Friday, February 12, 2010

Nurse Acquited After Filing Anonymous Claim with Texas Medical Board

As a member of the medical profession, you are expected to put the needs of your patients first and to be upfront at all times regarding the treatments and therapies being recommended. Unfortunately, there are instances in which doctors are perhaps not as meticulous as they should be or they use their position for inappropriate financial gain. If you are a nurse and you see such behaviors occurring in your office, what course of action should you take? Is there a fear out there of retribution by your employer? Perhaps a jury's decision today in Texas will help ease the mind of a medical professional who has witnessed wrongdoing but has been hesitant to come forward.

Today in Winkler County, a jury took only one hour to acquit nurse Anne Mitchell on charges of misuse of official information. Along with another nurse at Winkler County Memorial Hospital, Mitchell submitted an anonymous complaint to the Texas Medical Board regarding the practices of Dr. Rolando Arafiles. The standard procedure is to file grievances with the hospital, but Mitchell claims that previous complaints had not resulted in any consequences for Dr. Arafiles.

The story encompasses many of the details you would expect in a small-town controversy. The sheriff is good friends and possibly a business partner with the doctor, and this relationship was used to track down the source of the anonymous compaint. The doctor made claims in an interview with The New York Times that he was being "brutalized and abused." In a place where everyone knows each other, disputes can get personal and ugly quickly.

The law offices of Bertolino LLP has attorneys who are experienced at presenting cases before the Texas Medical Board. If you have had a complaint submitted against you, as Dr. Arafiles did, we can be the essential partner in your defense. Or, if you are being threatened with termination from your job or even jail time because you decided to stand up a be a whistleblower at your place of employment, we can help you as well. Please contact our office today if you are facing a complaint. Do not go it alone!

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