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Sex Offenders and Informed Consent to Castration in the Prison Context  

Author:  Adam  Shajnfeld. J.D..

Source: Volume 09, Number 01, December/January 2008 , pp.1-9(9)

Sex Offender Law Report

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Can sex offenders consent to castration, in any meaningful way, while in or facing prison? (One can, of course, be both in prison—such as through pretrial detention—and facing prison (if convicted).) That is the question this paper seeks to answer. All doctors and most lawyers know that informed consent is required before a doctor may perform a medical procedure (conceived as anything from prescribing medication to surgery). And to many, informed consent seems pretty clear, hardly worth more than a lecture. At the margins, though, informed consent becomes complicated. To what extent can someone who is mentally ill give informed consent, if at all? Need a doctor discuss every single risk with his patient, or only the most common or important? The list of questions only grows. In fact, survey patients and one will find that even inside the margins, informed consent practice is far from ideal.


Affiliations:  1: Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen, & Hamilton.

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