Is it right to sexually assist a paralysed patient? - page 5

How do you deal with the paralysed patient with frequent erections? Have you ever been asked to assist? I've never faced this but have seen a heated discussion on another forum. Is it humane to bring... Read More

  1. by   nilepoc
    No one should laugh too hard, this seems to be a real problem for some.

    http://www.bettydodson.com/disablednohands.htm
    Note, link is to an all text page with no images or other work offensive material.

    Don't ask how I found it. Although google can be your friend.
    Last edit by nilepoc on Apr 5, '04
  2. by   neneRN
    As one of the other posters noted, this type of incident was written about in a book by Carol Gino, RN in a book she wrote in 1982 detailing her experiences as an RN. She was a fairly new nurse working in a burn unit, and had a pt with severe burns who had to have bilat arm amputations. He was young, I think twenties and having lots of self esteem issues-worried about his girlfriend leaving him because of his injuries....Had been on the unit for a while, so staff all knew and liked the pt. She writes that she walked into his room to find him attempting to "get rid" of his erection by laying face down on the bed, rubbing himself against the sheets. However, his thighs had been grafted, and he was opening up the sites by doing this. The pt was crying and embarassed, and very uncomfortable- apparantly had had the erection for a while. The RN first attempted to help him by placing a pillow between his legs to avoid ruining the graft sites, and then when that didn't work, poured a liter of cold saline over him. This didn't work either, and Gino writes that she was debating calling the doctor, but was scared to call the MD with a problem like this. So, with the pt crying and pleading with her, she manually relieved him of his erection. She writes that she was crying as she did this. (The Nurse's Story, Carol Gino, Linden Press/Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, 1982)

    Now I could never do this and I'm not saying she did the right thing at all, but to read her story, I could kind of understand why SHE did. I doubt that this type of situation would ever arise in most of our nursing careers.
  3. by   Betty_SPN_KS
    Quote from kyti
    We had a pt once who had had a cystoscopy ask the nurse working with me to "milk" his penis because there was a small drop of blood at the end of it (we work pacu) he said his wife (who was at the bedside) said it was ok. She politely refused. :chuckle

    Wouldn't it be more appropriate if he and his wife asked for some privacy so she (the wife) could do it? She was right there!
    Last edit by Betty_SPN_KS on Apr 5, '04
  4. by   gypsyatheart
    This response, IMHO, is ludricrous.
    I can't believe that you think it is OK for a nurse to choose to have sexual relations,('cause that's what it would be), with a patient?!? You bet your sweet patoot that there would be legal and job repercussions....
    I'm sorry, I must've missed the hypocrisy that you seemed to pick up on in this thread...all I've read are resounding exclamations of shock and the definite "No, I would not be involved in a sexual task with a pt."...

    People have different ideas as to why it is inappropriate...well, guess what, I doubt any one of us needs to be trained on how to relieve some guy's erection, that is not the point. And the point was made that having an orgasm is not a vital need to sustain one's life, because the OP, inferred this was the case. All of that is besides the point. The point is...we are professionals. And not professional hookers... We are college educated individuals who should know that providing sexual favors to a patient is completely degrading to our profession! For anyone to think that it is OK to have sex with a patient, I'm sorry, you have no business with a nursing license. :stone
    Oh, and BTW, how do praying with a patient and having sex with a patient have anything to do with each other??! Last time I checked prayer does not involve someones' sexual organs... :imbar


    Quote from RN-Josey
    Whether or not a nurse would choose to relieve a patient if faced with this situation is something for the nurse to decide at that moment, keeping in mind that there definitely could be legal and job repercussions if some kind of prior approval was not obtained.

    I want to comment, though, more on the hypocrisy I hear stated throughout this thread. Several nurses have stated that this is an inappropriate question because either it's not something we are trained to do or because it is not a vital life or death function. And the tone used by these nurses is very sanctimonious and puritanical when making these arguments. I would ask these very same nurses, however, if they have ever prayed with a patient at the patient's request, or if they had encouraged prayer from a patient who hadn't brought the subject up themself. Prayer is neither something we are trained to do in nursing school nor is it a "vital" life or death function. Yet I will bet money that many, if not most, of the nurses who practically condemned the original poster for even asking the question would not think twice about praying with a patient, and probably have done so many times in the past. Thus their arguments about only doing what is medically necessary don't hold water, and in fact reveal them as hypocrites who object purely on their own moral grounds, not for any medical or professional reason.

    And just for the record, I am not opposed to a nurse praying with their patient if that helps comfort the patient. I also don't see a problem with a nurse objecting to masturbating a paralyzed patient on moral grounds (or objecting to prayer for the same reason). However, be honest in stating the reasons why you approve or disapprove, and don't act judgemental to those who hold a different moral viewpoint than your own.
    Last edit by gypsyatheart on Apr 5, '04
  5. by   gypsyatheart
    Hmmmm, well, it looks like this woman sells sex, looks like a (albeit soft) porn site....
    More importantly, another one of the misguided public that has no clue what nurse's do! I'm sure she thinks that as soon as we're done emptying bedpans we can run right in a start our "sexual relations " sessions! LOL



    Quote from nilepoc
    No one should laugh too hard, this seems to be a real problem for some.

    http://www.bettydodson.com/disablednohands.htm
    Note, link is to an all text page with no images or other work offensive material.

    Don't ask how I found it. Although google can be your friend.
  6. by   nilepoc
    Everyone should settle down a bit, no one has advocated completing the act. With the easy access the world has to information, it is probably a matter of time before some patient sees a site like the one I linked. After that, they may seek out such a practitioner.

    I think it is a real and pertinent question that does deserve addressing. But once again it is a potential hotbed of a discussion topic.

    It is unfortunate that dispassionate discussion is a lost art.
    Last edit by nilepoc on Apr 5, '04
  7. by   ferfer
    Quote from RN-Josey
    Wow, you make such an eloquent, persuasive, and well thought out argument. Clearly your enlightened postings raise the professionalism of this entire chat board. I thank you for engaging in mature dialogue on the topics and responses that you personally find distasteful. And using a revamped version of the old childhood classic of "I know you are, but what am I!" is pure genius. Clearly I dare not engage in a battle of wits with someone who comes armed with such snappy barbs.
    Wow, I am appalled at your childish response and retaliation to what was meant to be a post to lighten the mood. Sarcasam in itself is passive-aggressive and further supports the theory that you are deriving satisfaction from criticizing others opinions and remarks in an attempt to make yourself feel better. I truly mean you no harm and hope that you seek help for your anger management problems.
  8. by   gwenith
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  9. by   Midwest4me
    Quote from Anniekins
    OK - had to laugh

    Do any nurses reading this feel this is OK and within the scope of practice of a nurse? Just wondering
    Not me! As stated by others here, I too believe it is unethical, immoral and illegal--even if it was none of these things, can you imagine explaining such behavior to the pt's family member if caught "in the act"???? I can't i magine any state licensing board condoning such behavior.
  10. by   CarVsTree
    Quote from moondancer
    This response, IMHO, is ludricrous.
    I can't believe that you think it is OK for a nurse to choose to have sexual relations,('cause that's what it would be), with a patient?!? You bet your sweet patoot that there would be legal and job repercussions....
    I'm sorry, I must've missed the hypocrisy that you seemed to pick up on in this thread...all I've read are resounding exclamations of shock and the definite "No, I would not be involved in a sexual task with a pt."...

    People have different ideas as to why it is inappropriate...well, guess what, I doubt any one of us needs to be trained on how to relieve some guy's erection, that is not the point. And the point was made that having an orgasm is not a vital need to sustain one's life, because the OP, inferred this was the case. All of that is besides the point. The point is...we are professionals. And not professional hookers... We are college educated individuals who should know that providing sexual favors to a patient is completely degrading to our profession! For anyone to think that it is OK to have sex with a patient, I'm sorry, you have no business with a nursing license. :stone
    Oh, and BTW, how do praying with a patient and having sex with a patient have anything to do with each other??! Last time I checked prayer does not involve someones' sexual organs... :imbar
    Very, very, very well said. Nurses provide NURSING care, not sexual satisfaction.
  11. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Thing is, this is something that people could very well run across at work, no matter how wrong it is.
  12. by   Shotzie
    Moon dancer has said it right and well again. RN-Josey...not an auspicious start to your relationship with the rest of the nurses on this board...a good rule of thumb to follow is to let some things just lay there... you don't have to respond.
    I'm in management. I can tell you that if I find out that one of my nurses has been using her worktime to perform these kinds of acts I will immediately write her(or him) up and consider stronger charges. I would definitely contact the BON. I do not consider myself a prude. I have acted as a sexual councellor in a clinic in a previous job where it was my job (and a therapists) to help patients find ways to explore their sexuality within the scope of each one's disease limitations. If it is a variation of sex, I'm pretty sure I've heard of it and talked about it and usually with people old enough to be most of your grandparents.
    But performing a sexual service is NOT the job of nurse as they are hired within my institution.
    We are educated professionals and performing oral, manual, vaginal or anal sexual acts is not part of our job description!!!
  13. by   jkaee
    Personally and professionally, I can't believe that this question was even brought up! What nurse, in their right minds, would think that it is anywhere even romotely part of our scope of practice or job description to "sexually relieve" someone? It baffles me so much, I don't even think I can comment on the whole issue....that in reality isn't even an issue.

    I have worked with elderly, demented men that have made sexual comments or began masturbating in front of me. I don't respond and quietly leave them to themselves. I have also taken care of a 30 something ALS patient that would get erections whenever I cathed him, etc. He didn't bring it up, nor did I. Even if he did, I would never think for a moment that it would be my responsibility to "relieve" him in any way.

    As for that nurse that wrote a book that another poster mentioned, who helped "relieve" one of her patients....that is just plain wrong! I don't care how bad she felt for the man, we are nursing professionals, not prostitutes or call girls.

    While I've enjoyed reading most everyone's responses, I truly can't believe this is even up for debate. :uhoh21:

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