Okay for carers to deny patients sex purchase aid

Personal care assistants cannot be forced to help their patients to buy sex while on vacation, concluded the National Board for Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen).

“The personal care assistant has every right to say no to such a cooperation,” wrote the board.

The board’s Council for Ethical Issues investigated a case in which a disabled man planning a vacation to Denmark announced his intentions to buy sex whilst in the country. Buying sexual services is legal in Denmark, as opposed to Sweden, and the patient asked for his assistant’s help to dial the phone number to the service.

“In general, if the patient asks for help to dial a number, it can’t be considered reasonable to check where the phone number goes, or find out what purpose the patient has with the call,” wrote the board.

However, as the patient had already informed caregivers of the purpose of the phone call, the National Board of Health and Welfare suggested following one’s own moral compass.

“Regulations for employees in the public sector are clear, when representing their organisation they aren’t allowed to aid actions that are forbidden in Sweden,” they added.

“But it’s important to not simply act as a robot, without reflecting on the issue yourself. The personal care assistant must make their own judgments in every situation,” concluded the board, noting that in tricky situations, the assistant must follow his or her own moral conviction.

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