Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 85–91

Castration Anxiety

Physicians, “Do No Harm,” and Chemical Sterilization Laws
Original Research

DOI: 10.1007/s11673-011-9341-z

Cite this article as:
Appel, J.M. Bioethical Inquiry (2012) 9: 85. doi:10.1007/s11673-011-9341-z


Chemical castration laws, such as one recently adopted in the U.S. State of Louisiana, raise challenging ethical concerns for physicians. Even if such interventions were to prove efficacious, which is far from certain, they would still raise troubling concerns regarding the degree of medical risk that may be imposed upon prisoners in the name of public safety as well as the appropriate role for physicians and other health care professionals in the administration of pharmaceuticals to competent prisoners over the inmates’ unequivocal objections. This paper argues that the concerns raised by chemical castration are grave enough that, until they are adequately addressed by policymakers, physicians ought not to participate in the process.


CastrationSex crimesLawLouisianaSterilization

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New YorkUSA