Three Years in Prison for Nurse in Elder Abuse Case

Story tools


A A AResize


Share and Email


A California judge sentenced the former director of nursing at a Kern County skilled nursing facility to three years in prison last week for illegally prescribing psychiatric drugs as a form of chemical restraint, hastening the deaths of three elderly patients.

Gwen D. Hughes, 59, who worked at Kern Valley Healthcare District hospital pled no contest in October to one felony count of elder abuse that contributed to the victim's death. She was taken into custody immediately after sentencing. The case marked the first criminal prosecution in California alleging elder abuse for misuse of psychiatric medication. The overuse and abuse of psychiatric drugs to control dementia patients is of growing concern nationwide,

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris said in a statement on the case, "Elder abuse in skilled nursing facilities is a particularly heinous crime because vulnerable victims and their families have placed their trust in the facilities to provide quality care, preserve their dignity and enjoy a better quality of life."




Disclaimer: Comments do not necessarily reflect the views of New America Media. NAM reserves the right to edit or delete comments. Once published, comments are visible to search engines and will remain in their archives. If you do not want your identity connected to comments on this site, please refrain from commenting or use a handle or alias instead of your real name.