Expectant parents in Washington State should be able to enjoy the day that they bring their children into the world. However, for some people, the very day that should be one of the happiest days of their lives can too easily become one of the most tragic if either the mother or the baby experiences difficulties during or after birth. Should such a situation occur, prompt and appropriate medical response can be critical. The lack of this response is something people should be able to seek compensation for but apparently, not everyone can do so.
In a story reported by Q13Fox.com, a husband and father has been searching for justice for four years after his wife died only hours after giving birth to their daughter. Both spouses were active military members at the time of the woman’s death. The wife was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and the husband was with the U.S. Coast Guard based in Seattle. The baby was born at a naval hospital in Bremerton where the woman was considered a service member. If she had delivered her baby at a Coast Guard hospital, she would have been considered the spouse of a service member.
A law called the Feres doctrine precludes legal action against the government if a service member dies or is injured by an act of medical malpractice. The woman died from excessive hemorrhaging after giving birth that may have been preventable. Despite an investigation into the woman’s death by the hospital, the husband is not allowed to see the results.
The man has pursued the case and recently asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. A response from the high court is expected in a few months.