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article imagePoland Passes Law to Chemically Castrate Pedophiles

By Chris Dade     Sep 25, 2009 in World
A law which allows for the chemical castration of pedophiles has been approved by the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament, and will now pass to the country's Senate where it is also expected to receive approval.
The vote to approve an amendment to the penal code -- allowing those convicted of raping children under the age of 15, or close family members -- was almost unanimous, with the Earth Times confirming that the numbers were 400-1 in favor of the amendment, although the BBC says that three of the members present did not vote for the legislation.
Those attempting to groom a child under 15 over the Internet would be subject to the same punishment.
Whilst the BBC is reporting that the chemical castration of those convicted of the rape of minors or close family members is "obligatory", Polskie Radio is stating that a court will decide six months prior to the date on which an offender is due to be released from jail if castration is to take place.
If castration is ordered the offender would not receive the treatment, (which actually involves a series of medical procedures that simply lower libido but do not truly castrate) until they are due for release. The treatment can be reversed and it is not thought to cause any other physical damage in the longer term.
Psychiatrists, sexologists and psychologists would also meet with the offender with the same aim of lowering libido.
Drafted by Law and Justice, a conservative party which holds the second highest number of seats in the Sejm and the Senate, and a grouping of left-wing parties, the law is said to enjoy the support of the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.
Mr Tusk, chairman of Civic Platform, the largest single party in the Sejm and Senate, has, according to the Earth Times, referred to pedophiles as "degenerates".
Human rights groups still favor rehabilitation of offenders without the use of chemical castration, which is not a punishment applied in any other country in the European Union.
A number of states in the U.S. give courts the option of imposing a sentence involving chemical castration. In some states the punishment is mandatory in certain circumstances.
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