Nursing Supervisor Stands Trial In Case of Missing Morphine

Testimony was heard today in the second day of trial for the first of two women accused in the "Angel of Death" case. The 62-year-old nursing supervisor at a nursing home where prosecutors say several patients were administered too much morphine currently stands trial. She was charged in 2008 with five counts of neglect and two counts of obstructing justice.

The second employee, who is accused of administering the drug, will be tried separately. Authorities are not accusing the women of killing the patients at the nursing home, but prosecutors said their conduct “recklessly endangered” the patients’ lives.

One witness said that she and another nurse had marked morphine bottles with a permanent marker to see how much of the drug was being used. After one resident died, there were two bottles that were questionable – one that had been half full was nearly empty, while another appeared to have been filled with juice, said the witness.

Another nurse, testified that she heard the nursing supervisor tell the other employee, “I don’t care if you play the ‘Angel of Death,’ but just don’t let me know about it.” The nurse also said she had been ordered to hand over an unopened bottle of morphine from a patient who had been dead for four months so it could be given to another patient. The patient who was given the morphine died later that night. For more, read the story.

Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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