Wisconsin Nurse being charged with criminal neglect - page 3

what happened here is truly tragic -- but given the complex, understaffed and over worked conditions in most hospitals, well -- it, or something like it, could happen to many of us. the nurse's... Read More

  1. by   barbyann
    Quote from donormom
    I agree that all nurses make mistakes. I have made more than I like to think about. Thankfully no one was ever harmed by one of my mistakes.

    I think your view is way too narrow. You don't know if a mistake you made has harmed someone. There are all kinds of errors, those that come to light immediately, some that become known at a later time and some that are never caught, nor recorded. Fact is we will never know about most of our errors and the resulting consequences. We, as nurses, must face this fact everyday. It is a heavy load.
  2. by   Multicollinearity
    Interesting court document published on the Internet regarding this nurse:


    Her biography begins on page 2.
  3. by   dream'n
    Why is it that if a nurse makes an error, she most certainly will be disciplined by the BON or lose her license, but a Dr. must have series of errors showing gross malpractice to be disciplined or lose his license? Of course, I believe a nurse should show they have learned from their mistakes, but why is it so different for MDs. In general, state boards of Medicine seem rather reluctant to take MD licenses, but not state BONs. Perhaps I am wrong, but the idea just occurred to me. I worked with a nurse that was fired for making one or two minor errors (she was a new nurse with the organization and I feel her mistakes were probably due to poor on the job training) and the next thing I know is that the BON is calling me to be a witness on her behalf. BUT I have seen Drs make some whopper mistakes, and they just get counciled by their superiors. I don't understand. Why the double-standard?
    Last edit by dream'n on Nov 19, '06
  4. by   Grace Oz
    I think the whole situation is deeply regrettable and very very sad. For ALL concerned!
    Pursuing this nurse as if she were a criminal though..........
    I think each and every nurse should take heed from this tragic event and do all they can to ensure it doesn't happen to them.
    Let us not judge this woman. She deserves compassion as much as anything.
  5. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from Kimmi73
    Perhaps I am mistaken but did you all forget that this patient died along with her unborn child? It appears all these posts are for support of the nurse and nothing of the 2 lifes that were lost. To merely call this a "human mistake or an error" is an understatement. If we went around with the mentality "everyone makes mistakes" then I guess our mistakes would be fatal and our patients would die. Although I feel for the nurse and don't believe for a second her intent was of malicious nature, her actions were negligent and she defied what a nurse is taught in nursing school regarding the 5 Rights of Administration. Not to the mention the Bridge System which is meant to reduce errors and secure the right drug is given to the right patient was NEVER followed. If this was a physician that caused death, all hell would break loose. Malpractice etc.... the nurse should be held to the same level. I can't say what the answer is for this "Julie." All I know is she needs to do some MAJOR soul searching as to why she became a nurse in the first place and what this means to provide patient care. If time in jail or her license is revoked then so be it.
    As a nursing student, you are really not in a position to judge someone who is a licensed nurse, especially someone with years of experience. You do not know what it is like to work as an RN. It is terribly presumptuous on your part to begin to pontificate to those of us who have spent years, decades in some cases, in this profession.

    It has already been pointed out that the errors this nurse made were grave. No one has tried to deny that. And only someone who has no nursing experience would even attempt to say that a doc would be hung out to dry for this type of mistake. Those of us who actually work as nurses know that docs close ranks for each other, and that had this happened to a doc, you can bet there would have been plenty of docs to defend him/her. It's highly doubtful charges would have been filed.

    Get some real life experience before you presume to lecture.
  6. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from Kimmi73

    Ruby not sure who the reference to a "nursing student" was directed to? You are wrong if it was towards me.

    IMHO any nurse who gives an epidural IV without clearly seeing the highlighted marks on the bag, disregarded the Bridge System, and not to mention the 5 Rights of Administration deserves more than a slap on the wrist. It's not up to me to say she deserves jail. I also realize and believe there was no intent to do harm. However this resulted in a death. If regular everyday people who hit an individual with a car get charged for manslaughter why should this nurse be different? Her negligence is one thing, perhaps she was overworked/over staffed etc however she had the intent of getting drugs out without using proper protocol. This was intentional and she admits to this. Her intentional actions caused a life.
    If you're no longer a student, then you need to update your user profile.

    Yes, she willfully breached the safety systems. It was not done out of malice, so far as anyone can see. She should be punished in civil court and by the BON, but jail? Give me a break.
  7. by   erichRN
    Just imagine what she is feeling! To actually be responsible for killing someone is something that one does not simply get over. Thank you for the link to express support.
  8. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    Do we know if the baby survived??

  9. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    [quote=NREMT-P/RN;1932319]The KEY element to a crime, is INTENT.

    Sure, this was a tragic outcome.

    I'll bet my CAREER that this nurse did not intend to harm this PATIENT. However, I'd be willing to bet that this nurse had the following intent:

    Good point NREMPT/RN, however we prosecute people who kill others with their car or other means who did not have the intent to kill another person. We prosecute them because they showed a disreguard for the safety others by violating rules...

  10. by   Simplepleasures
    I have seen "criminal neglect" resulting in death in a nursing home I used to work in, why was this not persued by the Department of Justice? See my post in this thread for details of this situation.Why single this nurse out, could this be setting a precident for the rest of us?
    Last edit by Simplepleasures on Nov 20, '06
  11. by   Mulan
    No way should nurses be charged criminally for making a mistake.

    What carelessness in this case. It wasn't a systems error. What happened to the right drug for the right patient in the right dose at the right time, etc. In the complaint she is quoted as saying "I allow priority for compassion to overide the need for detail." Just grab a bag, don't read the label, and hang it. Is that the usual modus operandi for this nurse?

    Her allowing "priority for compassion to overide the need for detail" in this case killed a patient.
  12. by   tvccrn
    I am standing by my posts in the other forum related to this.

    As this was no just ONE mistake, but a whole series of mistakes, I feel she should be held accountable. If that includes some jail time, then so be it.

    Not too many people intend to harms others, yet there are those that get criminally charged for it every day.

  13. by   TennNurse
    Quote from Jolie
    I don't believe that anyone here has lost sight of the fact that life was lost in this terrible incident. Nor have I read any posts defending the nurse's actions. I also believe that everyone here would wholeheartedly agree that the nurse needs to answer for her actions before the State Board of Nursing (with loss of her license as a likely outcome), AND in a civil trial where the family will likely be awarded financial compensation.

    You state, "If this was a physician that caused death, all hell would break loose. Malpractice etc....the nurse should be held to the same level." That is EXACTLY what has been suggested here, malpractice (civil trial), and BON action. Never have I known an obstetrician to be charged criminally for the death of a mother or baby due to errors in care. Nor should the nurse be criminally charged, unless there is evidence of willful and deliberate misconduct.

    The posters here who have expressed sorrow over this incident and the nurse's role in it are likely experienced professionals who can identify with the less-than-ideal circumstances that lead to such tragedies. We have been in similar situations of poor staffing, unavailable physicians, poorly designed systems, etc. and realize that there but for the grace of God go we. Anyone who is ready to harshly judge this nurse with precious few facts has likely never experienced the realities of bedside care.

    We lock up murderers, rapsits, spouse-abusers, and drunk drivers because it is the only way to protect society from them. It is not necessary to place this woman behind bars in order to protect her community. Revoking her license is more than sufficient.

    WOW. Jolie, so well said. :yeahthat: