A healthcare provider may be charged for involuntary manslaughter in addition to malpractice.


A healthcare provider may be prosecuted for involuntary manslaughter if all of the following are present:

(1) The death of a patient or co-worker.

(2) The person died as a result of a dangerous act (capable of causing serious bodily harm or death) done by the defendant.

(3) The defendant acted recklessly (deviated grossly from the standard of conduct observed by a law-abiding person or a competent healthcare provider).

(4) The defendant was not acting intentionally to harm the patient.

(5) The evidence for #2 and #3 is beyond a reasonable doubt.


If the defendant intentionally meant to harm the patient then it would be considered a more serious form of homicide (first degree murder, secondary murder, voluntary homicide).


It is always tragic when someone dies as a result of a healthcare misadventure, but some cases prosecuted for manslaughter seem to be motivated for some reason other than justice.


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