Texas nurse who filed complaint about doctor is acquitted in criminal case
A nurse in Kermit, Texas, filed a complaint with the state regulatory agency about improper care provided by a local doctor. When the doctor learned the source of the complaint, he asked a friend--the local sheriff--to investigate. With the sheriff's help, the local prosecutor brought a criminal action against the nurse for "misusing" confidential information. The trial was completed yesterday and the nurse was acquitted in less than an hour of jury deliberation. While the outcome vindicates the nurse's actions, the entire episode still chills would-be reporters of poor care as another example of why not to mess with powerful medical interests. Nurses are the backbone of our health care, but when it comes to political struggles within an institution, they, like the rest of us, need be wary of the resources available to unscrupulous or incompetent doctors.