We have previously discussed the prevalence of medication errors in the U.S. Some of these errors occur in pharmacies, some occur when physicians are writing out prescriptions and some occur when medications are being administered. For example, in hospital settings it can be all too easy to accidentally give a patient an incorrect dose of a medication, to miss a dose, or to administer the wrong medication altogether.
Healthcare providers are human and will therefore make mistakes from time to time. If these mistakes are made while adhering to standards of care mandated by law, they may be somewhat understandable. If mistakes are made due to negligence, then providers should be held accountable for these missteps both in order to give victims some sense of justice and in order to provide a deterrent for similar mistakes. However, if a “mistake” is intentionally directed, this inexcusable act should be properly and adequately addressed immediately in the wake of it.
According to NPR, a recent lawsuit filed in the wake of improper administration of drugs illustrates a widespread problem of intentional medication errors directed at patients housed in nursing facilities. Essentially, some facilities are intentionally overmedicating their residents. Any time a medication is given in an improper dosage, at improper times or for unapproved uses (that are not legitimately off-label), this act should be considered a medication error. Intentionally overmedicating patients is an error of the worst kind.
If you are concerned that you or a loved one is being overmedicated, please contact an experienced attorney in order to explore your legal options. No one should be subjected to intentional medical errors, ever.
Source: Npr.org, “Feds Hope Hitting Nursing Homes In The Wallet Will Cut Overmedication,” Ina Jaffe, Sep. 5, 2014