A highly popularized lawsuit is currently taking place in Chula Vista, California. The unfortunate incident involves an alleged rape that happened after a patient underwent oral surgery. The victim’s then fiancee is accused. He drove her home after the surgery and, while she was still semi-conscious from the medication, had sex with her and to photographs of her in the nude. He claims that she had consented but could not remember because she was under the effect of drugs.
The heinous nature of the alleged crime and the vulnerability that one feels upon hearing of someone being sexually molested while under the effect of drugs taken to perform a potentially life saving surgery is rousing interest in the case. Consent is something that can very easily cloud the issue, particularly when involving an intimate partner or close relation. So the trial is understandably on a lot of people’s minds. It is also interesting for people as the perpetrator is a firefighter, a person regarded as a hero for most Americans, particularly after the events of September 11th.
Medication, particularly strong painkillers and sedatives, or the gas often used for oral surgery, does leave you vulnerable. It is important to make sure that you are in a safe and caring environment after surgery, as you will be woozy; should a secondary dose have been required the lingering effect can leave you semi-conscious. It is wise to understand the condition you will be in, that you will not be able to take care of yourself, so you can arrange for family members to help you home.
Dangerous situations are not always preventable, but it’s comforting to know that the shocked sensation generated by this case is a strong indication that anaesthesia related abuse is extremely uncommon.