Cook County Judge James Linn sentenced Morris Lee Brinkley, a home-care nurse, to two years probation and 60 days of community service following her role in the death of a Chicago boy who she responsible for caring for. Earlier, Brinkley pleaded guilty to criminal neglect of a disabled person.
Brinkley provided home-care nursing to the 13-year-old boy with cerebral palsy. Despite the fact that she only saw the boy on weekends, she admitted that she was aware that the boy was mistreated by his mother– yet she failed to alert authorities.
When questioned, Brinkley knew the boy’s mother:
- Left the boy alone for extended periods
- Allowed the boy to sit in his own excrement
- Become malnourished
- Develop serious bedsores
- Canceled regularly scheduled doctors appointments
In March, 2008 the boy was taken to La Rabida Children’s Hospital because he was having trouble breathing. Unfortunately, by the time the boy was taken to the hospital, there was little medical officials could do. On March 15th the boy died from infection known as sepsis that originated in the advanced bed sores.
“These are acts of omission rather than commission,” according to Judge Linn. “Something got out of control here,” he added.
The boy’s mother and another home-care nurse were also charged criminally for their role in the boys death. Their cases are pending.
Thank goodness this judge decided to punish (albeit seemingly lightly) a health care professional who violated her duty to protect a disabled person she was responsible for caring for. Hopefully this will ‘encourage’ other nurses to do their job and report abuse and neglect when they witness it.
For laws related to Illinois nursing homes, look here.
Related Nursing Homes Abuse Blog Posts