26 2 mins 8 yrs

Should convicts have the “human right” to get expensive NHS treatment for IVF?  Logically, one would say NO but we live at a time when “rights” trump responsibilities and have the European Court as their guarantor.

Chris Grayling last night pledged to face down Strasbourg human rights judges and stop prisoners getting IVF at taxpayers’ expense. In a highly combative move, the Justice Secretary made clear he wants a ban on convicts accessing costly fertility treatment from behind bars.The European Court of Human Rights has ruled blocking prisoners’ access to treatment may breach their right to a ‘private and family life’.

This “right” to a “private and family life” is the most pernicious  manifestation of political activism cloaked as law.

Since a 2007 case involving a British killer, 13 inmates have demanded the right to father children, citing the decision. In 2011, one application was approved by then Prisons  Minister Crispin Blunt. But today Mr Grayling, a critic of human rights rulings, said: ‘I am extremely concerned about prisoners having access to  artificial insemination, which is why I am reviewing the policy with a view to banning it. ‘There can be no clearer example of why we need changes to the human rights framework.’ In December, it was revealed five life prisoners, four murderers and a drug dealer, had made applications to the Ministry of Justice for fertility treatment. The decision on what happens ultimately rests with the Justice Secretary.

I’m sorry but when it comes to pandering to the alleged needs of murderers and drug dealers in respect of IVF, we really have lost the plot. Gray

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26 thoughts on “IVF BEHIND BARS?

  1. I think rights should triumph responsibilities and indeed the greatest responsibility is to defend rights.

    However, this is not a right. It s a big wrong.

  2. If as the Human Rights Judges claim the ‘right to a privaet and family life’ is paramount and as a human right must trump all other laws, then surely logically, the very act of putting a person in prison deprives them of that private and family life. Consequently the European Court of Human Rights should be demanding the end of imprisonment and the release of all prisoners everywhere !

  3. The “Rights” Brigade make these pronouncements based on what?
    Consulted whom?
    Are answerable to whom?
    In the o-l-l-ld days,
    (he wheezed gummily)
    one earned privileges by proving one’s self responsible, able and reliable. Men and women were promoted not on the basis of their “rights” but on the basis of their handling of responsibility.
    The Rights Industry is another political form of control which aims to provide a level platform for all, and lots and lots of loverly lucrative work for lawyers, shysters and solicitors, who care not a jot for ethics and common sense; only the (their) interpretation of THE LAW…
    Connivers, sharks and charlatans are not limited to the Church you know… 🙂

  4. IVF is not critical to maintenance of health. No one has any right to government paid IVF, esp a pack of murderers in jail.

  5. they are convicts…. convicts by definition have had the majority of their rights curtailed at least that is how it is supposed to work.

    Prisoners are not prisoners they have become state confined beings only on vacation from preying on the general public.

  6. It doesn’t mater if someone is a prisoner or not.

    This is the heart of the matter: IVF on the NHS is paid for by someone else. So to declare that someone has a human right to it is to declare that something has proprietory rights on someone else’s property.

    Therefore this is to claim that someone else, prisoner or not, has proprietory rights over the labour, life and body of someone else. Therefore the claim is that it is someone’s human right to make a chattel of someone else.

    “But that’s the basis for the state and taxation, Pete”, I hear someone say. And the answer to that is: yep, that’s what I’ve been telling you.

  7. Pete

    If a priosner could afford IVF entirely from their own funds, would you think he/she had the right to recieve that medical treatment or could the prison authorities still deny it ?

  8. Colm –

    IVF is not medical treatment.

    If a prisoner can afford IVF, then it would depend on the regime they’re in. A Category A prisoner is out of luck, because he’s banged up round the clock. A Cat A prisoner will go home at weekends, so maybe he can sort something out.

    At the end of it, if the regime hampers your plans then you should have considered that before getting banged up, and no-one, prisoner or not, has the right to IVF paid for by looted treasure from someone else.

  9. This is the type of thing that leads to the endless increase in medical costs.

    Insurance systems here have been forced to include coverage for IVF.

    I have sympathy for those who want the treatments, but this is not a cost that should be socialized.

  10. If prisoners are allowed give things to their visitors, which they are, they should also be allowed hand over samples of their sperm. The wife or GF can then do with it what she wishes.
    A Palestinian woman recently gave birth to a child fathered in this way, the husband is imprisoned by the Israelis without conjugal visit rights. More power to her; I admire this kind of inventiveness.

  11. Then it seems we are all in agreement. It would be interesting if someone came onto this thread and defended this ‘right’

  12. “More power to her; I admire this kind of inventiveness.”


    Why does this not surprise me? I would imagine Noel is constantly experimenting in one way or another…

  13. How is IVF not a medical procedure? Even if you don’t think the fertilisation bit is, surely putting the egg where it has a chance of developing is and tha is a kep part if the IVF treatment. It sn’t going to do much in the petri dish.

    Not a subject expert but if any male prisoner doesn’t need a medical procedure to make his contribution to the outcome, then he isn’t getting IVF, it is the woman.

  14. As usual, Aileen and I agree.

    But Aileen, the case in question – which seems to have escaped the attention of less vigilant readers – relates both to a man and to a woman in prison, and she dreams of getting pregnant while being banged up.

    As you say, the husband only has to provide his sperm, and as I said, if that’s all that’s involved, he has every right to do so.

    In Ireland, for example, prisoners serving long sentences are already allowed make and pass on to visitors celtic crosses, statues of the Virgin Mary and other edifying gifts. I see no reason why this license should not be extended to cover sperm.

    These little gifts mean so much to women.

  15. I think that it is most certainly a medical procedure, but it’s an elective one. It has nothing to do with anyone’s health.

    I think that society has an interest in keeping the entire population healthy for a hundred different moral and selfish reasons, but society does not have an interest in helping any one person, most certainly including a jailbird who has killed people, have children.

  16. “I think that society has an interest in keeping the entire population healthy for a hundred different moral and selfish reasons, but society does not have an interest in helping any one person, most certainly including a jailbird who has killed people, have children.”

    Look what’s going on here; it’s another RIGHTS RALLY!
    Nothing to do with crime and punishment, or what the person is in prison for..
    Nothing about why taxpayers should pay the cost of treatment.
    Nor the effects of Mum or Dad being absent.
    Nor the selfishness of bringing a child into the world despite all the odds being stacked against them.

    No, it’s all about RIGHTS innit?
    Sod YOUR rights, kid.

    McTatters compared me to the Emotional Homespun Homily Waltons yesterday.
    But I tell you what. I would rather be a part of that kind of wholesomeness than some of the sophisticated “me ‘n my rights” crud that appears here on ATW.

  17. Phantom

    It was Pete saying it wasn’t medical treatment – but maybe it is the treatment bit that he disputes as opposed to it being medical. Even then, it is surely treatment too.

    I think women incarcerated have a bigger issue than men. A man and a woman age 25 commit the same crime and get equal sentence of 35 years. Assume they both actually serve the time (ok MAJOR assumption in today’s world). The man’s opportunities for parenthood have been decreased but the woman’s have been eliminated, unless something is arranged for her whilst inside.

  18. Aileen

    Well, women generally commit fewer crimes generally and a whole lot fewer violent crimes so good for them.

    I don’t care about anyone’s issue. Not committing the crime is generally an excellent strategery in avoiding jail.

  19. Of course convicts also have rights. But those rights are subject to certain restrictions that are consistent with a penal sentence.

    While a convict’s sperm (if we look at it from a penile instead of penal approach) is certainly his, I don’t think that taxpayers should have to foot the bill for IVF procedures to transport and implant same in his significant other. That goes beyond rights.

    Don’t forget the mess (easy Colm) this would create in the case of the incarcerated couple. They are in Jail, where does one suppose the resulting child will reside?

  20. Mahon

    He wouldn’t necessarily need expensive procedures. I know about such things. I saw the turkey baster episode on Brookside!

  21. Boris Becker, in a London hotel once, had a close Lewinski-type encounter with the clean-up maid, in a broom closet apparently.

    The girl then dashed off to the first unoccupied room – and notably did not speak to anyone, nor cough nor laugh, while getting there (although how she managed not to yawn after a session with Becker beats me) – and when safely in the room saw to it that she got pregnant by Bonking Boris in abstentia, and in this case without any bonking having taken place at all.

    One gestation period later the girl blew this time his cool by announcing he was the father of her child and sending the bill. That was the second severe blow he suffered within a year.

    I presume in the case of that redoubtable Palestinian wife, the route was more indirect, but of course having to take very indirect routes is nothing new to Palestinians and anything that thwarts Israel’s policy of colonisation through outbreeding is to be welcomed

    At any rate, all roads lead to Rome, and no prisoner should be prevented from giving his wife this unique opportunity.

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