Wednesday, August 19, 2015

James Cantor of Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto: “This appears to be yet one more hysterical thing that somebody can think of doing because it tickles their moral exhibitionism,” he said About the Notion of Denying ED Treatment to Sex Offenders.

The “No Viagra for Sex Offenders” bandwagon (see Canadian article at the bottom) happened with the U.S. Congress back in 2010 for those of you who weren’t following RSO issues back then. I actually wrote and mailed a huge stack of letters to every U.S. Committee member (House and Senate) telling them to stay out of my bedroom! An action that I NEVER expected I’d ever have to do in my entire life, but there it was a bill to stop my spouse from accessing E.D. medication if he (we) ever needed it. Covering or not covering the cost (Medicaid or Medicare) of an E.D .prescription wasn’t what pissed me off, if was singling out Registered Sex Offenders for a medical condition that a prescription is available to fix and would be covered for anyone else. A past criminal conviction should NEVER have ANYTHING to do with the medical care, treatment options or if something is covered in America!  

In 2005 (before I became a volunteer advocate) Virginia Governor Mark Warner issued an emergency order barring Medicaid from continuing to cover Erectile Dysfunction medication for Virginia’s Registered Sex Offenders. 

So that’s no Medicare or Medicaid coverage for your E.D. medication, No SNAP (Food Stamps) Benefits (conviction 2013 or later), No HUD (Public Housing), No Small Business Loans and NO earned Veterans Burial Benefits if you are a Registered Sex Offender. If anyone knows of other Veterans benefits that are revoked, please email me with the documentation that supports the ban. 

Here are some 2010 articles on what the U.S. Congress attempted: 
Coburn’s Erectile Dysfunction Amendment Is Killed, March 24, 2010:

GOP Amendments Raising Local Eyebrows, March 24, 2010:

GOP Amendment: No Viagra for Sex Offenders, March 24, 2010:

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn’s Viagra Amendment Fails, March 25, 2010:

Sharron Angle Attacks Harry Reid over Giving Sex Offenders Taxpayer-Subsidized Viagra, October 7, 2010:

Mary Devoy

Treat sex offenders for impotence — to keep them out of trouble, Canadian psychiatrist says, August 19, 2015
By Tom Blackwell

A Canadian forensic psychiatrist says he regularly treats sex offenders for impotence, and advocates the practice as a way to actually keep them out of trouble. 

Dr. Paul Fedoroff’s comments come as a new American study raises legal and ethical questions about helping convicted sex criminals overcome erectile dysfunction (ED).

Authors of the paper worry that doing so might help some perpetrators re-offend, while American law bars government health-insurance from covering the treatment’s cost. 

But in a response to their article, Fedoroff says prescribing Viagra-type drugs or delivering other ED treatment can be part of a strategy to shift offenders away from criminal behaviour — such as assaulting children — and toward more normal sex. 

In fact, some pedophiles target children only because they’re afraid they will not be able to perform if they try to have sex with an adult partner, he argues. 

“Which sounds like the more dangerous person?” asks the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre psychiatrist. “A person who is engaged in fulfilling, healthy sexual relations with a consenting partner, or someone who has no legal sexual outlets?” 

Despite popular belief, sex crimes have little to do with the ability to become physically aroused, Fedoroff and other experts say. Exhibitionists and even many rapists do not have erections when they commit their crimes, said Fedoroff. 

The issue was raised recently, though, in a study by three Boston-based urologists, who noted in the Journal of Sexual Medicine that coverage for anti-impotence drugs by the United States’ Medicaid program was banned in 2005 in the wake of public “outrage” that tax dollars were used that way. 

To determine what has happened since, the doctors cross-referenced sex-offender registries with lists of patients treated for ED in their clinic over a two-year period. They identified 18 offenders, some of whom had spent years in jail for their crimes. 

And some still had their drug costs reimbursed, they said. 

The doctors say they are not in favour of denying care to all sex offenders, but suggest it is possible in some cases that “treating their sexual dysfunction may increase the risk of sexual recidivism.” 

Still, they say the science is unclear, and complain that urologists lack the training to know whether treating the offender’s impotence is appropriate or not. 

In fact, there is no evidence that the ability to get an erection influences whether someone commits a sex crime; offenders do what they do because of abnormal sexual interests, called paraphilia, said Fedoroff. 

And his treatment approach tries to direct them into consensual, adult relationships. If erectile dysfunction is a barrier to that — and he has seen “hundreds” with such problems — he will sometimes prescribe drugs or provide other treatment to deal with it. 

“Virtually everyone has some improvement,” the psychiatrist said. “Most find a girlfriend, boyfriend or appropriate partner.” 

James Cantor, a scientist at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto who studies sexual abuse, said the question of whether to treat impotence in sex offenders is a non-issue. Most pedophiles engage in inappropriate touching, kissing or genital contact, and an erection is irrelevant, he said. 

Sexual predators and offenders who rape child victims — though often making the news headlines — are extremely rare, Cantor added.

“This appears to be yet one more hysterical thing that somebody can think of doing because it tickles their moral exhibitionism,” he said about the notion of denying ED treatment to sex offenders. 

“I understand emotionally where people are coming from … but if we stop to think for a second, we come to a very, very different decision.” 

At the same time, though, Cantor said there is no empirical evidence supporting Fedoroff’s contention that providing drugs like Viagra or other impotence treatment can help direct sex offenders into healthier behaviour. But it is plausible, he said.

Even a spokesman for Beyond Borders, a Canadian group dedicated to combating child sexual exploitation, says it would be inappropriate for doctors to refuse impotence treatment because of sex crimes. 

Trying to prevent offenders from committing more assaults is the job of law enforcement and the courts, not physicians, said David Matas, the organization’s lawyer. 

“I don’t think you can say to any doctor that you can deny a medically indicated treatment for criminal-justice reasons,” he said. “It’s two separate worlds.”