Should neurotechnological treatments offered to offenders always be in their best interests?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The paper critically discusses the moral view that neurotechnological behavioural treatment for criminal offenders should only be offered if it is in their best interests. First, I show that it is difficult to apply and assess the notion of the offender's best interests unless one has a clear idea of what ‘best interests’ means. Second, I argue that if one accepts that harmful punishment of offenders has a place in the criminal justice system, it seems inconsistent not to accept the practice of offering offenders treatment even when the state will harm them in applying the treatment. Finally, leading penal theories like consequentialists and retributivists would not accept that the offender's best interests, at least in certain situations, impose a necessary condition for the treatment of an offender.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Medical Ethics
Volume44
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)32-36
Number of pages10
ISSN0306-6800
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Cite this

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title = "Should neurotechnological treatments offered to offenders always be in their best interests?",
abstract = "The paper critically discusses the moral view that neurotechnological behavioural treatment for criminal offenders should only be offered if it is in their best interests. First, I show that it is difficult to apply and assess the notion of the offender's best interests unless one has a clear idea of what ‘best interests’ means. Second, I argue that if one accepts that harmful punishment of offenders has a place in the criminal justice system, it seems inconsistent not to accept the practice of offering offenders treatment even when the state will harm them in applying the treatment. Finally, leading penal theories like consequentialists and retributivists would not accept that the offender's best interests, at least in certain situations, impose a necessary condition for the treatment of an offender.",
author = "Petersen, {Thomas S{\o}birk}",
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language = "English",
volume = "44",
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Should neurotechnological treatments offered to offenders always be in their best interests? / Petersen, Thomas Søbirk.

In: Journal of Medical Ethics, Vol. 44, No. 1, 2018, p. 32-36.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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AB - The paper critically discusses the moral view that neurotechnological behavioural treatment for criminal offenders should only be offered if it is in their best interests. First, I show that it is difficult to apply and assess the notion of the offender's best interests unless one has a clear idea of what ‘best interests’ means. Second, I argue that if one accepts that harmful punishment of offenders has a place in the criminal justice system, it seems inconsistent not to accept the practice of offering offenders treatment even when the state will harm them in applying the treatment. Finally, leading penal theories like consequentialists and retributivists would not accept that the offender's best interests, at least in certain situations, impose a necessary condition for the treatment of an offender.

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DO - 10.1136/medethics-2016-104093

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EP - 36

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