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October 20, 2021

ED Treatment

In recent years, Catholic and other Christian clinicians have inquired about the ethical status of prescribing erectile dysfunction (ED) medications to unmarried men.

The Catholic Medical Association does not object to the utilization of medications for ED for men in a married, monogamous, and heterosexual relationship. This is, of course, after an appropriate medical evaluation and discussion of the risks of the medication. The same recommendation can be extended to injections, implantable devices, and vacuum devices to treat erectile dysfunction. It is appropriate that the clinician encourage the patient to discuss the proposed treatment with his wife.

If a clinician is aware that a patient is requesting an ED medication for use outside of a legitimate marital relationship, a prescription should not be provided. The clinician should not cooperate in such an act, either by formal involvement by writing the prescription, or endorsing a consultation to a urologist for ED treatment. Methods of transfer for the patient may be employed to remove any form of formal cooperation with the prescription of medication. A medical work up for ED is not a form of cooperation.

It is beyond the competency of the clinician to assess the sacramental marital status of his or her patients, and only a civil declaration of marriage would be reasonable before assessing the moral status of prescribing a therapy for ED. In all circumstances, the clinician’s commitment to promoting chastity and avoiding cooperation with immoral acts should be clearly visible in speech and action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Approved by the Board – October 6, 2021

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