Health Care and Homicide

Because of the pandemic, the need for healthcare workers has skyrocketed to an astronomical number. Hospitals around the world are in desperate search of nurses and doctors, and  under-staffing has become a very relevant problem at almost all healthcare facilities here in the United States. Many different challenges have begun to arise for the workers because of this shortage. Doctors and nurses are forced to take on more patients than they can handle and they are put into situations that they have not been trained to deal with. 

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    RaDonda Vaught, is a former nurse who has recently been charged with the death of a patient who was accidentally given the wrong medication. Vaught was helping out a fellow nurse when she made a fatal mistake. When going to get the patient’s medication she picked up the wrong bottle, ultimately killing the patient. This situation has sparked anger and fury within the nursing and health care community. When Vaught logged into the system to get the medication out for the patient she overrided the system, which was something very common because the machine had a tendency to not work sometimes. While Vaught knows what she did was very wrong and knew her actions ultimately led to the death of the patient, she is very worried for health care workers in the future. Vaught took full responsibility and apologized many times to not only the family but also her fellow health care workers. She is ultimately being charged with homicide and could face many years in jail. This sentence had many health care workers weary of staying at their jobs, for one mistake could lead to life behind bars. Other workers are scared that this will cause other workers  to cover up their mistakes and be dishonest in certain situations. Some nurses are saying that the take away from this situation is to not be honest and truthful. This is a case that is targeted against the entire nursing community and making many nurses very fearful for their future. 

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With the pressure of the pandemic and the continuous strain on the health care community, nurses are starting to quit left and right. This case is extremely rare, there have been very few cases in which a health care worker faces criminal charges for a medical error. Support for Vaught has been pouring out through all different social media platforms. This situation has brought both s[support and backlash. There are many people who feel as if she did not take the proper steps when distributing the medication and others who think it was a small overlooked error that led to tragedy. This case is one that I believe is very scary. Vaught made the decision to be truthful and honest and that took her straight to jail. Other health care workers now fear the same will happen to them. Everyone makes mistakes, but mistakes within the healthcare profession can be deadly. It is very important for nurses and doctors to stay truthful, but when their life is on the line, lines can get blurred. 

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