April 24, 2024

Polish govt backs away from castration for sex offenders

Yields to storm of criticism
After a storm of criticism, the Polish government has retreated on the prime minister’s promise to introduce compulsory chemical castration of paedophiles. A weaker version of the proposal has been drafted which calls for compulsory therapy for sex offenders. A patient who refuses to take medications or undergo other procedures will be kept in custody.

Bioethicists had criticised the original bill for not respecting a patient’s autonomy and for using medical treatment in a way which would not benefit him.

"This is very slippery ground", Professor Mark Saffron, co-author of the Council of Europe’s bioethics convention, had told the Polish magazine Gazeta. ”If we accept the compulsory chemical castration of sexual offenders, why not perform lobotomy on violent criminals? Only where will this take us? Medical therapy mustn’t be used in public interest. Otherwise, we’ll return, for instance, to the compulsory sterilization of mentally disabled patients performed in Sweden as recently as in the 1970s". ~ Gazeta, Oct 3