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Sandy Grinnell, Staff Contributor
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Proposed Bill Would Allow Medical Malpractice Claims Against Military Providers

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After 30 years of the victims of medical negligence and malpractice being denied their day in court, Rep. Maurice Hinchey, Democrat from NY, has introduced a bill that will allow medical malpractice claims be brought against a military hospital or physician.

The title of the bill is Carmelo Rodriguez Military Medical Accountability Act of 2008.  A serviceman who joined the Marines in 1997, Carmelo Rodriguez succumbed to the effects of misdiagnosed skin cancer in 2007 at the age of 29, leaving a wife and seven year-old son. The melanoma on his backside was detected during his routine physical exam for acceptance into the military but was never revealed to him.  He had continuous problems with the area while he served in Irag where he was told it was a irritated “birthmark or wart.”

The Rodriquez family enlisted the help of Rep. Hinchey to obtain his medical records so they could pass them along to his doctors. By the time he finally received them, it was too late for Mr. Rodriquez.

While his efforts were unsuccessful in helping Mr. Rodriuguez, Rep. Hinchey decided it was time that military medical personnel be held accountable for their egregious mistakes and will introduce the bill tomorrow.