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  1. #1
    general counsel's Avatar
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    The ethics of herpes

    Slight variation on my prior post. Suggested penalty for someone who has a communicable genital disease (ie herpes), but not a potentially fatal one, that has unprotected sex without telling their partner of the existence of said ailment.

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  2. #2
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    Re: The ethics of herpes

    GC, let me put it this way.

    I have two children from previous marriages. I pay child support on one of them, and just finished with the other.

    If I were to give a woman herpes, would I not be as responsible for her condition as if I got her pregnant?

    The right thing to do is COMMUNICATE! A person should be responsible for telling a potential partner about ANY condition which may be sexually transmitted. If the other person still agrees to have sex, then all reasonable precautions should be taken. If the infected person does not tell their potential partner in advance of activity, then they should be held liable for all medical expenses related to the transmission of the disease.

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    Re: The ethics of herpes

    But is liability for medical expenses enough? What about the concept of liability for pain and suffering, let alone any other damages you might incur, such as your own ability to regularly engage in pleasures of a carnal nature on a going forward basis.

    Furthermore, what about criminal liability? Shouldnt people have an incentive not to intentionally put others at risk of serious illness or bodily harm?

    I agree 1oo% that communication is the answer, but alas, we live in a world where people often dont do the right thing.

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    Last edited by general counsel; -02-16-2006 at 06:59 PM. Reason: additional thought


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    Re: The ethics of herpes

    Mike Vick has genital herpes.
    RamsFan16

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    Re: The ethics of herpes

    I heard that he caught it from ron mexico.

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    Re: The ethics of herpes

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel
    But is liability for medical expenses enough? What about the concept of liability for pain and suffering, let alone any other damages you might incur, such as your own ability to regularly engage in pleasures of a carnal nature on a going forward basis.
    This issue would probably best be decided by civil action.

    Furthermore, what about criminal liability? Shouldnt people have an incentive not to intentionally put others at risk of serious illness or bodily harm?
    I hate being legislated to death. I think there are too many useless laws already, and each new one adds to the confusion, BUT...
    Perhaps there should be a 'registry' of persons with incurable STD's. There's already a sex offender registry, and isn't spreading an incurable STD a sexual offense by moral standards?
    The only way I see a way out of this question you asked is if it was mandatory for healthcare professionals to report all cases of incurable STDs, as well as enacting a law requiring the infected person to serve jail time if they fail to inform a partner of their condition.

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    Re: The ethics of herpes

    Perhaps there should be a 'registry' of persons with incurable STD's.
    The ACLU would blow a gasket.
    The only way I see a way out of this question you asked is if it was mandatory for healthcare professionals to report all cases of incurable STDs
    The AMA would blow a gasket.
    enacting a law requiring the infected person to serve jail time if they fail to inform a partner of their condition.
    The problem would be proving it. The infected person may be able to say I had sex with partner A and later developed herpes. The prosecution may also be able to prove that partner A has herpes. However, to prosecute, the government would have to prove that partner A's herpes is what the victim caught. Partner A could simply say that victim could have caught it from partner B, C, D, or E.

    There might be enough for a civil case, but I doubt it would make it through a criminal court.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: The ethics of herpes

    But is liability for medical expenses enough? What about the concept of liability for pain and suffering, let alone any other damages you might incur, such as your own ability to regularly engage in pleasures of a carnal nature on a going forward basis.
    But most legislatures are hesitant to remove Mother Nature's little moral checkpoints. While nobody will say it, there are a lot of people that would be upset by the idea that this would lead to more promiscuity. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but there is a mentality that says herpes is nature's way of saying don't sleep around, and I doubt a legislature would want to appear sided against it.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  9. #9
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    Re: The ethics of herpes

    How true big bison. in fact, many many people believe that aids is the lords curse against gay men and that there is no reason that the government should fund research for a disease that can be prevented by not violating the laws of nature. I am not advocating that view myself, only pointing out that it is widely held.

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  10. #10
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    Re: The ethics of herpes

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    The problem would be proving it. The infected person may be able to say I had sex with partner A and later developed herpes. The prosecution may also be able to prove that partner A has herpes. However, to prosecute, the government would have to prove that partner A's herpes is what the victim caught. Partner A could simply say that victim could have caught it from partner B, C, D, or E.

    There might be enough for a civil case, but I doubt it would make it through a criminal court.
    I don't think the problem would be proving you got it from a specific person for criminal purposes but whether the person knew of their condition and failed to notify you. It would seem to me the failure to disclose would be the crime the same way attempted murder is a crime regardless of the outcome. Medical records could show they had been informed but short of requiring them to get signed waivers from all future partners, you couldn't produce evidence they didn't say it unless you had a recording or witness of the entire relationship up until intercourse.

    I do think it is harder to make a case for research on preventable diseases than on those that affect the entire population regardless of behavior. I'm not saying it as a moral judgment on anybody, but if it came down to it and you could cure only one of two diseases that had the same mortality rate, but one affected everybody and the other could be significantly curtailed by behavior, which one do you choose? Life is more complex than that, and realistically we could try to cure both, but there is a fairly rational argument there.
    Last edited by Goldenfleece; -02-18-2006 at 11:36 PM.

  11. #11
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    Re: The ethics of herpes

    There can be no ethical irresponsibility. Capital punishment for all crimes against society ....

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