Late last week the News Tribune reported on developments in the criminal trial that is underway connected to a shocking case of Illinois nursing home abuse. A nurse at the local Veterans Home where the attack took place testified last week at the criminal trial of two former employees on trial for misdemeanor battery for the nursing home prank. Every Chicago nursing home abuse attorney who heard the story last year was disgusted to find out that a group of at least five employees at the home, including nurses, and nurses assistants, gave a nursing home resident an unnecessary suppository. According to reports, several workers held down the fighting resident and then inserted the medical device
The nurse who testified last week explained that the she found out about the attacks after she saw them laughing after leaving the victim’s room. Eventually the attackers told her what they had done. Apparently they gave the suppository just minutes before the shift change as a way of playing a prank on the next group of employees who would need to take care of the man who had been given the suppository. The two former employees on trial in this latest bench trial face up to a year in jail if they are found guilty of the crimes from which they are charged.
At the heart of the criminal case is whether or not the victim actually needed the suppository in question. As far as criminal charges are concerned, fining guilt of the crime likely requires proof that the employees provide degrading and unnecessary medical care for the sole reason of playing a joke on fellow employees. Prosecutors have argued clearly that the victim in this case didn’t actually need the suppository. They showed records which revealed that the victim were not constipated and had a bowel movement less than twenty four hours before. In addition, witnesses have testified regarding the friction between the shifts of workers, indicating that the attack on the resident was an act of “retaliation” between them.
Attorneys for the defense argued that the employees admitted they were laughing as they left the room, but they believed that the suppository was actually necessary. They claim that the man had impacted stool and that the suppository was needed to prevented immediate harm. However, nursing home procedures call for progression treatment of these issues, requiring use of milk of magnesia before resorting to a suppository. Records which revealed that the woman had a bowel movement 24 hours, which before meant that the victim wouldn’t even be in line for a milk of magnesia at the time that the suppository was supposedly given.
Our Illinois nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti are saddened that these cases continue to come up in our area. Obviously, it is incumbent upon the facilities involved to prevent any friction between employees to result in harm coming to residents. It is tragic that employees would even consider the care provided to residents as a way to interact with their co-workers. Illinois nursing home neglect is much more likely to occur when residents are dehumanized in this way.
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