NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A former Tennessee nurse whose medication error killed a patient was sentenced to three years of probation Friday as hundreds of health care workers rallied outside the courthouse, warning that criminalizing such mistakes will lead to more deaths in hospitals. 

A state judge imposed the sentence on RaDonda Vaught after she apologized to relatives of the victim, Charlene Murphey, and said she’ll be forever haunted by her mistake. Vaught was found guilty in March of criminally negligent homicide and gross neglect of an impaired adult after she accidentally administered the wrong medication.

Nashville Criminal Court Judge Jennifer Smith said Vaught would receive judicial diversion, a way for first-time offenders to have their charges dropped and their records expunged after successfully completing probation. Prosecutors had argued against diversion, although they were not opposed to probation.

The crowd of nurses outside protesting cheered, cried and hugged after hearing the sentence. The relief came after the health care workers spent hours in the sun and clung to every word of the judge’s lengthy sentencing explanation, some linked in a chain with hands locked.

The fact that Vaught, 38, faced any criminal penalties at all has become a rallying point for many nurses who were already fed up with poor working conditions exacerbated by the pandemic. The crowd outside listened to the hearing through loudspeakers and cheered when some of the victim’s relatives said they wouldn’t want jail time for Vaught.

“Knowing my mom, the way my mom was and stuff, she wouldn’t want to see her serve no jail time. That’s just Mom. Mom was a very forgiving person,” Michael Murphey told the court. Charlene Murphey’s husband, however, did want her to serve a prison sentence, relatives testified.

Vaught apologized to the family in court, saying words will never fully express her “remorse …read more

Source:: AOL.com

      

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