Sunday, November 18, 2007

Nurse Fired After 2 Rape Reports

A male nurse accused by 2 women of raping them in their hospital rooms this summer has been fired by Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. These accusations aren't the first at this hospital about this man whose name was not disclosed.

That first accusation came back in 2002, months after the man was hired. Because the investigation of that alleged sexual misconduct was inconclusive, the man was allowed to return to work. The accusation was reported to police, but no criminal charges were filed against him then and so far no criminal charges have been filed on these recent reports.

I hope that these incidents have been reported to the Oklahoma nursing board and that his nursing license will be revoked even if the police don't charge him with any crimes. The risk to patients is just too great to allow him to remain in nursing.

To me an inconclusive investigation is not a result that should have inspired the hospital's confidence. Too often the perception of the person who reports sexual misconduct or even rape is dismissed unless there is overwhelming physical evidence. Hospital patients can be called delusional when there is no evidence that those in their physical condition suffer from any delusions.

I don't know if there will be enough supporting evidence for a prosecutor to have confidence that a jury will believe there is no reasonable doubt that the reports are true. However, the standard needs to error in favor of nursing patients. At a place such as a hospital, people (men and women) are more vulnerable since they are frequently required to drop their normal interpersonal boundaries.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:05 PM   0 comments links to this post

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