A nurse who called a wheelchair-confined elderly patient with dementia “a dirty Jew” before slapping him on the arm has had her registration cancelled by the High Court.
Marilyn Rillera (57), who had been working in the Maynooth Community Care Unit in Kildare before returning to her native Philippines, had been bringing the 87-year-old patient of the unit to the toilet in December 2015 when the incident happened.
The court heard the patient was being raised in a hoist to transfer him from his chair to the toilet when he became agitated. He raised his arm to hit Ms Rillera but she held it and told him: “You can’t do that, you can’t hit a woman, what are you, you dirty Jew.” She then slapped him on the arm.
Under the patient’s care plan it was stated he could have aggressive outbursts, and the way to deal with them was to walk away and later talk to him and redirect the conversation.
A fitness to practice inquiry held by the Nursing and Midwifery Board heard Ms Rillera denied saying “dirty Jew”, and said she had told him he was dirty.
A care assistant who was helping bring the patient to the toilet that day had said she was “100 per cent certain” the nurse said “dirty Jew”.
The inquiry found Ms Rillera guilty of professional misconduct, and recommended her registration as a nurse be cancelled. The Nursing and Midwifery Board asked the High Court to confirm the decision.
The president of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, said such conduct was “completely unacceptable”, and completely contrary to the notion of what the nursing profession is. There was every good reason for confirming the cancellation.