Report on the impact of ableism in medical and scientific practice


Published:
17 December 2019
Author:
Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities
Presented:
To the HRC at its 43rd session, 28 February 2020

Summary

The report explores the impact of ableism in medical and scientific practice, as well as bioethical responses to disability. It also discusses areas where potential tensions could emerge, including notions of normality and quality of life, prenatal diagnosis and disability-selective abortion, controversial and/or irreversible treatments, and euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Expert consultation

On 16 and 17 September 2019, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities hosted an Expert Group Meeting on bioethics and disability in Geneva. The main objective of the meeting was to explore the relationship between bioethics and disability and to discuss areas where potential tensions could emerge, including: i) notions of normality and quality of life; ii) prenatal diagnosis and disability-selective abortion; iii) controversial and/or irreversible treatments; and iv) euthanasia and assisted suicide. A background paper on bioethics and disability was prepared to inform discussions.

The meeting was attended by experts on bioethics and/or the rights of persons with disabilities, including representatives of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the International Bioethics Committee, organizations of persons with disabilities, UN entities, academics and bioethics experts. The findings of the meeting informed the Special Rapporteur's report on the same issue.

Inputs received

Download the questionnaire: EnglishFrenchSpanish

All inputs received in accessible formats are available below. Non-accessible formats are available upon request at sr.disability@ohchr.org.

States

International Organizations

National Human Rights Institutions

Civil Society, including Organizations of Persons with Disabilities

Academics and Individuals