Human Exceptionalism

Doctors Should Not Participate in Non Medical Castration Punishment

A terrible serial child molester has undergone surgical castration as part of a plea deal to let him out of prison.  From the story:

A 78-year-old Louisiana state prisoner was surgically castrated this week at a hospital in Baton Rouge as part of a plea deal in a child molestation case. The prisoner, Francis Phillip Tullier, was arrested in 1997 and, according to newspaper reports at the time, was facing more than 6,000 counts of aggravated oral sexual battery and molestation of a juvenile. He was accused of repeatedly sexually abusing young girls for more than 20 years, some of whom had been in the care of his wife, a baby sitter.

As part of Mr. Tullier’s plea, his lawyer, Nathan Fisher said, he agreed to be surgically castrated within six months. Mr. Fisher said that such an extreme action was necessary if victims and prosecutors were to agree to any sentence that would allow Mr. Tullier to leave jail before he died. “He didn’t put up a big fight, but I had to do some convincing,” Mr. Fisher added.

I understand the idea here, and I certainly have zero sympathy for a child molester–leave him in jail for the rest of his life.  But doctors should not cut off healthy body parts as part of a criminal punishment.  That is a mutilation.  Nor should they, in my view, participate in executions.

These are not medical acts but criminal punishments.  Doctors should not use their medical expertise for non medical, retributive purposes.


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