Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director with the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, wrote a post condemning the one-sidedness of the show and comparing the “propaganda” in the 16 x 9 episode with the eugenic attitudes that led to the Nazi euthanasia program.
We are challenging Global, in the name of journalistic balance, to stage a follow-up episode featuring persons with disabilities who want to live and who see a danger in opening up the debate on euthanasia. Only good can come from providing an opportunity for a broader, fairer public discourse.
If you agree that the perspective of those opposed to euthanasia should be represented in a follow-up episode, please take a minute to write to Global representatives at the addresses listed in CCD’s response to “Taking Mercy”.
Living Archives team member, Gregor Wolbring, will be speaking on the body and prosthetics at the “Frontiers in Research: Our Post-Human Futures” conference at the University of Ottawa on November 15, 2011.
The University of Ottawa is pleased to present the thirteenth annual Frontiers in Research lectures. This year’s theme is Our Post-Human Future .
During the past decade, human perfection and even immortality have become topics of renewed interest due to groundbreaking scientific advancements, and are now much more tangible and potentially achievable goals. The quest for human improvement through biomedical means appears to be unstoppable in the developed world. But this drive towards the “post-human” has also given rise to discussion, debate, conflict and a great deal of research on where to take the human species.
Frontiers in Research: Our Post-Human Future will explore these questions in light of developments in the fields of genetics, neuroscience and prosthetics, and their social, political, economic, ethical and religious implications.
For more information on the conference, click here.
A decision by a Federal Court judge last week could have implications for the Living Archives project.
The decision, which can be found in its entirety here, gives Library and Archives Canada 90 days to reconsider its decision to withhold parts of a secret RCMP dossier on Tommy Douglas that was requested by journalist, Jim Bronskill, over 6 years ago.
For more on this, check out the Canadian Press article printed in The Toronto Star and available here.
In his decision, Justice Simon Noel notes that “this case highlights the importance of transferring information to the public domain for the benefit of present and future Canadians as well as our collective knowledge and memory as a country.”
It’s unlikely that this decision will have an immediate impact on the way those who control access to the information about our past will operate, but it sets a significant precedent that recognizes the importance of maintaining and building collective knowledge and memory about the past.
Hat-tip to Baldwin Reichwein for bringing this story to our attention.
Pasted below is the text from this call for submissions for an art exhibit to be held in Edmonton and to run from late October through November of this year.
Anne Pasek, the principal force behind this initiative, is an intern on the Living Archives project this summer. As part of her internship, and with support from several other interns, she has arranged for the upcoming exhibition.
Please circulate this call for submissions, and be sure to attend the exhibition later this year. Also, note the pre-exhibit workshops being held the last Tuesday of July, August, and September, as you may be interested in attending some or all of these as well.
Call for Submissions
The Collective Memory Project:
Responses to Eugenics in Alberta
Artists and community members are invited to submit artwork to a forthcoming exhibition addressing the legacy and future inheritance of eugenic ideas in Alberta. Exploring forgotten narratives, lost histories, and contemporary anxieties, The Collective Memory Project will investigate and make visible the process through which personhood is unequally distributed in society.
Below is a press release put out yesterday by the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) and the Disabled Women’s Network Canada (DAWN). The two organizations will intervene on a case before the Supreme Court that could potentially have serious impacts on the rights of women generally and those of disabled women specifically.
There are several important issues that are going to have to be considered in the case, particularly the systemic barriers to employment face by disabled people and disabled women in particular and the inherently problematic, and all too frequent, attempts to judge the abilities or lack of abilities of a person based on brief, and not necessarily representative, observations of that person.
I hope the Supreme Court will do the right thing and overturn the lower courts decision. Read the full press release below.
A family from France, who were told they could not remain in Canada because their eight-yearold handicapped daughter would be an “excessive burden” on social services, has won a reprieve after the intervention of Quebec Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil.
The family was facing expulsion in July after Canadian immigration officials rejected Barlagne’s application for permanent residency status, saying his daughter, Rachel, was deemed “medically inadmissible” because she has cerebral palsy. Her “excessive burden” on social services would have been $5,259 a year in special educational costs.
Below is a press release that is being circulated today by the Council of Canadians with Disabilities. The release concerns a decision by Immigration Canada to reject a family’s immigration application because the family includes a disabled child.
Sweeping immigration restrictions were an important part of the eugenics movement in Canada and the US. However, I think it is not quite right to call the rejection of this family’s immigration application a form of eugenics. I think it makes a difference that an important motivation for immigration restrictions in the past was that immigrants would breed with “Canadians” and “Americans” and produce “inferior stock”. I don’t believe that is what is motivating immigration restrictions like the one discussed in the press release.
That said, what I think is true is that similar sorts of attitudes about disability underlie both historical and contemporary immigration restrictions and that such restrictions are far too sweeping and constitute a form of discrimination.
The most important attitudes that I think underlie both historical and current immigration restrictions are 1) that disability is a financial burden that the public has the right to refuse to bear, and 2) that disability is the result of some sort of biological defect possessed by an individual. It seems to me much harder to justify preventing this family from living in Canada once it’s recognized that any additional costs associated with disability (granting for the sake of argument that there are such costs, though they are often exaggerated) are the result of unjust and badly designed products, services, and institutions, which the Canadian government is largely responsible for creating and perpetuating.
I’m used to bad portrayals of blindness and blind people—portrayals that fail to recognize the huge extent to which the challenges associated with blindness are created by negative attitudes, misconceptions about blindness, and badly designed products, services, and institutions. What I’m not used to is such a blatantly offensive and exploitative representation of blindness. This is truly one of the worst of recent years.
Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada
Summer Internships, 2011
Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada is a 5-year project, funded in 2010 by the Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) program of SSHRC, based at the University of Alberta and directed by Professor Rob Wilson Email Rob Wilson. The project focuses on the history of eugenics in Western Canada, and the relevance of that history for ongoing issues concerning reproduction, technology, disability, human variation, and community inclusiveness. For an overview of the project, and to read about the summer 2010 internships, see www.eugenicsarchive.ca.
In yet another example of alleged abuse of vulnerable populations in residential schools, this Chronicle-Journal article describes a class-action law suit filed against the Ontario government on the grounds of negligence and breaches of fiduciary duties by the school staff.
Robert Seed, 64, is the representative plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit, which claims the staff at the W. Ross MacDonald School for the Blind, in Brantford, Ont., bullied, humiliated and abused — mentally and physically — the plaintiffs in the 1950s and 1960s. The lawsuit is still in its early stages. The claim was filed at Superior Court in Toronto last month.
The 20th Annual History of Medicine Days Conference takes place on the 11th and 12th of March at the University of Calgary.
The History of Medicine Days is an annual two-day Nation-wide conference held at the University of Calgary in which undergraduate and early graduate students from across Canada give 10-12 minute presentations on the history of medicine and health care. The topics generally tend to include areas from Classics, the History of Public Health, Nursing, Veterinary Medicine, Human Biology, Neuroscience, etc. Prizes are awarded and there are associated receptions and an awards banquet.
With a love of travelling, Lakhani’s dream has been to take his son to Disneyland. In June, a family court judge agreed Lakhani could take his son on the trip. But there was a condition – one that Lakhani was unaware of.
At the time, two adult family friends, who live in California, were going to meet with Lakhani and his son at Disneyland. However, these friends have since changed their plans, prompting Lakhani’s ex-wife to go back to court. She says Lakhani cannot properly protect their son at the amusement park without his sight.
This is the first time his blindness has been an issue when caring for their son.
The judge ruled that Lakhani can only take his son to Disneyland if someone of sight accompanied him.
JOHN DOSSETOR HEALTH ETHICS CENTRE
HEALTH ETHICS SEMINAR AND HEALTH ETHICS WEEK EVENT
Advances in Genetic Testing: Professional and Consumer Perspectives
Dick Sobsey, EdD Professor Emeritus, John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre
& Faculty of Education
Monday, 7 March 2011 12:00—12:45pm Room 1J2.47 Walter MacKenzie Health Sciences Centre
University of Alberta
American Society for Bioethics and Humanities
Call for Proposals
ASBH 13th Annual Meeting
October 13-16, 2011
The American Society for Bioethics and Humanities‘ 13th Annual Meeting is scheduled for
October 13-16, 2011, in Minneapolis, MN at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis. Sleeping rooms at
the Hyatt can be secured at the ASBH group rate of $199 beginning in August. Reservations will
be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.
History of Cell BiologyMay 15 -21, 2011 in Woods Hole, MA
The MBL-ASU History of Biology Seminar is an intensive week for graduate students, postdoctoral associates, younger scholars, and established researchers in the life sciences, history, philosophy, and the social sciences. Continue reading →