Marriage as an institution must really be in serious trouble if spouses need to be drugged in order to make their marriage work.
According to James Hughes, a bioethicist at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut some drugs could help jump-start a failing marriage by heightening bonding and trust. Oxytocin helps increase trust, and vasopressin in particular seems to have a role in improved sexual health in marriage.
“The partners [who] try to improve their relationship should probably take doses of vasopressin while having sex, since it appears to increase the likelihood that a person will associate dopamine surges with a particular partner.” [McGill Daily]
In the first place, I have very serious reservations about the use of drugs to alter behavior. As far as I am concerned, that is only justified to control the behavior of the criminally insane or those with suicidal tendencies.
Secondly, marriage is a consensual act. In law, mutual consent is necessary not only at the moment of entering into marriage but all throughout the marriage. How can there be genuine consent if a spouse’s or both spouses’ behavior is drug induced? Bioethicist Thomas Murray puts it succintly when he says that “drug therapy could diminish or change the intrinsic value of relationships.”
Third, the relationship will have to be under the effective control of the “therapist” who will determine what drugs should be taken, when and what the dosage should be so as to prevent any effects associated with overdose. So, there’s a third party running the marriage. Shucks.
Sometimes, you know, the gimmicks that the drug industry resorts to just to sell their products… unbelievable.