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NSW Corrective Services Legislation Amendment Bill

Justice Action | 28.07.2006 02:16 | Health | Repression | Social Struggles | World

General Purposes Standing Committee #3

Access to the same health treatment
Access to the same health treatment

AUSTRALIA: NSW: Re the Corrective Services Legislation Amendment Bill

Dear Committee,

We wish to state our firm rejection of the proposal that prisoners should not have access to the same health treatment as the rest of the Australian community. This is an extremely far reaching matter on which vulnerable people are greatly affected. Aboriginal people are affected very disproportionately.

It is essential that those most affected by the proposed legislation, prisoners and their families, be involved in a consultation of this proposal. We ask that a notice be sent out to Inmate Development Committees in all the 30 prisons and posted in the visiting areas to receive submissions and take evidence.

We wish to give evidence regarding this matter.

We express our abhorrence at the idea implied by the legislation that:

1. Offending behaviour is genetic. We believe that every person has the right to be considered equal, have the same opportunity for development, and to create a family, irrespective of the way the state feels about them.

2. That any government has the power to punish prisoners and their families by blocking their right of procreation. This is an inalienable human right of families to be defended in a democracy. Politicians have the responsibility to defend them against attack or they are misleading our citizens, and abusing legal structures to take powers they do not possess.

We believe that it:

creates a precedent for discrimination toward prisoners in the quality of health care and the treatment alternatives provided contravenes the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act in causing a “sentence” beyond incarceration, constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment” – commensurate with torture will result in patients declining treatment of life-threatening conditions, where such treatment will result in infertility – which may, in the end, be more costly to health services and thus, to the community may result in health services being sued for failure to provide treatment equivalent to that available to other community members fails to take into account circumstances where a conviction is overturned on appeal, following the individual having undergone treatment for cancer, without storage of sperm having taken place contravenes the AMA position statement on “Health Care for Prisoners and Detainees”

Brett Collins
Justice Action (acting coordinator)
22 Prince St, Rozelle, NSW 2039, Australia
P.O. Box 386, Broadway, NSW 2007, Australia
brett (at)
voice: 612-9660 9111 fax: 612-9660 9100

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Prisoner sperm/eggs Inquiry

“Medical practitioners should not deny treatment to any prisoner or detainee on the basis of their culture, ethnicity, religion, political beliefs, gender, sexual orientation or the nature of their illness. The duty of medical practitioners to treat all patients professionally with respect for their human dignity and privacy applies equally to the care of those detained in prison, whether convicted or on remand2, irrespective of the reason for their incarceration.”

Justice Action