“Psychosurgery For A Sexual Offender”
Professor: Wolfgang Blaine
22 December, 2010
(1) STATEMENT OF CASE: PSYCHOSURGERY FOR A SEXUAL OFFENDER
John Doe has been detained for more than seventeen years in a psychiatric facility for the criminally insane. He is serving an indefinite commitment under his state’s Criminal Sexual Psychopathic Law, having murdered and subsequently raped a student nurse while he was a patient in another psychiatric facility.
Doe is subject to episodes of what seem to be uncontrolled aggression, which issue in sexual violence. No drug or “talk” therapies have been effective with him, and he will not be released until the authorities are confident that he is safe to be at large.
Several physicians have just received funding from the state legislature to do a study on the treatment of uncontrolled aggression. The purpose of the study is to compare the effects of psychosurgery with the effects of medication in the treatment of sexual psychopaths in the state’s psychiatric facilities. The long-term goal of the study is to discover how to relieve these inmates from their overpowering aggressive tendencies so that they can return to the community.
As it turns out, Doe is the only appropriate candidate in the state’s facilities for the psychosurgery. His participation has been approved by a scientific review committee and a human rights review committee. Doe has signed an informed consent form which outlines the two-part procedure to be followed:
Since conventional treatment efforts over a period of several years have not enabled me to control my outburst of rage and anti-social behavior, I submit an application to be subject in a research project which may offer me a form of elective therapy. The therapy is based upon the idea that episodes of anti-social rage and sexuality might be triggered by a disturbance in certain portions of my brain. I...