Lawmakers are debating over a controversial petition a man in prison raised. Karl Teangiotau Nuku, who is serving a life sentence in New Zealand for murder, is asking the Parliament to allow incarcerated fathers like him to donate blood and organs for medical reasons, as well as semen to father children.
Some lawmakers sided with Nuku citing his basic rights. Labor MP Trevor Mallard presented his petition on April 13, as per the New Zealand Parliament. Others opposed the petition believing murderers cannot be fathers.
Courts convicted Nuku, then 18-years-old, for hammering and killing 38-year-old Dean Browne in 2011. New Zealanders cannot forget the brutal murder involving Nuku's gang, the Killer Clown Fiends.
Mallard said he introduced the petition because he doesn't think Nuku's reason for being in prison was relevant to his bid. He also said he has never met Nuku in person to assess the motivation behind his petition. "Whether you agree with stuff or not, it is every citizen's right to petition Parliament," Mallard said, as per New Zealand Herald.
New Zealand's Department of Correction also cited there are no specific laws banning blood, organ or sperm donations from prisoners. Thus, legally, Nuku's petition had a bearing.
Prison officials, however, stressed they could consider such a case-to-case basis, especially for safety and security concerns, NZ City reported. As a matter of policy, specimen samples don't usually get collected from prisoners because of the high incidence of hepatitis and other health issues.
Lobbyist First Family issued a statement opposing the petition. "If prisoners want to repay their debt to society by donating blood and their organs, then they're welcome to do that," Family First National Director Bob McCoskrie said, as per Scoop New Zealand. "But fatherhood is not a right - it's a privilege based on the person's ability and commitment to being an active and responsible dad for that child."