I watched a chilling story on CBS News tonight about a family fighting for the memory of their fallen soldier, Carmelo Rodriguez. He didn’t die in a fire fight, nor at the hands of a suicide bomber. No, his doctor and the military murdered him. According to military medical records, Rodriguez had been diagnosed with a melanoma-ridden mole, but no one told him and it remained untreated. Eight years later, the cancer had spread so much, he died. We’re not talking fall and break your neck kind of dying here. He suffered. In fact, my one criticism of the story is that CBS did not warn viewers of a disturbing image–one of Rodriguez on his death bed, surrounded by family, literally moments from death. They flashed from the photos of a healthy, ripped Marine to video of a man (?) barely alive. It looked like something out of a mummy movie or the cover of a Sci Fi effects magazine. It could have been prevented.
The Rodriguez family wants to change the law that forbids active military or their family members to sue the military based on medical malpractice. It stems from a 1950 Supreme Court case which said, in part, that the doctrine was important to maintaining order and discipline within our military. Allowing a treatable cancer to ravage a human being takes more than discipline. It takes unconscionable cruelty.
Please write your senator/representative and ask them to support the Carmelo Rodriguez bill. I did. CBS makes it easy for concerned citizens to get involved here: http://tinyurl.com/cppg53