1. Killman, Kathy MS, RN

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I appreciate that Lisa M. Cook shared her experience in "Convicted" (Reflections, March). I'm a psychiatric nurse who's been in nursing for close to 40 years and taught psychiatric nursing on the baccalaureate level. I understand the author's concern and fear about working with a pedophile, but I'm sorry she felt "disgusted" after spending time with this patient.


Pedophilia is a mental disorder, according to the American Psychiatric Association. This patient didn't choose to be a pedophile. He hadn't "made those decisions" to molest children, as the author believes-he couldn't help it. Psychiatric resources indicate he may be suffering from an imbalance in brain chemistry and perhaps a genetic predisposition to the disease. Also, many pedophiles were sexually molested as children (commonly by a family member). Pedophilia is not unlike obsessive-compulsive disorder, in which someone is unable to control rituals (like handwashing). Like that condition, pedophilia is treatable.


Due to the author's consistent approach, he must have perceived her to be a caring person, opening up to her about his past and allowing himself to become vulnerable. And he expressed remorse for his actions-actions he was unable to control.


Kathy Killman, MS, RN