Ex-doctor proposes surgical castration

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Sept 6, 2012 - 20:28
  • Updated : Sept 6, 2012 - 20:28
Fighting sex crimes has proven to be extremely difficult. Wireless tracking devices are vulnerable to tampering and chemical castration cannot suppress offenders permanently, not to mention the huge costs of these initiatives.

Those pitfalls led a lawmaker to come up this week with an extreme measure: surgical castration.

Rep. Park In-sook of the ruling Saenuri Party has submitted a bill calling for the removal of offenders’ testicles amid deepening public outrage over a series of heinous crimes against women and children.
Rep. Park In-sook

Her proposal is met with mixed reactions. Shocked by recent high-profile sex crimes, some welcome the measure. Others worry about offenders’ human rights.

“As the number of sex offenders increases, with the nature of the crimes being increasingly heinous, we have now reached a moment when a special measure is called for,” the cardiologist-turned-lawmaker told The Korea Herald.

“It is not to remove the entire sexual organ, but their testicles. Chemical castration costs a lot of money and could bring about the ‘rebound phenomenon’ while what I proposed is not expensive. The procedure is simple as it does not require general anesthesia.”

The rebound effect refers to a situation in which after discontinuing some medications suddenly, symptoms return, often to a degree stronger than before the injections.

Her proposal comes as the state authorities are pushing to strengthen anti-crime measures including a wider use of chemical castration and a stepped-up clampdown on the production, distribution and possession of child pornography.

Park also stressed that the adoption of surgical castration would send a clear warning message to would-be offenders.

“The decision over surgical castration will be made strictly by experts and specialists. It is not that the authorities will implement it right away, but we are trying to establish a legal basis for this measure that would surely have a deterrence effect,” she said.

By Song Sang-ho (