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Patient sexual expression in psychiatric institutions is a major clinical and administrative challenge. For this study, hospital facility directors were surveyed and asked about the existence and nature of formal policies regarding patient sexuality-related needs and staff preparedness to handle various forms of patient sexual expression. Consistent with prior studies, the survey fi ndings show formal policies tend to enforce a punitive response to sexual behavior. More important, the results also reveal a workforce poorly prepared to negotiate the complex ethical issues that arise in addressing patient sexual expression in state psychiatric institutions in the U.S.


Originally published in:

Eric R. Wright, Heather McCabe, and Harold K. Kooreman. 2012. “Institutional Capacity to Respond to the Ethical Challenges of Patient Sexual Expression in State Psychiatric Hospitals in the United States.” Journal of Ethics in Mental Health 7:1-5.

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