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A Moral Maze ....... should prisoners have access to IVF?

(38 Posts)
Riverwalk Fri 28-Dec-12 13:28:14

This is another difficult one for us to ponder, along the lines of a previous thread on should prisoners have the right to vote.

Mishap Fri 28-Dec-12 13:50:03

At the risk of sounding like an ageing fascist I really do think that this is nonsense. One of penalties of breaking the law is that you finish up in the nick and can't have sex with your partner - and therefore cannot father children during that time. It's part of the punishment aspect of the justice system.

I think decent human rights should be afforded to all prisoners during their time inside; but I do not think that their rights should extend this far.

janeainsworth Fri 28-Dec-12 13:55:04

You are not the only ageing fascist mishapsmile
Elective medical treatment is not a basic human right.

crimson Fri 28-Dec-12 14:11:04

So who will then support the child? And would this just apply to existing relationships? I'm thinking of these women who strike up relationships with notorious prisoners and sometimes marry them. Would they then be able to have a child with them? Do everything possible to retrain and re educate anyone in prison so they can restart their life when they are released but don't let them father children whilst imprisoned.

glassortwo Fri 28-Dec-12 14:22:20

mishap count me in your group of aging facists too.
Yes decent human rights but this is taking it too far, how many couples cant get IVF on the NHS (my DD included its cost her a pretty penny to have her two children) and how many cancer patients cant get cancer drugs down to post code lottery and they are considering giving these patients IVF then on top we will have to cover the cost of caring for the child produced. angry

Ylil Fri 28-Dec-12 14:38:31

I saw this and thought, is it April 1st?

Nanado Fri 28-Dec-12 15:26:50

Exactly Ylil

mrshat Fri 28-Dec-12 15:28:10

I'm with Mishap and followers on this - utter nonsense!

gracesmum Fri 28-Dec-12 15:30:21

Please can I join the ageing fascists too? My instant reaction was unrepeatable , all the more so when I think of all the couples desperate for a baby who are funding their IVF out of their own pockets - not to mention all the other areas of the NHS short of funding....I could go on for ever, but will spare you..

Grannyknot Fri 28-Dec-12 15:40:23

A world gone crazy. Call me ageing Fascist, old fashioned, or whatever you wish!

granjura Fri 28-Dec-12 15:44:57

I refuse to join the ageing fascists - sorry. But the answer is still NO.

crimson Fri 28-Dec-12 15:47:29

Read it again. Most of these prisoners are murderers ie people that have taken away someone's life. And they feel they should be granted the right to create a life themselves? The world's gone mad.

Mishap Fri 28-Dec-12 15:48:32

granjura - I do not think anyone is seriously descibing themselves as fascist, just sharing your opinion, but getting ready to fend off the accusation!!!

whenim64 Fri 28-Dec-12 16:28:51

Personally, I think responsible people should be helped to have children, and there are not many such people serving prison sentences. I understand the argument that spouses have not committed the crimes, so why should they be denied the chance to have a child whilst they still can, and feel for them being put in this position, but we taxpayers are not the ones who put the spouse in that position, the offender did that. It's another consequence they should have to deal with.

I do wonder how many would actually be eligible for IVF. Certain criteria have to be met, and anyone who smokes or takes drugs would not be eligible. That excludes the majority of the prison population.

HappyNanna Fri 28-Dec-12 19:00:50

Absolutely do not agree with it. Beyond belief!

vampirequeen Fri 28-Dec-12 19:12:28

Totally with the rest of you. This is so wrong.

janeainsworth Fri 28-Dec-12 19:13:39

Having now read the article, it is EU legislation that is causing the potential problem, and the test case referred to involved artificial insemination not IVF.
Still an ageing fascist on this one though wink

bluebell Fri 28-Dec-12 19:15:08

I was very much in favour of the right to vote for SOME prisoners but find this astonishing. However, I do wonder how really true it all is given the governments antipathy to the concept of human rights - do you remember that May lied about the person who supposedly couldn't be deported because of their cat? That turned about to be absolutely untrue.

Ana Fri 28-Dec-12 19:17:32

I don't think it was absolutely untrue, bluebell - it just wasn't the only reason.

nanaej Fri 28-Dec-12 19:18:49

Prison is to punish, protect and rehabilitate.

Part of the purpose of a punishment is to act as a warning to other potential offenders. If potential law breakers do not see being in prison as much of a problem then it will not act as a deterrent. I do feel sorry for those who find themselves the partners of prisoners and maybe denied the access to parenthood as a result... but sadly that is all part of the punishment.

If you can't do the time do not commit the crime! It is not being a fascist to support laws of the land long as they are reasonable. To lock up criminals, in hygienic conditions, keeping them fed & warm and having access to essential medical service is an acceptable way to deal with law breakers. Any other 'comforts' should be minimal & that includes any elective medical treatment.
Work /training should form a part of the rehab purpose of prison

annodomini Fri 28-Dec-12 19:19:35

Can't be an ageing fascist, because I have never been one in the first place. This sounds like a misinterpretation of the IVF case, stirred up by tabloids as a stick to beat the EU with. But having said that, this would be a privilege too far in my opinion.

annodomini Fri 28-Dec-12 19:21:43

Apologies to the tabloids - I see that the article came from the Telegraph.

JessM Fri 28-Dec-12 19:23:47

Well there does seem to be a contradiction here. At least one.
Prison sentence by definition takes away a number of human rights. Freedom, family life, association, travel, privacy, equality of opportunity etc. etc. And quite, we do not have marital visits in prisons do we, so therefore any "right'" to father a child is by definition suspended unless that rule changes.
What is there about this that is so hard for judges to work out?
The only cogent argument is that a wife has a right to conceive. Hum. I don't think anyone has a "right" to have children. Some are lucky enough to have them and some are not. It is not a human right on any list that I am aware of.
I have always had some doubts about whether the NHS should pay for any infertility treatment. How can I put this...?
In a parallel universe, very similar to this one, there is an NHS that does not pay for any fertility treatment. There are several perfectly good reasons that everyone in this parallel universe finds reasonable:
1. Infertility is not an illness.
2. Child rearing is very expensive and if parents cannot afford IVF they certainly can't afford to have children.
3. The NHS is short of money and there are more deserving ways to spend it - on people who are actually ill.

NfkDumpling Fri 28-Dec-12 19:31:12

It's a silly idea.
If the man has only a short sentence they can wait. If the woman is likely to be 'past it' by the time the bloke gets out then why should the public have to support what would be in effect a single mother.

Riverwalk Fri 28-Dec-12 19:36:05

I'm all for prisoners maintaining contact with their existing families but it's stretching human rights to ludicrous limits to claim 'right to a family life' should mean a right to have children whilst in prison.

Hmm.... I wonder if any women prisoners are seeking this right, or is it just men, testing the system.