Dermark v. McDonough, No. 19-2795(Argued October 20, 2020 Decided June 1, 2021); emergency treatments; 38 U.S.C. §§ 1725 and 1728;

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS
No. 19-2795
PETER VAN DERMARK, APPELLANT,
V.
DENIS MCDONOUGH,
SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, APPELLEE.
On Appeal from the Board of Veterans’ Appeals
(Argued October 20, 2020 Decided June 1, 2021)
Luke D. Miller, of Salem, Oregon, for the appellant.
James R. Drysdale, with whom William A. Hudson, Jr., Acting General Counsel; Mary
Ann Flynn, Chief Counsel; and Anna Whited, Deputy Chief Counsel, were on the brief, all of
Washington, D.C., for the appellee.
John D. Niles, Barton F. Stichman, Chris Childs, and Emily Wexler were on the brief, all
of Washington, D.C., for the National Veterans Legal Services Program and the Modern Military
Association of America as amici curiae.
Before PIETSCH, GREENBERG, and TOTH, Judges.
TOTH, Judge, filed the opinion of the Court. GREENBERG, Judge, filed a dissenting
opinion.

TOTH, Judge: Veteran Peter Van Dermark appeals a Board decision denying reimbursement for cardiac treatments at Bangkok Hospital in May 2016 and May 2018. He asserts that these were emergency treatments and that two statutes, 38 U.S.C. §§ 1725 and 1728, require VA to reimburse him for any money he personally expended for this care. The Board disagreed, concluding that these statutes were not applicable outside the United States. Instead, it found that 38 U.S.C. § 1724 and relevant VA regulations governed and barred VA from furnishing—that is,
paying for—cardiac treatment outside the United States because such a condition was not
connected to service. Because we agree that section 1724 generally bars the Secretary from paying
for emergency treatment abroad of a non-service-connected condition, the Court affirms the Board
decision.
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I. BACKGROUND
A. Law
This case