Friday, August 14, 2009
Pharmacist Sentenced to Jail
From MedCity News, the Cleveland area pharmacist who pleaded no contest to a charge of involuntary homicide in April in the death of 2 year old Emily Jerry (after carelessly approving a deadly saline solution mixed by his lab tech), has been sentenced to 6 months in the county clink.
I wrote about this case a couple of months ago. I'm still troubled by the idea of cases like this setting a precedent for the criminalization of medical malpractice. Eric Cropp was a bad pharmacist. He did a lousy job supervising his staff. He'll never work as a pharmacist again. But it seems that the circumstances surrounding the death of Emily Jerry suggest more of a systemic deficiency (lack of adequate oversight, unclear credentialing for lab techs, absence of multiple levels of scrutiny, etc.) than a true instance of malicious, criminal conduct by a single man. You wonder if the age of the victim and all the attendant emotional turmoil that the death of a child can incense had as much to do with the decision of the prosecutor to proceed with a criminal trial as the act of negligence itself.