Nurse extradited from Tenn. in killing

Bail review likely today in Towson for woman

May 09, 2001|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Ethel B. Barlow, a former Franklin Square Hospital Center nurse who has been accused of killing a patient by prying apart the elderly woman's locked arms, was denied bail Monday at an extradition hearing in Memphis, Tenn., a Baltimore County police official said yesterday.

Barlow, 50, is scheduled to appear in a Towson court today for a bail review hearing, said Cpl. Vickie Warehime, a spokeswoman for the Police Department.

Barlow has been charged with one count of manslaughter in the death of Ruth F. Bowen, 81, who was admitted to Franklin Square on Oct. 30 for a swallowing disorder.

Bowen, a Parkinson's disease patient, also suffered from a disorder that caused her arms to be permanently crossed across her chest.

On Nov. 2, one day before Bowen was to be transferred to a nursing home, hospital employees noticed that her arms had been straightened. Bowen's biceps were torn and she died four days later of severe hemorrhaging, according to state records.

Investigators believe Barlow, a licensed practical nurse who was working as a temporary, entered Bowen's room and straightened her arms. Witnesses said they saw Barlow enter Bowen's room "about the time" the incident is believed to have happened.

In a lawsuit filed against the hospital, Bowen's family contends that Barlow later asked a nurse to administer morphine so the patient would stop "the severe moaning."

The incident sparked an investigation into hospital practices.

The Maryland Office of Health Care Quality found "moderate deficiencies" at the hospital during and shortly after Bowen's death.

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