Families and Memory — Free Public Symposium

.
A Free Public Symposium on Eugenics and Family Life:
Past, Present & Future
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Friday, October 24, 2008, 8:30 am – 4:00pm
Edmonton Public Library, Stanley Milner Branch (Downtown)

This FREE PUBLIC SYMPOSIUM will centre on the stories and experiences of survivors of sterilization, institutionalization, and other aspects of our social structure that have excluded persons with real or perceived disabilities from family life

Planning on attending? Enrollment is limited! Please tell us!

Visit http://www.whatsorts.net and register today
(Register Here)

Get more details on the day beneath the fold.

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Knowing Thine Enemy?: a book to look out for

cover image for Enhancing Human Capacities by Julian Savulescu

cover image for Enhancing Human Capacities by Julian Savulescu et. al

Some of you — and especially philosophers on the ‘what sorts’ team — will know of a controversial Australian ex-pat ethicist who likes to provoke debate about what sorts of people there should be … No,this time it’s not Peter Singer (although Singer was his PhD supervisor), but rather Julian Savulescu of The Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. Savulescu’s chief interest is the use of biotechnology for what he presumptively calls ‘human enhancement.’

When he worked for the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute Savulescu wrote a piece called “In Defense of Selection for Nondisease Genes”.* As this community knows well, others have argued that it is defensible to engage in postconception selection against diseased genes, where the term diseased genes refers to:

a gene that causes a genetic disorder (e.g. cystic fibrosis) or predisposes to the development of a disease (e.g. the genetic contribution to cancer or dementia)

This argument in itself is highly contestable, given that it is reasonable to feel that a ‘diseased’ life of one with, say, cystic fibrosis — let alone one that down the line ends with cancer or dementia — is worth living… and more pertinently, that there are grave social consequences when that decision is made on others’ behalf as a matter of course. Savulescu, however, offers a far more radical thesis than this. Continue reading