The society of today is coming to a better understanding of mental health issues such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and how much further we have to go to prevent issues such as military suicide. The truth is that many heroic service members return home from combat only to face a new battlefield. Most service members experience re-entry into civilian life in a negative way. Moreover, government medical health professionals whom the families rely on often fail to recognize and treat this disorder. Not treated at all or incorrectly treated, service members find themselves fighting a dangerous and unpredictable enemy.

PTSD and Medical Malpractice in the Military PTSD and Medical Malpractice in the Military Pictures
  • The problem of PTSD

Although the United States military is beginning to treat the problem of post-traumatic stress disorder more seriously, returning war veterans still struggle with this condition that interferes with the ability to work and live a normal life. Furthermore, the devastating effects of PTSD is often overlooked because of medical negligence and the sufferers are being sent back to the frontline. Psychiatric harm is the biggest area relating to active service because men see horrors and live traumatizing experiences in warzones like Afghanistan. Even if PTSD is to be expected and there are certain regulation that prevent sending back a vulnerable individual, there are many cases where this has happened.

  • The Iraq trauma

Post-traumatic stress disorder and its psychological impact has been subject to numerous research studies. Medical specialists that Iraq is the most troubling combat scene because of the relentless shootings and bombings. British soldiers who served in Iraq are suing the Ministry of Defence for medical negligence. US troops faced ever greater violence than the British, experiencing a higher level of trauma. Approximately one fifth of US soldiers returning home may suffer from PTSD and require help. Many widows of a service member are also bringing legal action for medical malpractice after their husbands committed suicide when they returned home.

  • Malpractice and the military law

Because there is a different legal system for the military personnel, it is more difficult to file for a lawsuit. And although the subject is not very openly discussed, filing for negligence is not encouraged in the military either. Nobody teaches patients how to claim for medical negligence, and they must find their own lawyers who are willing to do this. Thus, the lack of encouragement and support are added to the extreme suffering the soldiers go through. Things have been changing in recent years though, and perhaps in the future it won’t be so tabu and difficult for soldiers to learn how to claim for medical negligence and get the compensation they deserve. However, suing a military hospital takes place within the normal judicial system. Filing for a PTSD lawsuit is easier is the plaintiff meets the criteria for this disorder. Because of the increasing media publicity which has alerted the legal advisers and potential plaintiffs to the symptoms of PTSD, psychiatric experts find it more difficult to evaluate the symptoms. Even tough PTSD can be screened with certain psychometric tests, research revealed that they are unreliable and can be falsified.

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