Chemical Castration

I do not believe that chemical castration is an appropriate ‘treatment’ for sex offenders. It would be inhumane to force this treatment upon someone, or any treatment over anyone for that matter. Let me begin by stating that many of the individuals who are sex offenders, especially those who target minors, were sexually abused themselves. Sex offenders have psychiatric diagnosis and need psychiatric help. With that being said, many individuals who are sex offenders know they have a problem and want to stop- just like alcoholics want to stop drinking and drugs addicts want to stop using. There needs to be psychiatric services in place for people who are victims of sexual abuse so they do not become a part of the vicious cycle- a preventative measure. Sex offenders need to participate in psychotherapy to deal with the root of there problem- something chemical castration would not help or fix. As mentioned in the article, many of these individuals are not driven by a desire for sex- there can be many motives. It was also mentioned that sometimes the injection does not work.

However, if an individual would like to volunteer to be chemically castrated, then I believe that should be an option along with supplemental psychiatric services. I do not believe it should be done in exchange for a lower sentence, because as previously mentioned, chemical castration does not solve the root of the problem.

 

I believe that to force an experimental ‘treatment’ on someone would be a form of punishment because it would be taking away their right. Speaking on the ‘placebo’ effect- if the individual does not believe it helps or does not want to change, there is a good chance that it will not work.

 

I believe that convicted criminals give up their right to privacy for certain things. I do believe that they have the right to privacy in terms of medical conditions. Psychiatric issues are classified as medical conditions. With that being said, it would be a very gray area when it comes to sex offenders. It would be difficult to decide whether or not their actions would be a result of a psychiatric issue, in which case may be medical, and they would have the right to privacy.

 

Someone who holds the utilitarian position would suggest that it would be for the greater good to chemically castrate these individuals, even by force, and even it isn’t proven to work or deal with the root cause. The utilitarian wouldn’t dwell on the ethical and moral dilemma of causing harm to this one individual, or neglect for that matter, by not dealing with the root of the problem but rather dealing with expression of the root of that issue.

 

I chose the article below because it mentions that chemical castration has negative side effects for males. However, it does mention that it still would be the ‘way to go’ because it would decrease the likelihood that these men would go on to rape others. Therefore, this article follows the utilitarian approach, something I would not agree with. I think the main reason I can’t agree with this is because most of the people that are sex offenders have a psychiatric issue, maybe they were abused as children, and they don’t have the coping skills to deal with this effectively. I’m a big advocate of releasing the stigma of mental illness, and so I don’t think people should be punished or judged because they have psychiatric issues. At the same, I recognize that they shouldn’t be allowed near children so it’s really hard to say. In conclusion, I don’t believe that chemical castration should be forced upon sex offenders in an effort to prevent more damage. However, I recognize that many people, perhaps the majority, feels that it would be appropriate. I also think its worth mentioning that I do not have children- I would imagine that individuals with children feel very strongly about this. 

 

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1778

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