Lisa is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at Somerville College and in the Faculty of Law. Her main research interests lie in normative and practical ethics, and in the philosophy of medical and criminal law. Her postdoctoral project, ‘Changing One’s Mind: Neurointerventions, Autonomy, and the Law on Consent’, examines the extent to which the autonomy interests protected by English law on consent are those that matter most, morally speaking.
Prior to taking up the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, Lisa was a Research Associate on the Mental Health and Justice project at the University of York, a Postdoctoral Fellow in Practical Ethics at the Rotman Institute of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy, University of Western Ontario and, before that, she worked on the project ‘Neurointerventions in Crime-Prevention: An Ethical Analysis’ in the Faculty of Philosophy, Oxford.
Lisa holds a PhD in philosophy and law and an MA in ethics and medical law from King’s College London and a BA in philosophy from Stockholm University. Her doctoral thesis was on the justification for the lawfulness of medical interventions.
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/medlaw/fww003Sex offenders are sometimes offered or required to undergo pharmacological interventions intended to diminish their sex drive (anti-libidinal interventions or ALIs). In this paper, we argue that much of the debate regarding the moral permissibility of ALIs has been founded on an inaccurate assumption regarding their intended purpose—namely, that ALIs are intended solely to realise medical purposes, not correctional goals. This assumption has made it plausible to assert that ALIs may only permissibly be administered to offenders with their valid consent, in line with the approach taken to most other interventions with a medical aim. However, we argue that, contrary to this assumption, the state's intention in relation to at least some ALIs is, at least in part, to achieve correctional objectives. We evaluate two legal regimes for ALI provision—section 645 of the California Penal Code and the mental health regime in England and Wales. In each case, we identify the state's implicit purpose in imposing ALIs and argue that the Californian and English regimes both serve as counterexamples to the view that ALIs are intended solely for medical purposes. While the moral implications of our argument are not straightforward, it raises the question whether consent is required for permissible imposition of ALIs, and more generally, whether the moral permissibility of crime-preventing interventions using medical means should be assessed against the standards of medical ethics or against those of criminal justice ethics.
Normative and practical ethics, philosophy of medical and criminal law.