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Nurse for Terry Schiavo Will Not Lose License for TV Interview

Nurse won't lose license for discussing Schiavo case on TV

A registered nurse who discussed Terri Schiavo's condition on television last year won't lose her license, a Florida Board of Nursing panel ruled.

The Panel of Probable Cause, a two-member board, dismissed a complaint Thursday against Carla Sauer-Iyer, 42, of Plant City.

She had raised concerns in a CNN interview about the brain-damaged woman's welfare at the Largo convalescent center where she treated Schiavo in the 1990s and in two legal depositions. The March 2005 interview came during the last rounds of legal battles before Schiavo died after her feeding tube was removed.

A lawyer representing the Department of Health said rules requiring nurses not to disclose patient information also require them to report "apparent neglect and abuse" of patients.

"The obligation to protect the patient must prevail," said Assistant General Counsel Kathryn Price told the panel and recommended it reverse its previous vote which found probable cause to act against the nurse.

In May, the Health Department filed an administrative complaint against Sauer-Iyer for disclosing confidential information about Schiavo, who doctors said was in a persistent vegetative state. The Health Department changed its position after Gov. Jeb Bush's office sided with Sauer-Iyer.

She became an ally of Bob and Mary Schindler, Schiavo's parents. They battled their daughter's husband, Michael Schiavo, over the removal of the feeding tube.

Michael Schiavo said the nursing panel was merely responding to pressure from the governor.

"When the governor, who commanded the Department of Health, tells his people to get this case dismissed, it's going to be dismissed," he said.

Sauer-Iyer said justice was served.

"I would do it again under personal risk," she said.

Source PalmBeachPost