Drawing the Line

This caught my eye yesterday. Dutch nurses — or at least their union — are in an uproar:

The [Dutch nurses] union, NU’91, is calling the campaign “I Draw The Line Here,” with an advert that features a young woman covering her face with crossed hands.

The union said in a statement Thursday that the campaign follows a complaint it had received in the last week from a 24-year-old woman who said a 42-year-old disabled man asked her to provide sexual services as part of his care at home.

The young woman witnessed some of the man’s other nurses offering him sexual gratification, the union said. When she refused to do the same, he tried to dismiss her on the grounds that she was unfit to provide care.

You can imagine the context: abuse, sexual harassment, the right of nurses to have a safe practice environment and so on. I can’t read Dutch, but happily Google was able to semi-translate, adequately enough anyway to get the gist of the nursing union’s concern, from the union’s webpage on the subject:

Sexual acts can never be part of the responsibilities of carers and nurses. The question itself is an insult to the health care professional. It can be seen as mere sexual harassment.

It is said that every client is free to ask what he / she wants. That is not so. A client may ask the caregiver to work together to find a solution such assistance through an escort agency. But the request as part of the care to the client – reimbursed by social security – to perform a sexual act is unacceptable and an insult. . .

And how is this story being covered in the media? Not as straight news. Nurse = sex, remember. Did I really have to tell you?

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  1. #1 by JennJilks on Sunday 14 March 2010 - 0857

    You do have to place this in the context of the culture of a country in which prostitution and marijuana are both legal!

    BUT, many of us in Canada, in our respective professions, must draw boundaries between our job mandate, and our personal and professional lives. It is not uncommon for caregivers to cross a boundary, whether sexual, physical, financial, or emotional.

  2. #2 by mog on Sunday 14 March 2010 - 1028

    I hate the whole sexy women in uniform thing. I was pretty horrified at the Olympics closing ceremony when in the Michael Buble song they had women in ersatz Mounties uniforms with mega cleavage. Tacky, insulting, demeaning.

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