JUDGE UPHOLDS DECISION TO FIRE NURSING ASSISTANT FOR MAKING SEXUAL JOKES TO MEN DYING OF CANCERHome > Blog > JUDGE UPHOLDS DECISION TO FIRE NURSING ASSISTANT FOR MAKING SEXUAL JOKES TO MEN DYING OF CANCER
Gordon Kent, The Edmonton JournalPublished: Friday, July 28, 2006
EDMONTON – A judge has upheld the decision to fire an Edmonton nursing
assistant for making sexual jokes to two men who were dying of cancer.
Lorna Wright flipped the penis of a 68-year-old man she was washing at the
Edmonton General Continuing Care Centre, saying, “How’s Mr. Business doing
today, I bet he’s been a busy boy,” according to evidence at an arbitration board
hearing. She also suggested: “I bet there’s lots of ladies’ names on him —
let’s see if the names are still there.”
The former trucker and concrete worker, referred to in the board’s report by the
pseudonym George Mullen, was “visibly shaken” when he reluctantly outlined
the August 2003 incident to staff a few days later.
Mullen, who died of pancreatic cancer the following month, told resident care
manager Scott Baerg that “in his entire life, which had been a bit on the rough
side, he had never before been treated in such a manner.”
Mullen said to Baerg, “It’s not like I’m an 18-year-old girl who’s been molested,
but this is the worst thing that has happened in my life.”
Around the same time, Wright went into the room of lung cancer patient Jim
Forester (also a pseudonym) to provide care, telling him, “OK, get naked,” and
saying, “I bet you’ve been with a lot of women — I thought it would be worn out.”
Although Forester sobbed for five minutes after revealing the incident, he also
said Wright’s comments made him mad. He further told Baerg that Wright used
to tease him about sex.
“I told her that she was a devil woman and that there was a song about her …
she didn’t like being called devil woman, and I told her to quit talking about sex.
Forester died in January 2004 at age 79.
Wright, whose 30-year health-care career included eight years at the General.
It is most troubling to consider all the other male residents whom this caregiver
was able to molest throughout the years.
Why was she not charged with assault?