Jane F. Bolding, the nurse charged with murdering a patient at Prince George's General Hospital, has been fired by the hospital administrator, the nurses union that represents her said yesterday. The union plans to contest the firing.
Bolding's job as a nurse in the intensive care unit was terminated Friday, according to a letter to her signed by hospital Administrator Raleigh Cline.
Larry Grosser, a lawyer for the Maryland Nurses Association, said the union plans to file a grievance on Bolding's behalf. According to Grosser, who received a copy of the letter yesterday, it said Bolding was fired because:
"You have been criminally charged in connection with your conduct and nursing practices while rendering care to patients in the hospital . . . . " It also said that "medical records of the patient you cared for most recently reveal an abnormally high frequency of life-threatening medical complications during the time you were responsible for the nursing care of this patient. These complications cannot be explained by the patient's condition or prescribed treatment."
Cline confirmed that he sent a letter informing Bolding that she was fired, but would not elaborate.
Bolding's attorney, Fred R. Joseph, said he was "outraged" and his client was "very disappointed" with the news. Joseph said he would request that the hospital suspend the termination and grant her an administrative hearing.
Bolding, 27, was charged last week with first-degree murder in the death of Elinor S. Dickerson, 70, who died last September of heart failure. According to papers filed in court, Bolding confessed to killing Dickerson by injecting a lethal dose of potassium that caused a heart attack.
In another development yesterday, Joseph sent a letter to State's Attorney Arthur A. Marshall requesting copies of all statements that Bolding made to police last week during more than 24 hours of questioning.
Marshall, who said last week that it was unclear whether Bolding could be prosecuted despite the existence of a confession, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Joseph said that based on his conversations with Bolding, he believes she gave police three statements. In the first two, Joseph said she did not admit to any criminal wrongdoing, but in the third, which took the form of a letter of apology to Dickerson's family, she did incriminate herself, Joseph said. He added that she wrote that statement only because she believed that police would then allow her to go home.
The attorney said the apology was written after Bolding had been questioned for about 22 consecutive hours. "It was basically dictated by police . . . she wrote it while falling asleep several times," Joseph said.