Coercion, Incarceration, and Chemical Castration: An Argument From Autonomy

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 10 (3):393-405 (2013)
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In several jurisdictions, sex offenders may be offered chemical castration as an alternative to further incarceration. In some, agreement to chemical castration may be made a formal condition of parole or release. In others, refusal to undergo chemical castration can increase the likelihood of further incarceration though no formal link is made between the two. Offering chemical castration as an alternative to further incarceration is often said to be partially coercive, thus rendering the offender’s consent invalid. The dominant response to this objection has been to argue that any coercion present in such cases is compatible with valid consent. In this article, we take a different tack, arguing that, even if consent would not be valid, offering chemical castration will often be supported by the very considerations that underpin concerns about consent: considerations of autonomy. This is because offering chemical castration will often increase the offender’s autonomy, both at the time the offer is made and in the future



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Author Profiles

Katrien Devolder
Oxford University
Sigrid Sterckx
University of Ghent
Bonte Pieter
Vesalius College
2 more

References found in this work

Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
A theory of the good and the right.Richard B. Brandt - 1979 - Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books.
Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry Frankfurt - 2004 - In Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas (eds.), Metaphysics: a guide and anthology. Oxford University Press UK.
Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry Frankfurt - 1982 - In Gary Watson (ed.), Free will. New York: Oxford University Press.

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