Chemical castration for pedophiles?

March 7, 2012

According to this BBC news article, Moldova’s parliament has just voted to make chemical castration compulsory for those convicted of sexually abusing children under the age of 15 as well as for the perpetrators of certain cases of adult rape. The law was passed in part because Moldova has become  an international sex tourist destination and has experienced an increase in the number of cases of pedophilia. This is clearly a controversial law. While pedophiles and rapists certainly violate the rights of their victims, does that justify stripping them of their right to their own physical integrity? Amnesty International has allegedly condemned this law for violating the human rights of the accused. On the other hand, if it is considered acceptable to incarcerate pedophiles, then it’s not obvious what is wrong with castrating them. In both cases, the goal is to protect the potential victims of the pedophiles, and it may be advantageous to both the pedophiles and to the society to castrate rather than incarcerate.  Two additional points worth noting are that the effects of chemical castration (decreased sex drive) wear off after about 3 months, and that Poland and Russia have passed similar laws in recent years. 

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