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Surgical castration, coercive offers and coercive effects: it is still not about consent
  1. John McMillan
  1. Correspondence to Prof John R McMillan, Bioethics centre, University of Otago, Division of Health Sciences, PO Box 913, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand;

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In my reply to Wertheimer and Miller's paper on coercive offers and payment for research participation1 I claim that ‘… it's not unreasonable to suppose that there is another normative aspect to these cases, over and above the voluntariness of consent. While the parents of children at Willowbrook and the millionaire's mistress might have given consent that was voluntary and informed, they are still wronged by taking up this offer…’2 Furthermore, nowhere in my paper on surgical castration do I claim that coercive offers invalidate consent,3 and I suggest that Bomann-Larsen has come closest to cashing this out correctly with her idea that ‘the wrongness of these coercive offers has more to do with the wilful creation of choices that take advantage of others vulnerabilities…’.4 So, it is puzzling that they object to my analysis of coercion and castration because coercive offers are not readily unpacked as a problem with consent. …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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