Five nurses from Denver Health Medical Center (DHMC) will be suspended for examining and admiring the size of a dead male patient's genitalia. The nurses viewed the patient's genitalia when he was unconscious, but they also opened the patient's body bag to view parts of his body. The patient was transported to DHMC for an undisclosed medical emergency.

The suspension, which will last three weeks, was confirmed to International Business Times Wednesday by the Denver Police Department (DPD). The hospital staff launched an internal investigation into the incident and was given the task of deciding an adequate punishment for the responsible nurses.

"Multiple staff members viewed the patient while he was incapacitated, including after he was deceased," DPD wrote in a police report. "The complainant, Risk Management for Denver Health, made a mandatory report."

Local law enforcement confirmed the events took place April 3. A report wasn't filed against the participating staff members until May 8. A fellow nurse reportedly overheard the participants making inappropriate comments about their actions, which led her to report the incident to hospital staff. 

"Denver Health responded to this report immediately and the nurses in question were placed on investigatory leave," a representative said in a statement issued to IBT. "Their actions, which violated our policies and our Code of Conduct, were promptly reported to appropriate governmental authorities, including the Denver Police Department and the Colorado State Board of Nursing." 

"Denver Health is truly sorry this happened. This incident it is not an appropriate representation of the high-quality care and compassion our clinical staff strive to provide to our patients," DHMC added.

Two nurses were initially suspended for their participation, but five nurses total were disciplined after the investigation was concluded, according to ABC affiliate KMGH. Four nurses returned to work at DHMC following suspension, but one did not. However, the one that did not return to their post at the hospital was not fired. All participants will have the incident listed on their personnel records. 

No criminal charged were filed against the nurses. Local law enforcement reportedly determined that there was not enough information to file a criminal report against the responsible parties.

The nurses' actions are in direct violation of Denver Health's regulations for employee principals and practices. Such prohibited practices include harassment and unwelcomed sexual advances.

"Denver prohibits all forms of sexual harassment. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other physical, verbal, or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment," the manual read.

Denver Health also provides rights to its patients, which the five suspended nurses violated the dead patient's rights during his stay. The organization claims patients will "receive care and treatment that is respectful...[and] personal privacy to the extent possible during the course of treatment." The responsible nurses did not comply.

Failure to report incidents of this caliber could result in punishment or suspension.

Nurses Nurses, pictured March 16, 2010 in Birmingham, England, were suspended for admiring a dead patient's genitalia. Photo: Getty Images