Reply to Galen: Condoms

Tue Jul 22 14:45:22 PDT 1997

> From:           Mjccmc01 at
> Date sent:      Tue, 22 Jul 1997 15:38:50 -0400 (EDT)

> Siobhan again.
> Okay.  For those of you who enjoy hypothetical moral dilemmas, try this:
> You are a warranted chiurgeon who has chosen to carry condoms.  As part of
> your training for your office, you have been made aware that you may not
> treat a minor without parental consent.  In fact, you are not even to offer
> them an aspirin.  One starlit spring evening, two young (and I mean young)
> lovers approach you requesting a condom.  You know they are 15 and 16 years
> old, and they make it fairly clear that they are going to have sex, with or
> without protection.  Do you violate policy and give them a condom?  Is there
> an answer to this question that is both legally and morally correct?
> Fondly,
> Siobhan
> "We read to be reminded we are not alone."  C.S. Lewis

Eowyn here -

First off let us look at the word treatment.  To treat someone in the 
medical sense to perform some act upon that person to render aid and 
assistance.  To give a condom to a minor is not to treat.

Let us look at the word dispense.  In the State of Texas to dispense 
medicine you must have a license.  I do not have a license, however I 
may go to a clients house (with medicine) and give that medicine to 
the client without dispensing it.  I may not open the container, I 
may not give the client water, I may not crush the medicine into a 
form more easily taken, etc.  But I may give the client the unopened 
container and watch that client take the medicine that s/he retrieved 
from the container and swallowed with water the s/he dispensed from a 

I would give the condoms to the minors.  However, I would also feel 
obligated to counsel them.  I am able to counsel by the Texas 
Department of Health.  Others may not feel so obligated.  I've not 
looked lately, but I believe most condoms have instructions.

It is my opinion that providing condoms to minors is not treatment 
nor is it dispensement of treatment.

The minors, if they show up together to request this service, are 
obviously of a mind to engage in sexual activity.  Supplying the 
condom will at least provide some form of protection.

I would probably be naive enough to think they were of an adult 
status anyway.  I find it difficult to distinguish most adolescents 
from young adults.  I am not familiar with the chiurgeonate's rules 
and regulations to know whether or not they "card" anyone requesting 
their services.

I'm looking forward to reading the responses to this hypothetical 

Phyllis L. Spurr
aka Eowyn ferch Rhys, Elfsea

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