St. Luke’s Health Center

Erectile Dysfunction and Premarital Sex

Men often come to see me complaining of impotence or erectile dysfunction. It is my practice not to prescribe medication such as Viagra to men who are not married. This may seem strange or “old-fashioned.” I will try to explain the reasons for this policy. It is my belief that premarital sex is wrong. Therefore, to prescribe a medication that helps make it possible to have premarital sex is also wrong. For the same reason, I do not prescribe birth control to women who are not married. What’s wrong with premarital sex? Sex is a wonderful thing, a good thing, but only if done properly. In the same way, a river is a beautiful thing, but if it rages out of control and flows out of its banks, it can be very destructive. Sex can also be very destructive. Premarital sex is harmful physically, mentally and spiritually. Premarital sex increases a person’s risk for sexually transmitted diseases including syphilis, gonorrhea, hepatitis, and AIDS. Premarital sex, especially if with more than one partner can lead to emotional harm as well, including depression, loss of self-esteem, and a sense of shame. Premarital sex is also against the law, God’s law, that is. God has spelled out for us right and wrong in the Bible. Sex before or outside of the bounds of marriage is against God’s law for us. “It is God's will that you should be holy: that you should avoid sexual immorality.” God knows what is best for us. Premarital sex, like many other things, may feel good, but is harmful to us in the long-run. You may have a different opinion about premarital sex. Yet, I’m sure you can understand that for me to prescribe Viagra would violate my strongly held beliefs. I urge you to think about what you are doing, to reconsider and begin to do the right thing. If you would like to discuss this further, just let me know. St. Luke’s Health Center

Vasectomy Referrals

I am often asked to make a referral to a urologist for a vasectomy for sterilization. I am not able to make such referrals. I will try to explain the reasons for this policy. As a Roman Catholic I have come to realize and believe that sterilization (either vasectomy for men or tubal ligation for women) is immoral. Our Church teaches that any form of contraception or sterilization is displeasing to God and contrary to His will. Men and women are given to one another in marriage to be fruitful and bear children. Sterilization denies the gift of new life and is intrinsically evil. You may also be Roman Catholic but not have realized that vasectomy is immoral and contrary to Church teaching. I would urge you to speak with your priest for further information. You can also consult the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2366-2372). I recognize that you may not be Catholic, and may disagree with what I believe. You may think that there is nothing wrong with vasectomy. You may feel that “you’ve had enough children”. I respect your right to make choices for yourself. I would hope that you would do the same for me. For me to refer you or any patient for a vasectomy would be to participate is doing something that I believe is immoral. This is why I can not refer you for a vasectomy. I hope that you will reconsider this issue and choose not to go ahead. Yet, if you should decide that you still want a vasectomy you can call your insurance company and explain to them that your family physician is unable to make a referral for a vasectomy. You can request that the insurance company waive the requirement for a referral for this procedure. If you would like to discuss this further, just let me know. St. Luke’s Health Center

Contraception: Why Not?
(adapted from the writings of Dr. Janet Smith, professor of ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in
I am often asked to prescribe birth control pills or to give advice regarding contraception. Most doctors and most Americans think contraception is a great idea. I used to think so too—but not any more. What could be wrong with contraception? Would we be better off without it? Contraception is widely promoted and accepted in our society, but this wasn’t always so. In 1930 the Anglican church approved use of contraception in marriage for serious reasons. Prior to this there was unbroken opposition to the idea of contraception. You may be surprised to learn that prior to 1960 contraception was generally illegal. What has been the result of the rise of contraception? There has been a dramatic increase in the rate of divorce. Couples who have children earlier in marriage, who don’t delay by using contraception, have longer lasting marriages. Contraception has led to an increase in pre-marital sex and cohabitation (living together before marriage). Of those who cohabit before marriage, 75% divorce within three years. Contraception can be dangerous to your health. Have you ever read the list of side effects to the birth control pill? The side effects include: blood clots, heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, infertility,
weight gain, migraine headaches, and high blood pressure—to name just a few. It is also important to
realize that the Pill is an abortifacient, meaning that it can cause an abortion. If ovulation occurs while a
woman is taking the Pill, the egg will be fertilized, and a baby will be produced. However, due to the
effect of the Pill on the womb, the fertilized egg is unable to attach to the lining of the womb and a
miscarriage results—usually without a woman even realizing what has happened.
“If you don’t want to go to Minneapolis, what are you doing on the train?”
The purpose of riding on a train is to get somewhere. Sex has two purposes: babies and bonding. If you don’t want babies and bonding you shouldn’t have sex. Our society tells us that the purpose of sex
is pleasure. Sex is pleasurable, but that’s what makes us desire marital relations, not it purpose. Food has
a purpose: to nourish our bodies. Eating good food is also pleasurable. Yet, we don’t eat just for
pleasure—that’s gluttony. Those who have sex and use contraception are like those who eat and then
make themselves vomit—they are trying to get the pleasure of sex without allowing the purpose of sex to
be fulfilled.
“So what’s the alternative?”
Some married couples need to avoid pregnancy for health or other serious reasons. Modern methods of Natural Family Planning (NFP) are safe and effective alternatives to contraception. If you would like information about NFP, just let us know. StLukes/Forms/Contraception Rev. 1/2/08


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