Medical errors can be criminal, Tennesee nurse’s conviction shows
While nurses deserve patients’ gratitude and the highest praise for the valiant care they have provided during the coronavirus pandemic, a Nashville case has raised tough questions as to whether and when professional caregivers’ medical errors ought to be criminalized.
Prosecutors decided that some mistakes rise to the criminal level, after considering the evidence against RaDonda Vaught, a former nurse involved in a 2017 fatal drug error.
Vaught, who already has been stripped of her nursing license, has been convicted, NPR reported, of “gross neglect of an impaired adult and negligent homicide after a three-day trial … She faces three to six years in prison for neglect and one to two years for negligent homicide as a defendant with no prior convictions, according to sentencing guidelines provided by the Nashville district attorney’s office. Vaught is scheduled to be sentenced May 13, and her sentences are likely to run concurrently, said the district attorney’s spokesperson, Steve Hayslip.”