Monday, May 23, 2005

I knew there was a reason I'm an over-protective mom...

According to AP, New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi has discovered that our tax dollars have been paying for Sex offenders' Viagra prescriptions. How can we A) give these people their privacy, and B) keep from facillitating their unacceptable behavior?

6 comments:

aqualus said...

Granted I am man and I do not have any children, so perhaps to some degree I am not authorized to comment on the topic; however, I'm not sure that sex offenders shouldn't be allowed viagra. Indeed, sex offenders implies that someone has had a sex offense in the past. I in no way mean to condone their sexual offense, but I think America's prude distain for most things sexual causes people to pay too much attention on sex offenders. One of the worst things you can be in this country is a sex offender--I'm not saying it is an unjustified distain, but I believe it deserves a little thought. So I'm just thinking in your comments section. I do, however, not have a problem with anyone having viagra or any other medication. I don't think it's the governments responsibility to limit the legal drug use of anyone. No one complains about past bank robbers having drivers lincenses. The Scarlet Letter remains.

cynthia said...

Thank you for your thoughtful comment, aqualus. That is a good point, and something I was pondering too.

I don't generalize that every sex offender is a monster. That being said, I think it's reasonable to be concerned when patients' history of severe problems is not known or being taken into account by prescribing physicians.

There are significant numbers of sex offenders who have mental illnesses which compelled them at some point in the past to harm someone sexually. If further scrutiny shows that the offenders who were sited in the comptroller's audit do not have that kind of mental challenges, I will likely feel differently about the whole thing.

I suppose my focus on tax dollars in the post was not really appropriate-- after more thought, I am more concerned with the idea of large, relevant chunks of someone's medical history being unavailable to/unexamined by a physician. I made the hypothetical patient sound like a bank robber driving a car, when what I was really objecting to was something like a heroin addict being given morphine.

I don't mean to pretend this is a simple issue, or to gloss over anyone's right to privacy. I am not a big fan of "outing" people, especially when it is done by strangers in a punitive way, to shun them. I think we as a society are capable of creating ways to acknowledge the past conviction, avoid putting the person in proximity to trouble, and still respect them. The problem is, it wouldn't be cheap, and these days no one seems to want to spend.

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