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Archive for the ‘Disability’ Category

BioEdge: Ethicists give thumbs-up to infanticide

In Ableism and Law, Ableism Ethics and Governance and its intersection with Disability Ethics, Disability, Ethics, infanticide on February 25, 2012 at 5:05 pm

BioEdge: Ethicists give thumbs-up to infanticide.

 

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Most Britons think others view disabled people “as inferior”

In Ableism, Disability, perception on June 26, 2009 at 10:19 pm

& June 2009
In an online survey of more than 2,000 adults by leading pollster ComRes for disability charity Scope, 53 per cent say they think most people in British society see disabled people as inferior.

In addition more than half (56 per cent) said they think disabled people are generally viewed as “victims” or “figures of pity” and 38 per cent say they are even seen as a “drain on resources”.
see here press release

and here the survey

Able Rapists, Disabled Victim

In Ableism and Law, Disability on December 3, 2008 at 10:37 pm

The police described the crime as gruesome and indicated that the perpetrators showed no sign of remorse. The victim ia now a young woman of 16, but she had been raped repeatedly, over a period of years, since she was much younger by her own grandfather and three of her uncles. All four men were convicted in a Korean Court, earlier this year in one of the worst cases of child sexual abuse on record.  

Judge Oh Jun-keun handed down his sentence to shocked court room. All four men were given suspended sentences. In explaining the sentence, the judge expressed sympathy for the “able” men who been caregivers for this “disabled” child, and suggested suspended sentences were in order so that they could continue to provide care for her. Again, it appears that disabled equals devalued.

Perhaps the one positive aspect of this story is that the Korean public has been outraged by these sentences. Tens of thousands have registered their protest and are calling for impeachment of the judge. Prosecutors are attempting to appeal the sentence. 

To read more about this story, see 

Korean Outrage and

Thousands Protest Rapists Probation!

To register your opinion on whether suspended sentences are appropriate, see 

Suspended Sentences Poll

Killing people with disabilities as a lesser crime

In Ableism, Ableism Ethics and Governance and its intersection with Disability Ethics, Disability, Ethics, Law and public policy on December 3, 2008 at 8:41 pm

Is the killing of someone with a significant disability a lesser crime than killing someone considered to be fully able? “Mercy” Killing, euthanasia, compassionate homicide, and altruistic homicide are all terms that have been used to describe the killing of of one human being by another in order to  end suffering.  Thus they are considered justifiable or even heroic. Canada has considered a compassionate homicide law and Germany currently has a euthanasia or “mercy” killing law that limits the sentence of a convicted individual to five years if the motivation was to end suffering. 

Critics, however, suggest that such laws serve as the ultimate vehicle of ableism, by effectively making it a less serious crime for those considered to be able to kill those considered to have serious disabilities.  To try to answer this question, one might think of whether “mercy” killing or compassionate homicide might be extended to people without disabilities. Would society be willing to consider the killing of a homeless person to be motivated by compassion? Might a police officer who shot a criminal to death rather than make that individual suffer through disgrace and imprisonment be considered to have committed a mercy killing? Would an individual who kills an able bodied man, who asks to end his unhappy life, be considered compassionate?

Two recent mercy-killing trials in Germany and China, help provide answers. A German court ruled that the killing of Bernd Juergen Brandes could not be considered a mercy killing, even though he asked to be killed to end his miserable life, because he did not have a disability or illness. While a Chinese court freed a mother who killed her disabled daughter, who never asked to be killed because the daughter was “a “psychological burden.” 

These and other cases suggest that compassionate homicide simply makes killing people with disabilities into a less serious crime.

Building an Integrative Analytical System for Recognizing and Eliminating in-Equities (BIAS) FREE Framework by Burke amnd Eichler

In Ableism, Ableism and its intersection with health ethics, care and policy, Ableism Ethics and Governance, Disability, General inquiry into, application and development of Ableism Ethics and Governance, Health, Law and public policy, Public policy, Publications, Reports on November 2, 2008 at 4:31 am

I thought the BIAS FREE framework by Mary Anne Burke (a member of the network) and Margit Eichler might be of interest to other members of this network. From the Global Forum webpage a description 

The BIAS FREE Framework: A practical tool for identifying and eliminating social biases in health research
By Mary Anne Burke and Margrit Eichler. 2006. 64 pages. ISBN 2-940286-43-4
This volume provides students, researchers and policy-makers with a new user-friendly rights-based tool for identifying and eliminating biases deriving from social hierarchies in their work. Cutting a swathe through the layers of tools researchers and policy-makers have had to apply in the past to avoid sexism, racism, ableism, classism, casteism, ageism and endless other ‘isms’ in their work, the authors offer their BIAS FREE Framework as an integrative approach to explore and remove the compounding layers of bias that derive from any social hierarchy. BIAS FREE stands for Building an Integrative Analytical System for Recognizing and Eliminating in-Equities. The acronym is the statement of a goal, not of an achievement. The authors lay out the theoretical underpinnings of the BIAS FREE Framework and the roots of discrimination – the logic of domination – common to all ‘isms of domination’. Understanding this basic conceptual interconnection among all systems of oppression is the key to unlocking them. The focus of the volume is the application of the BIAS FREE Framework for understanding how biases that derive from social hierarchies manifest in health research. The BIAS FREE Framework is applicable not just to research, but also to legislation, policies, programmes and practices. It is also transferable to any policy sector, not just health, and speaks to the needs of high- and low-income countries alike. It is an essential tool for getting at the roots of social inequalities and effecting real social change.

ONCE International Research and Development Award in New Technologies for the Blind and Visually Impaired

In Ableism Ethics and Governance and Design, Ableism Ethics and Governance and Science and Technology governance, Disability, nano, nanoscale, NBICS on October 6, 2008 at 9:17 pm

ONCE International Research and Development Award in New Technologies for the Blind and Visually Impaired

The aim of the International R&D Award in New Technologies for the Blind and Visually Impaired, held bi-annually by the ONCE (Spanish National Organisation for the Blind), is to distinguish and recompense those researches whose development, use or application represent a clear improvement in the quality of life, equality of opportunities or the process of social and working integration of the blind and visually impaired.
Research areas:

Through this Award, ONCE seeks to stimulate the promotion of scientific technical research aimed at technological developments and innovations in the field of engineering, artificial intelligence, computing, telecommunications, microtechnology and nanoelectronics, with the ultimate purpose of correcting or overcoming the limitations suffered by the blind or the visually impaired on account of their disability.

More here

Call for papers: On the impact of nanoscale science and technology on disability, community and rehabilitation.

In Ableism, Ableism Ethics and Governance and its intersection with Disability Ethics, Ableism Ethics and Governance and Science and Technology governance, Call for papers, Disability, nano, nanoscale, nanotechnology, NBICS on September 29, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Call for papers

On the impact of nanoscale science and technology on disability,

community and rehabilitation.

For a special issue of the International Journal on Disability, Community & Rehabilitation (IJDCR) (http://www.ijdcr.ca/copyright.shtml)

Guest Editor: Gregor Wolbring, Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies Program, Dept of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary. Please submit abstracts to the Guest Editor via e-mail by 30 October, 2008.

Invitation

Nanoscale science and technology, while still in its infancy, describes a rapidly growing sphere of enquiry, with many and varied implications for the disability field. To establish a ‘benchmark’ of the current state of knowledge and conceptual understanding, the Editors of IJDCR decided a special issue should be devoted to the topic. Background information and potential topics are presented below.

We invite potential contributors, regardless of fields of study (discipline), to submit 250-word Abstracts that articulate the conceptual arguments and knowledge base to be covered in a critical analysis on some aspect of the impact of nanoscale science and technology on disability, community and/or rehabilitation. Please submit abstracts to the Guest Editor via e-mail by 30 October, 2008.

From selected abstracts, we will request full articles of 3000-5000 words (excluding figures and tables) of original research and scholarship on a range of topics. Note that an invitation to submit an article does not guarantee its publication. Every submitted article will be subject to blind peer review and recommendations arising.

Background

Nanotechnology in all its meanings allows for, among other things, the manipulation of materials on an atomic or molecular scale and enables a new paradigm of science and technology that sees different technologies converging at the nanoscale namely:

1. nanoscience and nanotechnology,
2. biotechnology and biomedicine, including genetic engineering,
3. information technology, including advanced computing and communications,
4. cognitive science (neuro-engineering),
5. synthetic biology;

hence, the designation “NBICS” (nano-bio-info-cogno-synbio).

Many lists of anticipated nanoproducts exist (Institute of Nanotechnology 2005;Kostoff et al. 2006). Applications for NBICS products are envisioned in areas such as the environment, energy, water, weapons and other military applications, globalization, agriculture, and health (e.g., more efficient diagnostics and genetic testing, cognitive enhancement; life extension and enhancing human performance in general) (M.Roco 2003). Many believe that advances in NBICS hold the key for extreme life extension to the level of immortality and the achievement of morphological (Anders Sandberg 2001) and genomic freedom(Wolbring 2003). NBICS-medicine is envisioned by some to have the answer to global problems of disease and ill medical and social health. Others argue for the pursuit of ‘morphological freedom’ (Anders Sandberg 2001)–allowing the human body to move beyond typical functioning of the species. Disabled people are often highlighted as the beneficiaries of NBICS-medicine products. NBICS applications and the selling of NBICS health products focuses mostly on offering disabled people medical solutions (prevention or cure/normative adaptation) and might move towards transhumanist solutions (augmentation, enhancement of the human body) but rarely offers social solutions (adaptation of the environment, acceptance, societal cures of equal rights and respect). Many NBICS applications/products for disabled people are envisioned and are under development(Wolbring 2005).

We chose this topic for an issue of IJDCR because of how the discourses around these new and emerging nanoscale science and technologies are emerging and their potential impact on people with disabilities, the communities linked to them and/or practitioners as well as others. Consumers and researchers linked to the disability discourse are involved will shape the positive or negative consequences for everyone involved.

Nanotechnology and NBICS have an impact on disabled people in at least four main ways.

Impact of NBICS on disabled people (Wolbring 2006)

NBICS may develop tools to adapt the environment in which disabled people live and to give disabled people tools that would allow them to deal with environmental challenges. This side of S&T would make the life of disabled people more liveable without changing the identity and biological reality of the disabled person

NBICS may develop tools that would diagnose the part of disabled people’s biological reality seen by others as deficient, defect, impaired and ‘disabled’ thus allowing for preventative measures

NBICS may develop tools that would eliminate that portion of disabled people’s biological reality seen by others as deficient, defect, impaired and ‘disabled’.

NBICS may be a target for – and an influence upon – the discourses, concepts, trends and areas of action that impact disabled persons.

Discourses:

* The discourse around the term human security
* The religious discourse
* The politics of biodiversity
* The politics of inequity
* The politics of the ethics discourse.
* The politics of law:
* The politics of raising the acceptance level for a given technology
* The politics of setting goals and priorities
* The politics of language
* The politics of self perception and identity (Body politics)
* The politics of red herrings
* The politics of interpreting International treaties
* The politics of governance
* The Politics of evaluation, measuring, analysis, and outcome tools

Concepts:

* Self identity security
* Ability security
* Cultural identity/diversity
* Morphological freedom and morphological judgement(Anders Sandberg 2001)
* Freedom of choice and tyranny of choice
* Duty to fix oneself
* Duty to know
* Parental responsibility
* Societal responsibility

Trends:

* Change in the concepts of health, disease and ‘disability’/’impairment’
* The appearance of enhancement medicine and the acceptance of beyond species-typical functioning
* Moving from curative to enhancement medicine; decrease in curative medicine and the appearance of the transhumanist/enhancement burden of disease
* Moving from human rights to sentient rights
* Moving from morphological freedom to morphological judgement
* The appearance of the techno poor disabled and impaired
* Moving from freedom of choice to tyranny of choice judgement

Areas of Action:

* Nanotechnology/NBIC for development
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and the UN Millennium Development Goals
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and global medical and social health
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and accessibility
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and law
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and water and sanitation
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and disaster management
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and weapons/war
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and ethics/philosophy
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and social science/anthropology
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and community
* Nanotechnology/NBIC and networking

All of the above discourses, concepts, trends and areas of actions impact on disabled people[1] and others.

Potential contributors to this Special Issue might consider areas from the above table or one of the following topics:

1. What are the potential positive and negative impacts of envisioned nanoscale science and technology products and research and development on:
* disabled people,
* the community around them
* practitioners, consumers and researchers linked to the disability discourse
* community rehabilitation and the rehabilitation field in general
* inclusive education and the education of disabled people in general
* employability of disabled people
* citizenship of disabled people
* body image of disabled people
* medical and social health policies and their impact on disabled people
* health care for disabled people
* the elderly
* disabled people in low income countries
* laws related to disabled people such as the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities
* the concept of personhood
* concept of health and health care
* the measure of disability adjusted life years and other measurements used to guide health care dollar allocation
* quality of life assessment
2. What are the potential positive and negative impacts of the new social philosophy of transhumanism that is seen as being enabled by nanoscale science and technology products and research and development?
3. What impacts of potential nanoscale science and technology products and research and development onto disabled people will impact other marginalized groups?

For more information about the International Journal of Disability, Community & Rehabilitation (IJDCR) please go to http://www.ijdcr.ca.

References

Anders Sandberg. Morphological Freedom — Why We not just Want it, but Need it. 2001.

Institute of Nanotechnology (2005). Research Applications And Markets In Nanotechnology In Europe 2005

Kostoff, Ronald et al. “The seminal literature of nanotechnology research.” Journal of Nanoparticle Research (2006): 1-21.

M.Roco, W. Bainbridge eds. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance: Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology and Cognitive Science. 2003. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht Hardbound.

Wolbring, G. “SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AND THE TRIPLE D (DISEASE, DISABILITY, DEFECT).” Ed. William Sims Bainbridge Mihail C.Roco National. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 2003. 232-43

Wolbring, G (2005). HTA Initiative #23 The triangle of enhancement medicine, disabled people, and the concept of health: a new challenge for HTA, health research, and health policy Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, Health Technology Assessment Unit, Edmonton, Alberta Canada

Wolbring, G (2006). Scoping paper on Nanotechnology and disabled people. Center for Nanotechnology in Society Arizona State University [On-line].

[1] The term ‘disabled people’, as used here, reflects the way in which environmental factors impact on the ability of individuals with sensory, motor, cognitive or other variations to participate in society, consistent with its usage by Disabled Peoples’ International.

Biden questions GOP disability advocates on stem cell research

In Ableism, Ableism Ethics and Governance and Science and Technology governance, Disability, Public policy on September 9, 2008 at 5:38 pm

It seems we are a tool again for other to push their agenda. The below write up for sure leads to certain troubling thoughts.

From CNN’s Rachel Streitfeld
here the link
COLUMBIA, Missouri (CNN) – Joe Biden suggested Tuesday that advocates for people with disabilities should “support stem cell research” — a remark that follows repeated pledges from Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin, the mother of a baby with Down Syndrome, to parents of children with disabilities that she would be “a friend and advocate in the White House.”

When asked about the issue at a Tuesday rally, Biden did not mention Palin’s name, but seemed to direct a question to her.

“I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy…and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect,” he said. “Well, guess what folks? If you care about it, why don’t you support stem cell research?”

Biden told voters “the disability issue is not a new issue for us” and said he and Barack Obama would support stem cell research — a political hot potato that Sarah Palin does not support because it involves the use of human embryos.

In an illustration over the controversy of stem cell research — a key issue for some conservative voters — the Republican ticket is split. John McCain supports the practice.

Filed under: Joe Biden

Disabled people and AIDS

In Disability on August 8, 2008 at 2:35 pm

This article on the disabled people and AIDS discussion at the 17th International conference on AIDS in Mexico City appeared in the Globe and Mail yesterday

Making babies: the next 30 years

In Ableism, Disability, NBICS on August 4, 2008 at 2:53 pm

Published online 16 July 2008 | Nature 454, 260-262 (2008) | doi:10.1038/454260a Helen Pearson

and on this blog you find a write up about what is in the Nature article

of cause artificial womb and gene therapy are part of the list
The hotlink titled ‘medical advances’ is not linking to the Nature article but to another