Disability and Ethics Through the Life Cycle

A number of What Sorts Network members are on the invited speaker list for this conference; we encourage others to consider submitting an abstract for a contributed session, and attending.

The Albany Law School, Rapaport Ethics Across the Curriculum Program of Union College, and the Bioethics Program of Union Graduate College and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine are pleased to invite you to the upcoming conference on

Disability and Ethics through the Life Cycle: Cases, Controversies and Finding Common Ground

This conference will be held Friday, May 21 and Saturday, May 22 at Union College in Schenectady, NY. Current debates on ethics and disability tend to focus on divisive issues at the edges of life such as abortion and physician-assisted suicide. As people progress through the life cycle, from infancy and childhood, through the reproductive years, middle and old age, they confront other equally important disability-related challenges that tend to be neglected in the current bioethical debate. This conference will offer bioethicists, disability-rights advocates, disability scholars, biomedical researchers, policy makers, and other stakeholders the opportunity to discuss disability-related issues as they arise through all stages of life. By promoting interdisciplinary conversations from the life-cycle perspective, this conference aims at fostering a new dialogue between bioethicists and the disability community.

Featured speakers at this conference include:

  • Adrienne Asch, PhD, MS, Edward and Robin Milstein Professor of Bioethics at Yeshiva University and Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health and Family and Social Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
  • Robert Baker, PhD, Director of The Union Graduate College – Mount Sinai School of Medicine Bioethics Program and William D. Williams Professor of Philosophy, Union College.
  • Diane Coleman, JD, MBA, Assistant Director for Advocacy, Center for Disability Rights, Inc., and Founder and President, Not Dead Yet.
  • Eva Kittay, PhD, Professor of Philosophy, State University of New York at Stonybrook.
  • Mark G. Kuczewski, PhD, Director of the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy, The Father Michael I. English, S.J., Professor of Medical Ethics, Loyola University Chicago Medical Center, and President of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities.
  • Alicia Ouellette, JD, Associate Professor of Law, Albany Law School.
  • Elizabeth Pendo, JD., Professor of Law, St. Louis University School of Law.

We are still soliciting contributed papers or panels for highly interactive sessions. Those interested should submit a 250-word abstract describing original work. Topics of interest include but are not limited to specific cases where disability generates ethical issues during infancy, childhood, the reproductive years, middle age, and old age, or research on people with disabilities. Because of the conference’s life-cycle focus, no papers on prenatal issues or assisted suicide will be considered. The authors of accepted submissions will be invited to present their work at the conference. Presentations on these papers should not exceed 20 minutes in length.

General & Format Guidelines for Abstract Submission: 1. Abstracts must not exceed 250 words 2. Abstracts should contain the names, degrees and institutions of all authors 3. Abstracts should contain the contact information of at least one author (the submitting author), including an email address 4. Abstracts should be submitted to blooma@union.edu with a subject line of “Disability and Bioethics” 5. The new deadline for abstract submission is 22 March 2010 6. Email notification of accepted abstracts will be sent by 5 April 2010 7. The presenting author(s) of a contributed paper must register for the conference and pay the registration fee $ 150 in order to have the paper included in the conference. For additional information, please contact blooma@union.edu or noltea@uniongraduatecollege.edu


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