The What Sorts Network, in conjunction with the Values and Ethics Task Force of the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) and the Alberta Association for Community Living (AACL), are pleased to announce a public dialogue on bioethics, medical ethics and the implications for people with disabilities. Details below, and in the poster, which you can download. Please pass the word along to any who may be interested. The public dialogue will kick off three days of jointly organized activities, including a free full day workshop, Families and Memory, on Friday 24th October, and a special invited session at the Western Canadian Philosophical Association: “Philosophy, Eugenics, Disability in Alberta and Places North” on Saturday 25th October. Further details shortly on the What Sorts blog, and at the What Sorts website. (Free registration for Families and Memory now open at the website.)
When: Thursday, October 23, 2008, 7-9pm
Where: ETLC 1-013, The Suncor Lecture Theatre, University of Alberta, Edmonton
Contact: Matt Mandrusiak, AACL, 780-451-3055, ext.226
Text of the poster beneath the fold. Come on out and make your voice heard!!!!
In Canadian history, debates have raged over mercy killings, euthanasia and selective non-treatment. As new medical technologies are developed, new debates are emerging as to what sorts of people there should be. Increasingly these practices and the ethics governing them are being developed and applied with little opportunity for public debate. Yet, the implications are not only affecting the world tomorrow but are impacting the lives of people with disabilities today.
In many ways these are not new debates. Throughout history different cultures have called for the elimination of people with disabilities, while others have argued that people with disabilities are human and necessary to the human race. In Alberta, the embrace of eugenics and the mass involuntary sterilization of thousands of Albertans (individuals with developmental disabilities, Aboriginal women, immigrant women) is but one reflection of the desire of some to perfect the human race.
For many, the uncomfortable history of the eugenics movement and its relationship with genetic technologies, have raised flags of concern about the potential harms that could arise for people with disabilities from the use of the tools of genetic technologies. This raises many profound questions about health care policy and practice.
This FREE public dialogue will explore the above critical questions and others, such as: Is genetic information neutral? Who should decide what constitutes valued human life? What values should govern bioethics and medical ethics? What does it mean to imagine a world without people with disabilities? How does the modern approach to bio-ethics and medical ethics differ from past eugenic practices?
Join us to engage in this dialogue and share your thoughts, experiences and opinions on these critical issues.
This public dialogue is part of a national series, A Matter of Diversity, happening across Canada as part of CACL’s 50th Anniversary. The purpose of the public dialogue series is to speak with Canadians and to create a public space to promote the values and beliefs that foster inclusive communities, and to explore common ground with others who may share different views and perspectives.