Should medical errors be prosecuted criminally?

A pharmacist in Ohio is being criminally prosecuted in a medical mistake that resulted in a death of a two-year old child.

Is that going too far?

Indeed, if the criminal prosecution of this pharmacist is successful, it may lead to a dangerous precedent. Indeed, “he wasn’t drunk or impaired. He wasn’t even the one who prepared the mixture. He was inattentive and lazy and careless, and now he faces the real possibility of serving jail time as a consequence.”

Will doctors be next?

Thankfully, surgeon Jeffrey Parks thinks not. “Criminal prosecution of doctors will never be common, number one, because who the hell would ever go to medical school if there was a possibility you could not only get sued, but have to go to jail for an unintentional error . . . and number two, the trial lawyers would never allow it [since] in a criminal suit the State is the plaintiff and the purpose is punishment rather than compensation of the victim/trial lawyer.”

That said, the predicament of the cited Ohio pharmacist isn’t good. His license was revoked, and there’s the real possibility he’ll be a convicted felon. As Dr. Parks remarks, “He’s basically ruined. The tragic death of a toddler notwithstanding, I find such a predicament rather harsh.”

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