Medicine: A Naval Surgeon in the Dock

The court-martial of Donal Billig puts military medicine on trial

Bethesda Naval is the hospital of Presidents. Ronald Reagan went there last year to have a cancerous polyp removed from his colon. Richard Nixon was treated for viral pneumonia at the 500-bed facility in 1973. Lyndon Johnson had his gall bladder excised at the hospital in 1965 then proudly displayed his scar to anyone who cared to see it. Bethesda, in the northwest outskirts of Washington, D.C., is also a jewel in the crown of the U.S. military health care system, whose 688 facilities care for the nation's wounded in time of war. But presidential patronage notwithstanding, the massive system, and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!