more to say on the viagra issue

We ought not to triv­i­al­ize the hor­ror of sex offens­es, but if Med­ic­aid (or any oth­er) gov­ern­ment agency is going to pay for med­ica­tions like Via­gra, I think we must ques­tion the rea­sons why we would want to deny them to sex offendors, and ask our­selves a cou­ple of questions:

1. Would Via­gra “facil­i­tate” sex­u­al crimes, and would the denial of Via­gra deter such crimes? Those in favor of deny­ing Via­gra to sex­u­al offend­ers seem to answer “yes” to both of these ques­tions, but I think that they deserve a much clos­er inspec­tion. Sug­gest­ed here, we may even ques­tion whether sex­u­al dys­func­tion may increase the like­li­hood of a sex­u­al assault (giv­en the frus­tra­tion psy­cho­log­i­cal trau­ma it may induce). I think it is impor­tant to bear in mind that sex offend­ers suf­fer from psy­cho­log­i­cal, not phys­i­cal issues, and we need to con­sid­er care­ful­ly the effects that sex­u­al dys­func­tion, and its treat­ment, would have on the psy­chol­o­gy of sex­u­al offenders.

2. I assume that this is sup­posed to apply to sex offend­ers that have already done their time. So, giv­en that they have served the req­ui­site num­ber of years in jail, either they have been ade­quate­ly pun­ished and reha­bil­i­tat­ed for their crime (and, I assume, treat­ed for what­ev­er psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­or­ders they suf­fer from), or they haven’t. If they have, then why con­tin­ue to pun­ish and/or try to deter fur­ther crimes? If they haven’t been ade­quate­ly pun­ished, treat­ed and reha­bil­i­tat­ed, then per­haps they ought to remain in jail, or be admit­ted in the cus­tody of psy­chol­o­gists (who are in a much bet­ter posi­tion to decide what kind of treat­ment for their sex­u­al dys­func­tion is appro­pri­ate for them).

In short, deny­ing them Via­gra is not nec­es­sary in the case where they have “paid their debt” and are now healthy enough to be out in the world, and is not suf­fi­cient in the con­trary case. Per­haps there is some­thing I’m not get­ting, but I fear that they have just missed the boat entire­ly on this. Here is the source news article.

One thought on “more to say on the viagra issue”

  1. The peo­ple receiv­ing Via­gra via state mon­ey are get­ting that through their state-ran Med­ic­aid ben­e­fits. What con­trols can be put in place to “flag” an ex-offend­er? Brand­ing? A scar­let let­ter on their ID card?

    If Med­ic­aid has pro­vi­sions for Via­gra and impo­ten­cy drugs, let it be. Or change the rules. I find the “assault weapons” anal­o­gy ludi­crous. I agree with you on this.

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