A Odd Judge, A Dishonest Hospital, a Grandstanding DA, Casualties and an Army of ReDonda Vaughts under my Fedora

Posted: May 14, 2022 by datechguy in opinion/news
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Yesterday we got a verdict in the RaDonda Vaught case, a case that, in my opinion should never have been prosecuted. The Judge sentenced her to the minimum allowed 3 years but also under Tennessee law was able to, due to mitigating factors give her instead three years supervised probation after which the case is revisited and if the now former Nurse who accidently gave the wrong drug to a patient causes no offense will no longer face imprisonment.

The real story from this case comes from the Judge Jennifer Smith’s speech during sentencing in reply to the prosecution who clamed that the legislature meant to not allow “diversion” (that is reducing the sentence due to circumstances) which said in part:

This court does not have the authority to look beyond the plain language of the statute.

That there are still judges who base their ruling on what laws say rather than on what people want them to say is a really hopeful sign. The sad think is that we’re reached a point where a judge doing this is really something.

The real travesty of this case is that when Vaught realized the error she immediately reported it but Vanderbilt university hospital covered it up and only came clean after their Medicare money was in jeopardy. They were very happy to make her take the fall on something that was a pure accident.

Nurses haven’t taken kindly to this:

I would not want to be the person in charge of recruiting nurses at Vanderbilt.

The real problem here is the making of a criminal case of a medical mistake. The DA thought to score brownie points in bringing this case forward and it has, at least for the moment paid off politically as he’s won his primary and is unopposed for re-election.

But what nurse in Tennessee is going to do what Vaught did and immediately report an error when such a move might result in a criminal record and jail time? I suspect not many.

This is going to cost lives.

None of this changes the fact that a 75 year old woman is dead who might have been alive otherwise. I must say that while I think this case is rotten and they deserved the settlement that Vanderbilt gave them which stipulates they may not discuss the death.

That there is no prosecution of the Hospital speaks volumes, either way if the family is pissed over this I can’t blame them. I know if it was my wife it would take a lot of effort to turn off the Sicilian desire for blood and replace it which the Christian Virtue of forgiveness.

This case really united Nurses around the country. I suspect every single one of them sees this cases and says “There but for the grace of God go I.

Given the shortage of Nurses overall (not helped any by the firings due to the vaccine mandates) Nurses have a huge amount of leverage if they choose to exercise it. It’s practically an army and where it marches healthcare will go.

Oh and if these figures are right those fired unvaccinated nurses will be able to name their own return price in a few years too.

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