurisprudence as long as the court refuses to consider Feres.”

Daniel is refusing to give up the fight, however. His attorney, Andrew Hoyal, is already planning to address Congress on the issue in an effort to have Feres v. United States overturned.

Daniel also made the point that tragically, our veterans are somehow not entitled to the benefit of the justice system simply because they have served their country.

It seems quite unfair that after both parents served and one lost her life to possible malpractice, that nobody will be held accountable.

At the very least, Mr. Daniel and his daughter deserve to learn the truth, something they will now never know if this case is not heard.

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