Patient Demands Accommodation for Emotional Support Lice
Patient Tom Schmidt was admitted to Community Hospital today for an infected diabetic foot ulcer when his nurse, Jake Hart, noticed him scratching his head. Jake excused himself then returned wearing PPE strong enough to withstand ebola-laden-darts and carrying a fine-toothed comb. After tenderly parting and combing Tom’s hair with his 4 layers of gloves, he found lice.
“I told Tom I’d let the doctor know about his infestation and we would give him some medicine to clear it right up,” explained Jake, whose evening plans now consist of feeling itchy all over until he verbally lashes out at his wife.. “Tom got defensive, claiming that he had a right to have his emotional support pets stay with him and not be murdered. He produced documentation from a naturopathic doctor stating that emotional support lice are the best treatment for diabetes and that the lice are also cleaning his blood of heavy metals and vaccinations.”
“As long as I feel them tenderly scampering over my scalp, those little rascals, I never feel alone,” explained Tom while smashing 14 newly hatched lice to death with a particularly vigorous scratch.
Staff consulted the ethics team about this ridiculous pediculosis dilemma in hopes that they could forcibly treat the lice.
“I’m really scratching my head about this one,” said hospital ethicist Roland Darby. “But ultimately if staff use proper precautions, the lice shouldn’t spread, and if the patient is making an educated decision to not have is infestation treated, that is his right.” When Roland was asked if he would like to go in to Tom’s room to tell him the news he replied, “No thanks, can you do it?”
At press time homeless new admit David was seen sharing some of his emotional support scabies with Nancy, his CNA, as she helped him change into a hospital gown.