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A Journal on Forensic Medicine
Minerva Medicolegale 2002 December;122(4):227-40
Penal liability of the nursing staff
Zaami S., Montanari Vergallo G.
Some observations on the penal liability of nursing staff, based on the recent decree of the court of cassation (Cass. Pen. IV sez. 19.12.2000, n. 13219), are presented. Examining the example of a mistaken dosage in the preparation of a drip, the nurse was found guilty of professional misconduct, considering that the preparation and administration of medicines must not be done automatically, but with the collaboration of the doctor who should be called upon whenever the dosage is changed. On the other hand, the generic nursing staff were absolved, and the court found them not guilty of negligent or imprudent actions. This is because the generic nurse followed the instructions of the specialist nurse in good faith, believing them to be correct. The authors support the principles affirmed in this sentence, considering them to be a yardstick for measuring penal responsibility of nursing staff.