Senate backs voluntary castration bill

Senate backs voluntary castration bill

The Senate has passed a bill allowing the voluntary chemical castration of recidivist sex offenders, despite remaining doubts concerning the effectiveness of the treatment that purports to help prevent serious sex offences by suppressing the production of male hormones.

Passed by the House of Representatives in February, the Senate unanimously approved the new law, which will be applicable to repeat and violent sexual offenders, in its third and final reading by 145-0 votes, with two abstentions.

The law requires the use of the drug to have the consent of the convict and approval by at least two specialists, psychiatric and medical. Convicts who agree to receive the treatment will in return have their prison terms shortened.

The draft will be next sent back to the House of Representatives to acknowledge amendments made by the Senate before being proposed for royal endorsement and coming into effect.

Phatcharin Samsiriphong, a Bangkok MP serving as the secretary-general of the House of Representatives committee vetting the draft, said she strongly believes another committee phase will be needed due to the scale of the changes.

The chemical castration process involves an injection of pharmaceutical drugs every three months and costs about 100,000 baht per time.

Senator Triroj Krutvecho, who is a medical doctor and member of the House committee vetting the bill, admitted that there is still no clear evidence that chemical castration effectively deactivates the testes.

On the other hand, Senator Chalermchai Boonyaleepun, also a doctor, said that many convicted of sexual offences deeply regretted their actions and might opt for a therapy that helped suppress their sexual urges.

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