A hospice helped a disabled man with a life-limiting condition find a prostitute.

Nick Wallis, 22, who suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, persuaded staff at Douglas House, in Oxford, that he should be allowed to experience sex before he died, even if it meant paying a prostitute.

The case posed a major moral dilemma for Sister Frances Dominica, the founder of Douglas House, and its ethics committee.

The decision was taken to support Mr Wallis and hospice nurse Chris Bloor helped him find a suitable woman over the Internet.

Mr Wallis, an artist, has mobility problems which affect his limbs, with his life expectancy in the 20s and 30s, decided to use his savings to pay for sex. Sister Frances and hospice managers agreed to help Mr Wallis after seeking legal advice. The use of the hospice was ruled out.

Sister Frances this week said: "It has to be said that the charity debated this request at length. It's the first time we have ever been asked such a question and it was discussed within our management team and ethics committee, with Nick's carers, lawyers and of course Nick himself."

Mr Wallis's story is featured on Tuesday in an episode of Children of Helen House, the BBC2 series about the East Oxford hospice for children and Douglas House, the neighbouring hospice for young adults.

Sister Frances said that ultimately it was decided that Mr Wallis had to be granted the dignity of being able to take the risk.

She said: "Nick finally decided that the only way forward was to pay for a sexual experience, with or without our support, and we therefore came to the conclusion that it was our duty of care to support Nick emotionally and to help ensure his physical safety."

Mr Wallis met the woman at his Northamptonshire home with a Douglas House nurse and another adult in a different room in case he needed them. Mr Wallis said he had always hoped that he would experience sex as part of a close relationship.

He said: "I began to accept that this might not happen for me. I wanted to know what sex was like even if this meant that I had to pay someone."