Human Error or Criminal Conduct – How Can One Tell the Difference?

Law360, New York (November 17, 2006, 12:00 AM EST) -- On November 2, 2006, in a controversial decision, the Wisconsin Department of Justice charged a hospital nurse with criminal conduct in connection with the death of a pregnant 16-year-old hospital patient.

While most in the medical community are familiar with relatively common claims of civil negligence arising from bad medical outcomes, it is very rare for these events to result in criminal prosecution.

This surprising announcement has left the health care community with a troubling question: “When does conduct cross the line from ordinary civil medical...
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