Is it right to sexually assist a paralysed patient? - page 8

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   steel magnolia
    My honest opinion on it? I have prayed with patients, it was not a job requirement, or something I was trained to do, I did it because I was comfortable with it, and I did it of my own will.

    I do not think it puritanical or sanctimonious to find it disgusting to fulfill a pt's sexual needs (basically I will not jerk off anyone I do not wish to have consensual sex with), and of my own free will, I do NOT choose to do so, and I reiterate, I would rather hand in my nursing license!!!!!

    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.
  2. by   MzUnderStood
    I hope that this concern doesn't come up on my OB/GYN floor.
  3. by   hobbes
    Quote from nilepoc
    No one should laugh too hard, this seems to be a real problem for some.
    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.

    "In Amsterdam, sexual relief is provided to disabled people as part of their medical coverage. "
    Gotta love those open-minded
  4. by   nowplayingEDRN
    Quote from LarryG
    This comes closest to my first thought when reading the original post.

    It's a wife-girlfriend thang.

    Glad to furnish the curtain and shut the door. Even provide a snack after. Enjoy life!
    Or a husband-boyfriend thang, as you so aptly put it. This little, black duck would politely and professionally decline, so as not to make the pt feel any more uncomfortable than he/she is. See, I am kind of partial to my nursing license (it keeps a roof over my head, pays my bills and feeds me and my family) and in most states it is kind of frowned on as sexual misconduct. If the Dutch want to provide someone to assist with that as part of medical benefits and the people that are doing the assisting have no qualms with "lending a helping hand" then God bless them. But we are, I believe speaking of the USA and not a foreign country where sometimes there is a more liberal and open approach to health care....but that is another story. In general where ever I would be nursing, I would have to take the stance of "Not my yob, mon". I politely and professionally agree to disagree and vow to do my best to provide professinal and compassionate care in all other areas to the best of my ability.
  5. by   RNKITTY04
    WOW! To the best of my knowledge we have not crossed this bridge yet in nursing school, but maybe I should bring it to my instuctors attention. hahah yea I'm sure that would go over BIG!
    Quite frankly I don't care what they do in Amsterdam, I'm not gonna do it.
    Sorry if this makes me a prude.(or a bad nurse)
  6. by   jkaee
    "I'm shocked by the people who have all but condemned me for even asking it. Even more shocked by those who feel it's not a topic for discussion. Herein lies the problem - nurses not even wanting to discuss aspects of the patient's life they don't feel comfortable with. Surely this bury your head in the sand approach cannot be healthy."

    I don't believe anywhere on this thread said that they wouldn't be willing to counsel a patients about his/her sexual frustrations, or refuse to discuss it with them. You specifically asked in your OP if a nurse would help, or "do" it for a patient. BIG difference.

    "Given the situation I think his actions were humane and kind."

    Shooting an injured horse is "humane and kind" as well, doesn't mean we're gonna do it to our patients, though.

    "...................sentence cut for personal attack like nature.................. (it was a quote not from this author."

    I'm sorry, WHO'S being immature? I think that statement alone completely discredits you.

    "As an atheist I could never pray with a patient, I would call for the hospital chaplain. I understand nurses who say they could never respond to requests to sexually relieve an immobile patient and like praying, this should never be an EXPECTED part of the nurses role. Where there is no partner to perform this function, there is perhaps an argument for bringing in the services of a paid sex worker. Nurses who do perform this humane act are not satisfying their own sexual desires, and allusions to porno/sexy **** nurses are unnecessary and unhelpful."

    Well, in the majority of the USA any paid sex worker is illegal, so that's just not an option. Like others have said, no one has died from lack of orgasm or sexual release. Yes, I feel for them. Yes, I would discuss their feelings with them. I'd get SS and possibly their family involved with the pts consent. Anything more than that is not "humane" as you like to call it, it's inappropriate and would likely result in an immediate termination or suspension of one's nursing liscence, if reported. And as for your last comment.....most prostitutes aren't doing it for their own sexual desires, either. That's irrelevant.

    "It strikes me as sad that on a non-nursing forum, this issue was discussed with greater sensitivity and maturity than here. That people could attack me for even raising the issue, or say that they laughed and thought it was a joke, is not conducive to open discussion. Doesn't free speech mean anything to nurses?"

    For crying out loud, PLEASE don't start with that "free speech" whine! People laughed because it was so ridiculous to even consider doing that for a patient, because we know what the repurcussions could be (leaving aside any moral issues). For most, there is no discussion. And with 10 or so pages of replies, I hardly think the topic was ignored. And, if you explore a bit on this website, I assure you that you would find that "freedom of speech" is a right that is alive and well-exercised among us nurses. The fact remains that it isn't something that could ever be up for debate among the majority of nurses, and if that makes us less "sensitive and mature" than your other forum collegues, then so be it.
    Last edit by nilepoc on Apr 6, '04 : Reason: removing TOS violating material
  7. by   domenica
    can you say NASTY???!!! :imbar :imbar
  8. by   Roland
    Lydia Nurse, unless the law has changed prosititution is legal in Montreal, if not all of Quebec province. When we were there about 15 years ago girls were propositioning us in the street. When we brought it up to "street cops" on foot they indicated that prostitution was LEGAL (however they were not supposed to proposition clients, but they didn't enforce that prohibition). Have the laws changed in Quebec?
  9. by   Energizer Bunny
    Quote from DavidFR
    The poster who suggested I might be doing it, simply for posing the qurstion, is really very...................sentence cut for personal attack like nature.................. (it was a quote not from this author)
    Actually, it was a smart response. It happens quite often around here from what I have seen. People just come to stir the pot. I almost posted that myself, so I guess I am immature and unintelligent too.
    Last edit by nilepoc on Apr 6, '04
  10. by   steel magnolia
    Quote from Quickbeam

    Oddly, isn't it amazing that women seem to manage their needs/sexual incapacity whereas men in the same situation are desperate for help?
    Yes, isn't it amazing? What about women? Should male/female nurses give female pt's orgasm's? How will they know they are "in the mood?" If they don't ask, is the nurse negligent in providing holistic care?? I hardly think so!

    David, is the reason it was probably discussed so openly on a non-nursing board is because the people involved did not have a license to protect, were these people significant others or close friends of the involved party, so naturally, they may feel more inclined to provide relief?? Would you kindly post the link?
  11. by   LydiaGreen
    Quote from roland
    lydia nurse, unless the law has changed prosititution is legal in montreal, if not all of quebec province. when we were there about 15 years ago girls were propositioning us in the street. when we brought it up to "street cops" on foot they indicated that prostitution was legal (however they were not supposed to proposition clients, but they didn't enforce that prohibition). have the laws changed in quebec?

    canadian prostitution law
    the living on the avails, procuring and bawdy house laws date back to canada's first criminal code, as did the vagrancy provision which prohibited street prostitution. the vagrancy law was replaced in 1972 with the soliciting law which, in turn, was replaced by the communicating law.

    this is federal law. i have never been to montreal, but i am pretty certain that federal law supercedes municipal law there every bit as much as it does in the city in which i live. there are certain "crimes" that are ignored by most police officers because the exhaustive amount of paperwork is not worth the slap on the wrist that results from the charge - "communicating" (as it is called in canada, in the u.s., i believe it is "solicitation") is one of them - another is personal possession of marijuana. the police would much rather charge a pimp, organizer etc., then the prostitute. if it were legal in montreal, i would still be offended... every bit as much as someone in minnesota being offended when told that prostitution is legal in the u.s. - it's not, it is legal in certain parts of nevada. i can assure you that prostitution has not been legalized in canada.

    as to the subject of the "humane act" of helping a patient to relieve themselves - i doubt worker's compensation would be very impressed with this type of duty. all healthcare workers should limit their exposure to bodily fluids. a patient does not need help with this, it will go away eventually. if they do need help, they or their family can find someone willing to help them with it who will not lose their licence for doing it. on a personal note, licence or not (don't have mine yet), i could never help someone with an intimate act without being in an intimate relationship with them (ie. my husband). there are some lines that need to be drawn and this is most certainly one of them.
  12. by   veteranRN
    I wouldn't want to be responsible for writing the policy and procedure for that
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    [QUOTE=veteranRN]I wouldn't want to be responsible for writing the policy and procedure for that[/QUOTE

    HECK NO!