Essay on To Prosecute or Not To Prosecute

Essay on To Prosecute or Not To Prosecute

Length: 813 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

To Prosecute or Not To Prosecute

As stated in the Code of Ethics for Nurses (1985), the nurse assumes responsibility and accountability for individual nursing judgments and actions. In other words, the nurse is ultimately responsible for all interventions and aspects of care that he/she gives the patient, whether it is knowledge-based and appropriate, negligent and improper, or even honest human mistakes that at times result in patient deaths. Those honest human mistakes that nurses have the possibility of making and that do result in patient deaths can cause nurses their licenses and even put them in jail. However, should nurses be criminally prosecuted for their mistakes that result in patient deaths? According to Christy Lyon (1998), healthcare practitioners across the country are asking the very same question.
The nationwide debate on sanctions that nurses should face for mistakes made on the job began in April 1997 when three Registered Nurses in Denver, Colorado were charged with criminally negligent homicide in the death of an infant. In this case, a physician ordered an intramuscular injection of penicillin for a day-old infant at risk of syphilis. The pharmacist incorrectly dispensed a syringe containing 10 times the prescribed amount. Although the infant's primary nurse did not notice firsthand, a staff nurse noticed the large dose and discussed it with a neonatal nurse practitioner, who then told the staff nurse to change the route of administration to intravenous so the child would only be stuck once. Although the nurses consulted several books, they did not consult with the physician before administering the penicillin. The baby soon died thereafter. The Colorado Board of Nursing suspended the nurse ...

... middle of paper ...

...rors, however, it should be up to the state board of nursing to decide on the punishment that would best fit the error. Then depending on the severity and negligence of the error, should the state board of nursing call in the district attorney, rather than the district attorney stepping in on his own. All in all, however, I think that nurses should only be prosecuted when there is the intention and direct infliction of harm on the patient, while all other errors should be punished using civil sanctions.


American Nurses Association. (1985). Code for nurses with interpretive statements. Kansas City, MO: Author.
Lyon, Christy. (1998). Crime and punishment. Retrieved from the World Wide Web October 25, 2000:
Smith, Adam. (Ed.). (1986). The essential Adam Smith. New York: Norton.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

International Criminal Courts Must Prosecute Genocide Essay example

- Genocide: a horrible occurrence where the word sends varying messages to people across the globe. Genocide in Germany means the slow, efficient near extinction of millions of the Jewish population, as well as the more discreet murdering of gypsies and homosexuals. Genocide in Rwanda means the most brutal slaughter the world may have ever seen: over 800,000 members of the Tutsi tribe were dead in little more than 100 days. Genocide in Darfur, a country with such restricted accessibility, means the reality of the death toll of the native tribal blacks is unknown, ranging anywhere between 200,000 and 2,500,000....   [tags: argumentative essay]

Better Essays
1102 words (3.1 pages)

Can Officers Effectively Prosecute Domestic Violence Cases Without Victim Participation?

- When prosecuting criminal domestic violence cases too many officers constructed their entire case only on statements made by the victim. However, “victims of domestic violence are more likely than victims of other violent crime to recant or refuse to cooperate in prosecutorial efforts” (Breitenbach, 2008, p. 1256). Officers must consider that victims of domestic violence may refuse to testify because of fear of retaliation, intimidation, financial dependence, emotional attachment, and/or because they reunited with the batterer....   [tags: Violence Against Women Essays]

Better Essays
916 words (2.6 pages)

Improvements to the Justice System in Native American Reservations Essay

- The justice system of a society is the reflection of a society’s values and a flawed system is indicative of an unsafe society, a result that can be seen in Native American reservations (Identification of Controversy) (Lead). The justice system in Native American reservations should be improved by increasing the number of prosecuted crimes, increasing the severity of prison sentences by tribal courts, and by promoting the Violence Against Women Act (Thesis). The Justice Department declines too many serious crime cases, such as sexual abuse cases, to improve the statistics of crime in Native American Reservations (Topic Sentence)....   [tags: crime, prosecute, sentence]

Free Essays
534 words (1.5 pages)

Use of the Toulmin Model Essay

- The article “When Children Become Criminals” from The New York Times is an opinion piece by the Editorial Board. It discusses how New York is one of the only states to prosecute 16 year olds as adults; resulting in harsher sentences than if they were tried in juvenile court (2014, p. 1). The Toulmin model can be applied in order to analyze the argument. This model consists of a claim, grounds, backing, a warrant, a qualifier, and a rebuttal. In the New York Times editorial board article “When Children Become Criminals” from January 19, 2014 authors claim to try to persuade the readers that the age for adult criminal prosecution should be raised....   [tags: prosecute children as adults]

Better Essays
1041 words (3 pages)

Deciding Whether a Case Should be Prosecuted or Not Essay

- When a prosecutor is deciding whether a case should be prosecuted in the courts and charges should be filed against someone, prosecutors consider two important questions: Is it in the best interest of the public to proceed. And, is there a strong reasonable likelihood that there will be a conviction. If the answer to both are yes, then there is the task of deciding whether there is enough evidence to prosecute the case and whether the evidence is reliable and can it be used in court. This means carefully assessing the quality of the evidence from all related witnesses before reaching a final decision....   [tags: crime and legal process]

Better Essays
1003 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Should Minors Be Prosecuted As Adults?

- There are many questions arising about whether a minor should be prosecuted as an adult. Throughout the years many people have become dissatisfied with the system and the leniency towards minors committing heinous crimes. In present time, people have insisted that if the child commits a crime, he/she should therefore be treated as a criminal. Well, is there an age limit to restrict sentencing. At what age are a child’s thought process developed to know right from wrong. What percentage of people agree with this process....   [tags: Crime, Criminology, Criminal law, Criminal justice]

Better Essays
1026 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Redfern Riot Shouldn't Be Prosecuted

- Editorial: Redfern riot shouldn’t be prosecuted THE POLICE criticism toward residents of a small inner-city Sydney suburb of Waterloo must signal the end of society and media depictions that has created an inability to deem the residents’ constant claim of police harassment and violence. It is time we should accept the grim fact that many existing attitudes towards the most disadvantaged people, Indigenous Australians, are part of this mayhem-like problem. The public intensely curved its attention toward what happened in NSW on February 15....   [tags: Editorial]

Better Essays
797 words (2.3 pages)

Plato 's Article ' Why Was Socrates Prosecuted ' Essay

- M. F Burnyeat’s article, “Why was Socrates Prosecuted”, explores the idea of how the reader would vote, had they been one of Socrates’ jurors. As the article progresses more and more of Burnyeat’s previous juror-readers begin to find Socrates guilty as they read further along in Plato’s Apology and begin to analyze one of the two accusation made against him in depth. Burnyeat’s work, however, does not fully explore the idea that Socrates “crimes” were harmful to the people of Athens. This part of the charges is crucial part to both the accusation that Socrates believed in different gods then those of Athens and the accusation that he corrupted the youth, and much of my decision regarding his...   [tags: Plato, Aristotle, Apology, Socrates]

Better Essays
1012 words (2.9 pages)

Effects of Juveniles Prosecuted as an Adult Essay

- According to Street Law, a juvenile is any person who is not yet an adult. In most states and the District of Columbia, individuals under 18 years of age are considered juveniles. The District of Columbia along with most states in the United States view any person under the age of 18 that has committed a crime as a juvenile criminal. Acts of a juvenile crime include but are not limited to: truancy, smoking, drinking, theft, rape, murder, defiance towards parents or guardian, etc. A juvenile criminal can only be held in a juvenile institution until the age of 21, no matter how gruesome their offense may have been....   [tags: legal issues, juvenil justice]

Better Essays
2497 words (7.1 pages)

The Death Penalty Should Not Be Prosecuted Essay

- Criminals can come in many different shapes and sizes. For example, a criminal can be classified as being a murderer or a criminal could just simply have committed fraud in a business setting. There is a large diversity of criminals and it is the judge’s job to determine what is a fair punishment for a guilty verdict. Judge Ron Swanson, a federal judge for the Florida District Court of Appeal, deals with using cost-benefit analysis daily to determine what is fair for everyone involved. Before becoming a judge, Judge Swanson was a prosecutor coming out of law school in the University of Florida....   [tags: Capital punishment, Prison, Crime, Murder]

Better Essays
1368 words (3.9 pages)