Nursing Home Director Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Medicating Residents With Psychotropic Drugs


The former director of a California nursing home has been sentenced to 3 years in prison for inappropriate medication of 23 individuals. All of the individuals suffered negative health consequences, and the medication was implicated in three deaths. “If the resident did not want to go to the dining room then an antipsychotic drug would be started … none of the resident’s family members were notified…” said the facility’s master of social work. The facility’s former medical director and the director’s supervisor were both sentenced to 300 hours of community service.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. I would like some more detail on this situation. I am the Director of a long term care facility. One of the provinces’s mandates is to decrease the use of psychotropics. I am 100% on board with that and am prepared to do the work required. One difficulty is I have no authority over physicians contracted to my building so am dependent on their leadership to influence their prescribing behaviors. How did a facility director order psychotropics and a physician signed off on them? hummmmm Only a physician can order psychotropics. Was the Director a physician? or is this a case of a physician not being held accountable for their practice. I am taking this article to the rural manager’s meeting this week. Very timely for me in my quest to get rid of the use of these drugs in our facility.

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