Health Ethics Seminar by Dr. Heidi Janz

Dr. Heidi Janz will be presenting a Health Ethics Seminar in Room 1J2.47 Walter MacKenzie Health Sciences Centre, University of Alberta – Friday Febraury 18 – 12:00pm – 1:00pm – This event is open to anyone interested!

“Whose Ethics Are They, Anyway?” In the spring of 2009, the Defining Disability Ethics research project commissioned the Population Research Laboratory at the University of Alberta to survey Albertans regarding their opinions on various disability-related health-ethics issues. Over 1,200 interviews with adults in Edmonton, Calgary, and other locations in Alberta were conducted in April and May of 2009. In this presentation, Dr. Heidi Janz  will examine some of the data collected in this survey concerning Albertans’ attitudes regarding beginning-of-life and end-of-life issues involving disability. Through this examination, I will highlight what I perceive to be a disturbing predominance of negative attitudes towards both disabling conditions and those who have these conditions. I will then go on to argue that these negative attitudes very often result in the construction and practice of an ability-centered system of ethics–utilitarianism which negates the humanity, and thus the human rights, of people with disabilities. I will then conclude this presentation by emphasizing the importance of developing strategies to insert a disability-ethics perspective into both academic and public discourse concerning beginning-of-life and end-of-life issues involving disability.

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