wolbring

Archive for the ‘Law and public policy’ Category

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.

Recent Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics issue

In Ableism, Conferences, Enhancement, Ethics, Law and public policy, Religion on October 15, 2008 at 7:50 pm

has different articles on different Religion’s views on enhancement.

see here

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

Disabilities among Refugees and Conflict-affected Populations

In Disability, Health, Public policy, Reports on June 30, 2008 at 1:52 am

Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children releases the first major report to address the critical needs of this all-but invisible population

The Women’s Commission has released the first major report to address the critical needs of refugees and people displaced within their own countries who suffer from physical, sensory or mental disabilities.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that between 7 and 10 percent of the world’s population lives with disabilities. It can therefore be calculated that between 2.5 and 3.5 million of the world’s 35 million displaced people are disabled. In fact, the number of people living with disabilities may be even higher among those who have fled civil conflict, war or natural disasters.

Yet sadly, people with disabilities remain among the most hidden, neglected and socially excluded of any population in the world today. They are often not counted in refugee registration drives or identified in data collection. Because of physical and social barriers, they are unable to access mainstream assistance programs offered to other refugees. Their potential is seldom recognized. They are often seen as a problem for their families and communities, rather than a resource. What’s more, the loss of traditional caregivers—extended families, neighbors—during displacement can leave them extremely vulnerable.

Report “Disabilities among Refugees and Conflict-Affected Populations”here

What sort of coverage: Amputees fight caps in coverage for prosthetics

In Ableism, Disability, Law and public policy, Public policy on June 10, 2008 at 6:27 pm

By Dave Gram, Associated Press

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. – After bone cancer forced the amputation of her right leg below the knee, Eileen Casey got even more bad news: Her insurer told her that she had spent her $10,000 lifetime coverage limit on her temporary limb and that the company wouldn’t pay for a permanent one……more here

Comment: On the one hand society promotes a body image and a social environment that seems to make legs essential (most places are still not set up for non-leg modes of movement), and on the other hand they are not willing to enable one to have the legs.
Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

The Third Annual International Shafallah Forum on Children with Special Needs

In Ableism, Disability, Law and public policy, Sports on June 5, 2008 at 12:52 am

“Sport and Ability”
Shafallah Declaration
Doha, Qatar
April 22, 2008
Recognizing the breadth of human rights and fundamental freedoms, a core part of which is the
right of persons with disabilities to sport and recreation, delegates from around the world met at
the 2008 Shafallah Center Forum to open a dialogue on sport and ability;
Recalling that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims that all human beings are
born free and equal in dignity and rights, and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and
freedoms set forth in the Declaration without distinction of any kind;
Reaffirming the principles of equality for persons with disabilities in sport and recreation
embodied in the World Program of Action Concerning Disabled Persons and the UN Standard
Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities;
Observing the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human
rights;
Recognizing the role of sport and recreation in society in fostering social inclusion;
Acknowledging the valued existing and potential athletic contributions made by persons with
disabilities to the overall well-being and diversity of their communities and that the promotion of
the full enjoyment by persons with disabilities in sport will result in their enhanced sense of
belonging and in significant advances in the human, social and economic development of
society;
Realizing the potential of sport to empower persons with disabilities to realize their full
participation in the economic and political life of their community;
Considering the discrimination experienced by persons with disabilities in enjoying their human
rights and fundamental freedoms and barriers that exist in accessing sport and recreation;
Recognizing the double discrimination experienced by women and girls with disabilities in
accessing their right to participate in sport and recreation;
Reaffirming the need to ensure that children with disabilities have equal access with other
children to participate in play, recreation, leisure and sporting activities, including in the school
system, community spaces, playgrounds and recreation areas;
Observing the need to combat stereotypes, prejudices and harmful practices that hinder the
participation of persons with disabilities in sport and recreation, and the need to promote
awareness of the capabilities and contributions of persons with disabilities as participants,
competitors and spectators in sport and recreation;
Understanding the importance of access to a choice of disability-specific or mainstream options
for persons with disabilities to explore their sport and recreation potential;
Encouraging the participation of persons with disabilities in sport and recreation activities at all
levels;
Observing the need to facilitate and support capacity-building, including through the exchange
and sharing of information, experiences, training programs and best practices;
Encouraging the facilitation of cooperation in research and access to scientific and technical
knowledge of developing adaptive sport and recreation at all levels;
Recognizing the important role of international cooperation in supporting national and local
efforts to ensure that sport and recreation is inclusive of, and accessible to, persons with
disabilities, including inclusive development programs;
Desiring to implement the principles embodied in the International Convention on the Rights of
Persons with Disabilities and to secure the earliest adoption of practical measures to enable
persons with disabilities to participate on an equal basis with others in sport and recreation;
Observing that Shafallah delegates demonstrated leadership in advancing sport as inclusion
through exploring new and creative avenues for persons with disabilities to enjoy and exercise
their right to sport.
Now, therefore;
The Shafallah Center Forum encourages the strengthening of the dialogue among and between
individuals and organizations involved in disability, sport, and human rights to advance the
human rights of persons with disabilities in sport and recreation. The Forum further recognizes
the importance of education and awareness-raising to promote inclusive practices across cultures,
communities and society.

from here

Technorati Tags: , , /a>

Nanotechnology, transhumanism and the bionic man

In Ableism, Disability, Enhancement, Health, Law and public policy, NBICS, Public policy, Sports, Transhumanism on May 28, 2008 at 7:29 pm

this piece by nanowerk explains a lot of my reasoning quite nicely

more hereTechnorati Tags: , , , , ,

What sort of Sports

In Ableism, Disability, Enhancement, Law and public policy, Public policy, Sports, Transhumanism on May 16, 2008 at 4:50 pm

After the Pistorius ruling the below video also seem to say

that we can all be together in sports

Double-amputee sprinter can pursue Olympic dream: ruling

In Ableism, Enhancement, Law and public policy, Pistorius, Public policy, Sports on May 16, 2008 at 4:02 pm

In a unanimous ruling, the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced Friday that double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius will have a chance to represent South Africa at the Beijing Olympics this summer.
more here