Criminal Liability Arising from Medical Mistakes

September 16, 2022
The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford

Professional malpractice form

Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals bear a great deal of responsibility. After all, they are responsible for the health of their patients. Despite years of training and their best efforts, mistakes can still happen. In some cases, those mistakes can jeopardize your license and even potentially expose you to criminal liability. While criminal prosecutions in these situations are rare, they still happen. The best way to protect yourself is to contact a Maryland medical license lawyer as soon as possible if you have been accused of making a mistake that has caused someone harm or cost them their life. 

Vanderbilt Nurse Found Guilty of Criminal Negligent Homicide

If you work in the medical industry, you are probably familiar with the case of RaDonda Vaught. Ms. Vaught was a nurse at Vanderbilt University Medical Center who mistakenly injected her patient with the wrong drug. Her mistake unfortunately cost her patient her life. Ms. Vaught faced up to four years in prison but was eventually sentenced to only 3 years of supervised probation. 

Notably, Ms. Vaught was honest about mistakenly administering the wrong medication. Her honesty resulted in criminal prosecution.  

Advocates for the nursing profession have argued that Ms. Vaught was made a scapegoat to divert attention from the hospital’s systemic problems and inadequate safety procedures. While these cases may be rare, some experts believe that the verdict, in this case, signals a tectonic shift in the potential consequences of a medical mistake. As a result, you should contact a Maryland medical license lawyer immediately if you have been accused of making a medical mistake. 

Guarding Against Criminal Liability

In light of the verdict, medical professionals should be especially vigilant in their daily practices. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself from criminal liability: 

  • Careful and thorough documentation of patient records
  • Careful and thorough review of patient records prior to administering medications
  • Follow all hospital procedures to the letter
  • Identify potential procedural issues to supervisors or administrators in writing
  • Inform hospital administrators of broken or missing equipment immediately

How a Maryland Medical License Lawyer Can Help

If you have been accused of making a medical mistake, a Maryland medical license lawyer can assist you through the investigative process in order to protect you from professional discipline as well as criminal prosecution. If disciplinary or other action is inevitable, they can defend you and your license to ensure that you get a fair result. 

A Maryland medical license can also assist medical professionals in identifying potential sources of liability within their practice. Updating your policies and procedures and guard against liability, and more importantly, guard against mistakes that jeopardize the health of your patients. 

Talk to Maryland Medical License Lawyer J.W. Stafford and His Team Today

If you are worried about potential disciplinary action or even criminal prosecution, you need to take action to protect yourself and your license. Maryland medical license lawyer J.W. Stafford and his team can help you navigate the process and get a fair result. Contact us today by calling 410-514-6099 to schedule a consultation.