Denver hospitals: Like an episode of Nurse Jackie

One of the best new television series of the summer season is Showtime's Nurse Jackie, starring Edie Falco, of The Sopranos fame. At first blush, the title character seems like a fairly typical medical-TV creation: She's a sassy wife and mother who's so fiercely devoted to the well-being of her patients that she's willing to get in their faces of doctors and administrators she feels have misplaced their priorities. But she's far from perfect. Jackie's addicted to prescription medication, and is even having an affair with the hospital pharmacist (Paul Schulze, who played -- ewww -- a priest on The Sopranos) in large part because of his willingness to slip her pills in-between slipping her something else.

An absurd premise? Hardly. Note yesterday's Channel 9 scoop about the arrest of Mary "Kathy" Madill, 55, who's allegedly been snatching narcotics while working at St. Anthony Central Hospital. She's the second St. Anthony's nurse to be charged with swiping meds in a month -- and several administrators have been sacked in connection with the investigation. And that's not to mention the July arrest of Kristen Parker, an operating-room tech charged with swiping drugs and infecting at least nineteen people with hepatitis-C in the process.

Even Nurse Jackie wouldn't go that far.

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