Virtual Mentor

Virtual Mentor. November 2014, Volume 16, Number 11.

Ethics Poll

Physicians and Sex

The Ethics Poll is a snapshot of the opinions of interested readers.

Does your physician ask about your sexual activity during your check-ups?
Yes, and I am happy with the opportunity to discuss it.
Yes, but then the physician seems uncomfortable in going further with the topic.
Yes, but I generally do not answer those questions directly; it is none of the doctor's business.
No, but I wish he or she did.
No, and he or she seems uncomfortable if I bring up the topic.
No, and I'm happy that he or she doesn't.

Do you think the medical profession should take public positions on topics having to do with sexual behavior and sex education?
Yes. Sexual behavior and sex education are within the scope of medicine's interest in the well-being of patients and the public.
Only when the topic directly affects health, e.g., the transmission of HIV through sexual activity.
No. This is a matter of moral values not medicine, and physicians do not have the knowledge or training to speak to the public about morals.
Don't know.

Which of the following best describes your reaction to television ads about drugs for erectile dysfunction?
Probably beneficial; the ads make it more likely that men will discuss the condition with their physicians.
The ads are embarrassing.
The ads make me think the pharmaceutical companies are using insecurity about sexual performance to get people's money.
The ads appear to be promoting sex rather than informing the audience about treatment for a medical condition.
Don't know.

Poll results reflect the opinions of visitors to the site who voluntarily answer the poll questions. Those visitors do not represent a random sample of Virtual Mentor readers. The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.