Multiple Nursing Homes Accused of the Unlawful Sedation of Elderly Patients
Nursing homes play a critical role in providing healthcare to our loved ones whose needs have become impossible for us to meet on our own. Still, making the decision to place a beloved relative in a nursing home is difficult for many people, so the last thing these individuals want to hear is that their relative has not been properly cared for, but has in fact been neglected or abused. Tragically, this happens all too often, as evidenced by the recent publication of a report released by the Human Rights Watch, which determined that thousands of elderly patients are being sedated unlawfully across the nation.
Nursing home employees and administrators can and should be held accountable for this type of conduct, so if you believe that a loved one may be being neglected, abused, or improperly sedated at a nursing home, and have contacted the authorities, you should speak with an experienced Florida nursing home accident lawyer who can explain your legal options.
Recent Revelations Published by Human Rights Watch Group
In its recently published report, a Human Rights Watch group claims to have uncovered evidence of the systematic sedating of elderly nursing home residents who suffer from dementia, with unprescribed antipsychotic medications. According to the data published by this group, the practice of giving unprescribed medications to patients in an effort to sedate them is not an isolated practice. In fact, the group claims that its study revealed that nursing facilities across the country administer antipsychotic drugs to more than 179,000 patients who do not suffer from illnesses for which the drug is prescribed.
Giving elderly nursing home residents drugs that they have not been prescribed is against the law in Florida, which guarantees nursing home patients the right to:
- Be adequately informed of their conditions and proposed treatments;
- Be fully informed of any non-emergency changes in treatment in advance of those changes; and
- Participate in planning their treatments, which includes the right to refuse medication.
Unfortunately, many nursing home facilities do not respect these rights and even blatantly violate them, as in this case, by medicating patients with non-approved drugs, which opens affected residents up to a number of dangerous side effects, including: blurred vision, dizziness, and difficulty breathing, in addition to emotional distress and changes in personality.
While recovering damages can never compensate someone for this type of neglect, it can go a long way towards helping neglected loved ones begin the long road to recovery, as successful plaintiffs could be eligible to recover compensation for medical expenses and housing costs, as well as their pain and suffering.
Contact an Experienced Florida Nursing Home Accident Attorney
If you have questions about your loved ones’ rights as a nursing home resident, or if you believe that a relative has been neglected or abused, please contact the experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at Boone & Davis. To schedule a free consultation, please call us at 954-566-9919, or complete one of our online contact forms. We look forward to assisting you through each step of your case.