What should we make of the Dickson verdict? UK prisoner Kirk Dickson and his wife Lorraine made various appeals to achieve their right to found a family. Dickson is in prison for murder and by the time he is released his wife will be too old to bear children. The couple campaigned for Dickson's right to donate sperm to be used via IVF. Their appeal was granted based upon the idea that if Dickson was not allowed to do this, it would be a violation of his basic right to found a family.
I think that lots of questions can be raised from this:
Do criminals sacrifice their right to found a family when committing a crime?
If not, should their right be acknowledged through the use of IVF - what about alternative methods that cost less money?
The biggest question for me is based upon the fact that six more prisoners have petitioned for their right to become fathers. But what happens when prisoners petition for their right to become mothers? This adds a whole new element to the debate but the state cannot deny female prisoners their right to become mothers if they have not denied men their right to become fathers as this would be quite obviously discrimination on the grounds of sex.
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