The lawyer for Prince George's General Hospital nurse Jane F. Bolding has demanded that the hospital rehire her in light of the county prosecutor's decision to drop first-degree murder charges against Bolding in the death of one of her patients.

In a letter Friday to hospital administrator Raleigh Cline, lawyer Fred R. Joseph asked that the hospital either reinstate Bolding or hold a hearing on its decision to fire Bolding, an intensive care unit nurse.

Bolding, 27, had been charged with first-degree murder in the death of patient Elinor S. Dickerson in September. Police said Bolding admitted giving the 70-year-old woman a lethal injection of potassium, causing a massive heart attack, to relieve her of "further pain and suffering."

However, State's Attorney Arthur A. Marshall Jr. decided last week to drop the charges against Bolding, saying he did not have enough evidence to proceed. He said an investigation would continue into the deaths of 22 intensive care patients at the hospital during a period when Bolding worked there.

Joseph's letter also asks the hospital to pay Bolding's legal fees in defending herself against a civil suit brought by Dickerson's children.

Michael Canning, a spokesman for the county-owned hospital, said it had no plans to rehire Bolding. He noted that a hearing on her dismissal probably would be held in connection with a grievance the nurse's union has filed on Bolding's behalf.

Canning said the hospital's letter to Bolding informing her that she was fired "referenced medically unexplained incidents regarding her patients which were not acceptable, and that has not changed. Whether there was sufficent evidence to allow the state's attorney to take criminal action is unrelated" to the reason for Bolding's dismissal, he said.