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Sexual rights and disability
  1. Ezio Di Nucci
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ezio Di Nucci, Institut für Philosophie, Universität Duisburg-Essen, 45117 Essen, Deutschland; ezio.dinucci{at}


This paper argues against Appel's recent proposal—in this journal—that there is a fundamental human right to sexual pleasure, and that therefore the sexual pleasure of severely disabled people should be publicly funded—by thereby partially legalising prostitution. An alternative is proposed that does not need to pose a new positive human right; does not need public funding; does not need the legalisation of prostitution; and that would offer a better experience to the severely disabled: charitable non-profit organisations whose members would voluntarily and freely provide sexual pleasure to the severely disabled.

  • Mentally disabled persons
  • philosophical ethics
  • sexuality/gender

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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