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Nurse claims firing for exposing death

March 28, 2011 at 11:15 AM

NEW YORK, March 28 (UPI) -- A New York City nurse charges her hospital fired her when she exposed its refusal to treat a homeless man dying of a drug overdose.

Daniel Iverson, the homeless, alcoholic patient, was a familiar face in the Roosevelt Hospital emergency room, the New York Daily News reports. He would wheel himself in to complain of pains or find a place to sleep off a bender, court papers state.

But in August 2009, nurse Danna Novak says, Iverson told her he was tired of living and had taken 700 milligrams of morphine. She took his vital signs, marked him "emergent" and rolled him to the resuscitation room. But a nurse there said Iverson was faking it and would have to wait for a doctor despite Novak's pleas, her suit alleges.

Iverson then rolled out of the hospital and was found dead outside in the morning.

Novak says she told the ER director her account, and that Roosevelt tried to make her resign before firing her, claiming she left patients unattended. The hospital said the firing was unrelated to Iverson's death.

"No one mentioned that he had been in the hospital earlier and not gotten care," said Iverson's half-brother, Robert Watford.

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