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Lung cancer patient may finally get the right to sue

A man experienced problems breathing to the point he could barely function. He went to his doctor, who gave him a physical and told him everything was fine. Now he has terminal lung cancer, and he cannot even sue the practice that failed to diagnose him.

This is a problem for veterans that is all too common. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are not able to sue for medical malpractice when they were treated by physicians or staff in the armed forces. As a result, several members of the armed forces and veterans are living with or dying of conditions unrelated to their service but would at least have the right to financial compensation from civilian doctors or health systems.

A new law proposed by a member of the U.S. House of Representatives is getting more attention and more support. It would allow members or veterans of the armed forces to sue for malpractice outside of combat zones in much the same way that victims of medical malpractice can sue civilian doctors.

The Supreme Court has declined to hear cases related to this problem, claiming that the legislature must change the law. If the old restriction on lawsuits is removed, hundreds of ill or injured people would have the same protections as the people for whom they have fought and sacrificed.

People with previously undetected lung cancer and other related ailments may have a case for financial damages that include compensation for later care and reimbursement of expenses connected to treatment. An attorney can help make that determination for prospective clients and work out the best approach.

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