Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sex for the disabled and healthcare

The London Times asks: Is sex for the disabled the last taboo?
"The sexual feelings of disabled people have long been ignored. Now the medical profession is debating the issue"

The issue is not sex, so much as sex workers as a part of health care, and the role that the health care system should play, particularly for the most severely disabled patients who may need logistical support from health care workers .

The report is in connection with a conference called " “Disability: sex, relationships and pleasure”, which is being hosted by the Royal Society of Medicine in Central London. It aims to educate carers about the sexual needs of patients and to introduce disabled people to available support networks. It is backed by the Sexual Health and Disability Alliance (SHADA) and the Tender Loving Care Trust (TLC), which help to put disabled people in touch with appropriate sexual and therapeutic services, and offer confidential support and advice on sexual matters.
Tuppy Owens, the founder of the TLC, campaigns for the sexual needs of disabled people to be recognised by care workers. “Sex is right at the bottom of the list when it comes to their care requirements,” she says. “But they have a right to enjoy all elements of life just like everyone else. It is also important that they have access to sex workers because they don’t have the same opportunities as the average person to explore their bodies."
"The Sexual Offences Act allows care workers to help disabled patients to book sex workers over the telephone, provided they do not become involved in the negotiation of fees. But there have been many reported cases of authorities stepping in to stop the practice.
“The problem is that many health professionals think it is illegal,” says Owens. “The TLC has had calls from carers who say that they have even considered giving in their notice out of frustration that they are unable to help patients seeking a sexual service that could make them happier.”
Many high-profile names have backed the TLC’s cause, including Lord Faulkner of Worcester, Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer and the philosopher and author A. C. Grayling, but no one has gone so far as to suggest that sex workers should be paid for by the NHS. "

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know how I didn't find this article when I was a teenager, but it's a tribute to the internet that it eventually reached me: On Seeing a Sex Surrogate, which is similar but not exactly the same thing I guess.