J Med Ethics doi:10.1136/medethics-2014-102215
Frej Klem Thomsen
Criminalisation of prostitution, and minority rights for disabled persons, are important contemporary political issues. The article examines their intersection by analysing the conditions and arguments for making a legal exception for disabled persons to a general prohibition against purchasing sexual services. It explores the badness of prostitution, focusing on and discussing the argument that prostitution harms prostitutes, considers forms of regulation and the arguments for and against with emphasis on a liberty-based objection to prohibition, and finally presents and analyses three arguments for a legal exception, based on sexual rights, beneficence, and luck egalitarianism, respectively. It concludes that although the general case for and against criminalisation is complicated there is a good case for a legal exception. [Full text]
ROME – Italy’s Senate is considered a bill introduced in April that would mandate the government to offer “sexual assistants” to people with physical, mental or cognitive disabilities.
The bill, which would bring Italy in line with other EU countries, proposes that these “assistants” should be male and female professional “sex workers” who would help their clients gain “erotic, sensual or sexual experience and better address their internal energies” in order to help them “discharge dysfunctional feelings of anger and aggression.”
Disabled Italians will be eligible for government-funded “sex assistants” through the Ministry of Health. They must have reached the age of majority, have completed the “compulsory education” program, signed a code of conduct, and be certified as to their “psycho-sexual suitability” by the local health authority. . . [Full text]
Surgical and pharmaceutical treatment to limit the growth of disabled children is becoming more frequent. A British newspaper has identified a dozen families involved in them. Such procedures first came to public notice about five years ago, when a severely disabled nine year old girl living near Seattle was subjected to a series of medical procedures to prevent her from growing further. [The Guardian]