Vaught was criminally indicted for the death in 2019, and her court case has become a rallying cry for nurses who worry about the criminalization of medical errors. Vaught also faced this disciplinary case brought by the Department of Health, which initially declined to punish Vaught but reversed course after the details of her case became public.
Ex-Vanderbilt nurse Radonda Vaught loses license for fatal error (tennessean.com)
They were ready to let her skate after she ignored safety protocols, did not even bother to make sure the medication she was giving was the right one and a patient died.
And she should not be tried criminally because fear other nurses and medical personnel may be also criminally prosecuted for also not being professionals and killing their patients.
There is a difference between a deadly mistake because of just bad luck or particular circumstances and deadly mistake simply because you just don’t give a flock.
We shoot somebody to defend life and still go through a criminal investigation. Again, we save a life and still get treated as a suspect till we get cleared.
My advice: Don’t get sick enough to have to go to a hospital.
3 thoughts on “Medical Malpractice Deaths shouldn’t be criminalized?”
As a Retired Professional Engineer, I am well aware of the consequences of committing willful negligence resulting in death and an honest mistake resulting in death. The first often ends up with you spending quality time with Bubba as guest of the state, The latter may cost you your license, a fine, and a civil lawsuit, but usually doesn’t end in a criminal case. Ms. Vaught was a trained and licensed professional who at best willfully ignored accepted best practices, and at worst deliberately committed murder. She needs to spend sometime contemplating her failings in a cell, and never, ever be allowed near a patient again.
Always, Always Make sure you understand the doctors orders and treatment plan. Do not be afraid ot ask questions. Write it down. Good doctors prefer a fully informed patient. Keep the notes. I use a notebook to keep them, and I bring it to ALL my appointments.
If the PA is changing the original doctor’s medication plan? If it doesn’t sound right, ask them to check with the doctor. (Exampe: Going from a Six week tapered steroid dose to permanent steroids? Ask the doctor and don’t be surprised he says NO to the PA.) Cannot get ahold of the doctor? Compromise by saying you will start when she/he tells you to.
When the nurse asks your name and date of birth for the third time in twenty minutes? Smile and cheerfully tell them. Then thank them for asking. If they are giving you medications, vaccines, etc.? Ask them what it is. If it does not sound right, politely ask them to double check.
And yes, you will have to do the same for your children, and if they live long enough,you may have to do the same for your parents or a spouse.
Help the doctors and nurses keep you healthy
In 22 years, I never once have made a medication mistake. The nurse was entirely wrong in what she did and deserves whatever happens to her.
With that being said, the hospital has safeguards in place that are supposed to prevent these things. By allowing and encouraging their employees to ignore and circumvent those procedures, they share in the culpability for this accident. The administrator who authorized and encouraged the circumvention of those protocols should also be stripped of their medical license and charged criminally. The hospital itself should also be investigated and fined. Everyone who was involved needs to be sued.
We have a procedure for dealing with a patient’s medical care that is designed to ensure the 5 rights of medication:
1 right patient
2 right drug
3 right dose
4 right route
5 right time
We are required to verify the patient using at least two of the following data points: Name, date of birth, room number. We check the patient’s wristband and then ask the patient to confirm it. Drugs and other treatments have similar safeguards. Every hospital in the nation does this AT A MINIMUM. To do otherwise invites disaster.
The worst part of all of this? I routinely see healthcare facilities and medical personnel become complacent and sidestep every one of them. Just today, I had a nurse misidentify two of her five patients. I also found test results for two patients that had been mislabeled. All because those basic procedures were not followed. I caught them because I *do* follow them. Every time- and I insist that others around me do the same.
Sadly, there are more people who don’t do so than there are people who do. Beware.
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