A special taskforce in New South Wales, Australia, is considering compulsory chemical castration for paedophiles deemed to be high risk for reoffending.
Currently, courts in western Australia and the state of Victoria have the discretion to order dangerous sex offenders to have the treatment as part of release conditions.
What does chemical castration involve?
- Anti-androgen medications, which lower the level of testosterone, are administered to suppress sexual urges.
Sex offenders can opt to voluntarily undergo the treatment in prison in New South Wales, but now the state's Justice Minister wants to go one step further.
Troy Grant told Australia's Broadcasting Corporation he wants courts to have chemical castration as sentencing option so that children can be "protected from abuse".
However, critics have questioned the effectiveness of the treatment including the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists who disagree with the plan.
Forensic psychiatrist Dr John Kasinathan said it may have limited therapeutic benefit for some patients.
“The prescription of anti-androgenic medication is a clinical decision and relies on medical knowledge and specific knowledge of the patient in question", he cautioned.
The taskforce is due to make recommendations to government by the end of the year.