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Volume 927: debated on Tuesday 8 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether there is an ethical committee at Broad-moor Hospital; if lay members serve on it; and if experiments carried out on sex offenders are approved by them.

A medical ethical committee was set up at Broadmoor in July 1975 and a lay member from Nuffield College, Oxford, was appointed to it last year. In accordance with the recommendations by the Royal College of Physicians, any proposed clinical research investigation should be referred to it. The consultants and other clinical staff at the hospital may also refer to the committee any other matter concerning the treatment of patients on which it is felt its advice would be helpful.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many experiments have been carried out on sex offenders at Broadmoor in each year since 1970.

The only aspects of which I am aware and which might be regarded as being of an experimental nature are in relation to a small number of patients who took part voluntarily in 1971–72 in research and treatment programmes involving the use of libido suppressant drugs, although I should make it clear that the drugs in question were well established ones. Subsequently some of the participants received hormone implant therapy and surgical treatment. The latter is now subject to legal action and it would not be proper for me to comment further.