Apr 10, 2015

Alzheimer's and Sex Collide in the Courtroom

Henry Rayhons, a former Republican state legislator, was accused of sexually abusing his wife after he had sex with her in the nursing home where she lived as a dementia patient.

By +Alzheimer's Reading Room

The issue - can a person living with dementia consent to sex?

Alzheimer's and Sex Collide in the Courtroom

To make this issue even more convoluted - does a man married to a woman with dementia need consent in order to have sex with her?
"It’s a case that’s going to be focusing on the rights of the vulnerable. Just because you’re married, it doesn’t mean you need to check your consent rights at the door."
- Mark Kosieradzki, a Minneapolis-based attorney

The issue and the current court case are well documented in the following articles.

What is your opinion? Use the comments area below this article to sound off and share your opinion.

In an Iowa courtroom, an astonishing case of sex and Alzheimer’s - The Washington Post

After a four-year battle with Alzheimer’s, Donna Lou Rayhons died in a nursing home in August, just four days shy of her 79th birthday. A week later, Henry Rayhons was arrested and charged with sexual abuse. State prosecutors accused him of having sex with his wife while she was incapacitated by dementia.

Iowa Case Sheds Spotlight On Whether People With Alzheimer's Can Consent To Sex - Huffington Post

Henry Rayhons, a 78-year-old former Republican state legislator, was accused last summer of sexually abusing his wife after he had sex with her in the nursing home where she lived as a dementia patient.

Sex and Dementia, Is There Consent?

In late March of last year, Donna Lou Rayhons moved to a nursing home in Garner. The clashes over her care built until a meeting in May during which Henry Rayhons was informed of his wife’s inability to consent. According to court documents, Henry Rayhons entered his wife’s room about a week later, pulled the curtains around her bed and a roommate heard noises that suggested sexual activity. As Rayhons left, he dropped undergarments in a laundry basket.

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