View Full Version : Iowa Case Sheds Spotlight On Whether People With Alzheimer's Can Consent To Sex

04-10-2015, 03:13 PM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/08/alzheimers-consent-to-sex_n_7019376.html?cps=gravity_2377_72705677682795 01892

"When is someone who is suffering from dementia no longer able to consent to sex? That is the big question (http://www.dps.state.ia.us/commis/pib/Releases/2014/Rayhons_Complaint_&_Affidavit.pdf) that is drawing the attention of Alzheimer's disease experts and elder law scholars to an Iowa courtroom this week.
Henry Rayhons, a 78-year-old former Republican state legislator, was accused last summer of sexually abusing his wife (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/18/henry-rayhons-sex-abuse-rape-wife_n_5689079.html) after he had sex with her in the nursing home where she lived as a dementia patient."

Interesting point both scientifically and ethically. Frankly, the impression I get is that the children of the woman's first marriage had issues with the second husband. A few other things come to mind. Sex in the context of the elderly generally makes a lot of us squeamish. Yet the desire for sex and intimacy is something that persists throughout a lifetime. How specifically do we determine capacity to consent? Realize also that reminding a dementia patient, physically, of who their partner is may be comforting and helpful to them. I will be very curious to see how this case plays out.