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.
KeywordsCastration Sex crimes Law Louisiana Sterilization
- Act 441 of the Louisiana Legislature, 2008. SB 144.Google Scholar
- Appel, J.M. 2003. The forcible treatment of criminal defendants. Medicine & Health Rhode Island 86(11): 367–369.Google Scholar
- Appel, J.M. 2011. Capital punishment, psychiatrists and the potential “bottleneck” of competence. Journal of Law and Health 24(1): 45–78.Google Scholar
- Boodman, S.G. 1992. Does castration stop sex crimes? An old punishment gains new attention, but experts doubt its value. The Washington Post, March 17, 7.Google Scholar
- Helscher, D. 1994. Griswold v. Connecticut and the unenumerated right of privacy. Northern Illinois University Law Review 15(1): 33–62.Google Scholar
- Hilts, P.J. 1992. Panel urges contraceptives approval. The New York Times, June 20, 1992 6.Google Scholar
- Slater, D. 2008. The judge says don’t get pregnant. A lapsed law now sees new life. The Wall Street Journal, September 25, A18.Google Scholar
- Spalding, L.H. 1998. Florida’s chemical castration law: A return to the Dark Ages. Florida State University Law Review 25: 117–139.Google Scholar
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 2004. Black box warning added concerning long-term use of Depo-Provera contraceptive injection. FDA Talk Paper T04-50, November 17.Google Scholar
- Veitch, A. 1984. Cancer fears in US over Depo Provera. The Guardian, October 30, 4.Google Scholar
- White, P., C. Bradley, M. Ferriter, and L. Hatzipetrou. 2009. Managements for people with disorders of sexual preference and for convicted sexual offenders. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, no. 4. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD000251.