Disability and dehumanization

Reader tdhssp sent in the following long comment, which probably should be its own post.  So, wala!  –raw

I believe this is an excellent article for readership. The page which follows below highlights the ignorance associated with disability and trials one faces in achieving sufficient medical care or respect from professionals in various humanities if one has a diversity. Persons with disability are often dehumanized; life devalued to the point that here in Alberta, a child with a chromosome duplication syndrome was referred to as, “IT” by an Alberta Justice solicitor, a young woman who obviously has neither insight, nor compassion towards differences. It is horrific to fathom that these are persons who are considered leaders of Justice in Canada.

Furthermore, a vast percentage of the population within the Child Welfare industry is comprised of children with disabilities. For some families, surrendering guardianship is promoted as the sole way to achieve medical supports, services and funding for medically or developmentally diverse needs. No loving family should ever be forced to relinquish custody in effort to access medical care! : (



Deadly Compassion

16 June 2010, Ottawa, ON—People with disabilities are not strangers to the fact that nondisabled people cannot imagine life with a disability. They tell us that they would rather be dead than living with a disability. This is because disability is equated with pain, suffering, and dependency. At times, this attitude translates into a deadly compassion, where it is seen as a kindness to help a person with a disability to die. As a result, people with disabilities are being harmed. On 16 June 2010, two Canadians with disabilities, Rhonda Wiebe and Jim Derksen, appeared before the House of Commons Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care on behalf of CCD to explain how deadly compassion puts us in harm’s way and to suggest how to improve the medical care and public policy environments, as both are affected by this insidious stereotype. Continue reading

Vulnerability, trust, and confrontation

[This is the ninth post in a series highlighting a public dialogue held at the University of Alberta on October 23rd, 2008, titled The Modern Pursuit of Human Perfection: Defining Who is Worthy of Life. The dialogue was sponsored by the What Sorts Network, in conjunction with the Canadian Association for Community Living and the Alberta Association for Community Living. For further context, please see the introductory post in the series, which can be found here; Part 1, containing the video clip, was just posted.]

Here is Part 2 of the response to the question about vulnerability, trust, and confrontation. Sam talks about the variation in responses he has experienced from both bioethicists and doctors, and links some of these responses to a continuation of eugenics by other means. Colleen supports this, and brings us back to reactions from one’s own family. Transcript below the video. Continue reading