Thursday, January 24, 2013
According to Sokolove Law, "[t]he California Attorney General announced that the former director of nursing at a hospital in the Kern Valley Healthcare District was sentenced to three years in state prison for the "convenience drugging" of elderly patient including one who ended up dying." Gwen Hughes, the director of nursing, pled "no contest" to the charges against her. The state accused Hughes of ordering that 23 elderly patients be placed on psychotropic medication even though they did not need the medicine. Hughes apparently gave the medicine to her patients that she thought "were noisy, prone to wandering, or were argumentative." The vast majority of these patients suffered from Alzheimer's or dementia. Hughes ordered the director of the hospital's pharmacy to give the patients the drugs even though they did not have a prescription for them. The state determined that the drugs that were given hastened at least three of the patient's deaths. All of the patients suffered at least some adverse physical reactions.
See Elder Abuse Leads to Jail for Nursing Director, Sokolove Law, Jan. 16, 2013.
Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.