NURSE GOING TO JAIL! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

This story is one of the more scary items I’ve seen reported by the media.

The New York Times ran a story about a nurse (Anne Mitchell) in Texas who informed state regulators that a doctor (Rolando G. Arafiles Jr., MD) at her rural hospital was practicing bad medicine. What did she get in return? How about a charge of “misuse of official information,” a third-degree felony in Texas…and a potential for 10 years in prison.

The prosecutor said he would show that Mrs. Mitchell had a history of making “inflammatory” statements about Dr. Arafiles and intended to damage his reputation when she reported him last April to the Texas Medical Board, which licenses and disciplines doctors. Mrs. Mitchell counters that as an administrative nurse, she had a professional obligation to protect patients from what she saw as a pattern of improper prescribing and surgical procedures.

My Take: The criminal prosecution of Nurse Mitchell is an outrage! Doctors and hospitals routinely attempt to punish those who expose incompetent and negligent doctors. The next time you read that newspaper article on tort reform or over hear the local business owner or doctor complain about lawsuits…just think back to this sad story from Texas where a nurse did the right thing and is now facing criminal charges.

Do you think this type of incident happens at the following hospitals in Western Virginia?

Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Lewis-Gale Hospital, Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County, Danville Regional Medical Center, StonewallJackson Hospital, Carilion New River Valley Hospital, Montgomery Regional Hospital, Wellmont Bristol Regional Hospital, Carilion Giles Memorial Hospital, Alleghany Regional Hospital, Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital, and Tazewell Community Hospital

Dan Frith

Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at dfrith@frithlawfirm.com.