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Morality and legality in the use of antiandrogenic pharmacotherapy with sexual offenders

Abstract

This chapter examines the moral and legal dilemmas that may arise when practitioners use anti-androgenic pharmacotherapy with sex offenders. First, it sets out the links between morality and the law and then explores some of the ethical/moral issues that may arise such as the compulsory or voluntary use of treatment, its link to punishment and the suitability and type of drugs used. The chapter then demonstrates how these moral issues are intertwined with legal issues and notes that what might be legal may still be deemed to be unethical or immoral. Human rights law and the concept of human dignity is then used as an example of legal regulation where morality and legality are intertwined, although it is noted that human rights courts such as the European Court of Human Rights may only interfere if substantial interference with human dignity is demonstrated. This allows discretion to be given to states as to how they use anti-androgenic treatment and operate public protection agendas; although this does not mean that the law will not intervene where the state goes beyond what is considered to be necessary. Finally, suggestions are put forward for practitioner guidelines that look to satisfy both the ethical/moral and legal concerns involved in the use of anti-androgenic pharmacotherapy with sex offenders.

Publication Date Apr 8, 2011
Pages 627 - 651
Book Title International perspectives on the assessment and treatment of sexual offenders: theory, practice and research
ISBN 978-0-470-74925-8
APA6 Citation (2011). Morality and legality in the use of antiandrogenic pharmacotherapy with sexual offenders. International perspectives on the assessment and treatment of sexual offenders: theory, practice and research, 627 - 651. John Wiley & Sons Ltd
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