Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

[Fwd: Fwd: yesterdays protest]

Expand Messages
  • gregor
    ... Subject: Fwd: yesterdays protest Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2004 12:15:00 +0100 From: Jim Thomas To: Gregor Wolbring
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2004
      -------- Original Message --------
      Subject: Fwd: yesterdays protest
      Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2004 12:15:00 +0100
      From: Jim Thomas <jim@...>
      To: Gregor Wolbring <GWOLBRIN@...>




      Begin forwarded message:
      *Date: *1 October 2004 11:20:32 BST
      *To: *peopleagainsteugenics@...
      *Subject: yesterdays protest
      *

      dear all
      well done, a very successful demo! and great to meet you all. we did an
      important job yesterday.
      other big news for those of you who dont know- the royal society
      consulted their lawyers about the legality of some of the talks (see 2nd
      press release below) and released a statement legally and implicitly
      ethically distancing themselves from the conference. this is a big result!

      the demo has been webmounted at indymedia
      http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2004/10/298454.html

      if anyone would like photos or the leaflet text sending them give me an
      email
      if anyone can webmount the photo - there is a nice one of us all smiling
      with our banners- with the royal society in the background, mud sticks
      guys!! or feels like emailing it round eg the BMJ, 'science' etc or any
      other press contacts that would be very muchappreciated. attachments
      keep crashing on my very old computer.
      ok press releases follow

      MEDIA RELEASE
      PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

      PLACE Royal Society, Carlton House Terrace, London SW1
      DATE/ TIME 9 am Sept 30th

      Embargo: 8:30 AM Sept 30th 2004

      Disabled people and allies condemn pro-eugenics conference

      People Against Eugenics (1) will be protesting today at a pro-eugenics
      conference at the Royal Society in London (2). Campaigners will be arguing
      that the Royal Society should not allow a platform to argue for the
      elimination of disabled people and for cloning and designer babies.

      The conference is a blatant attempt to advance a eugenic agenda, and has no
      semblance of balance. No disabled people have been asked to speak. The
      main conference organiser, the pioneer of IVF, Robert Edwards, represents
      the link between old-fashioned eugenics and the new free-market version.
      Edwards has been a former President and a leading member of the British
      Eugenics Society since the 1960s (3). He believes it is a 'sin' to have
      disabled children (see quote 1 below). Another conference organiser, Edgar
      Dahl, supports sex selection and reproductive cloning.

      In addition to these, John Harris and David Galton have supported eugenics
      as a positive good (quote 2). Harris and Jeff McMahan believe that people
      should be allowed to kill disabled babies, since they are supposedly less
      than fully human (quotes 3 and 4). Gregory Stock is a well-known advocate
      of 'improving' children via genetic engineering and Julian Savulescu
      will be
      arguing the 'moral' case for doing so at the conference.

      Other speakers argue an absolute 'right' of parental choice to design and
      select our children, no matter what the social consequences. John Robertson
      has argued that this 'right' means that cloning and sex selection should be
      allowed (4) and Savulescu believes that parents should be allowed to abort
      children with teeth defects (5). Timothy Murphy says that, if it becomes
      possible, parents should be allowed to prevent the birth of gay children,
      since even a massive reduction in the number of gay people would not be
      sufficient harm to restrict 'reproductive liberty' (6).

      People Against Eugenics (PAE) rejects the claim that eugenics ended after
      the Holocaust. Many of these speakers clearly share the early 20th century
      eugenics movement's aim of preventing disabled people being born, but they
      have different, more up-to-date means. In fact, many early 20th century
      eugenicists, including the eugenics movement's founder, Francis Galton,
      also
      opposed coercive legislation, favouring persuasion and what we would today
      call market forces. The advocacy of 'reproductive liberty' is a key part of
      advancing the agenda of free-market eugenics. PAE supports women's right to
      choose abortion, but does not believe this includes some 'right' to design
      our children.

      Disabled campaigner, Rachel Hurst, said: "Disabled people are human beings
      too - a 'healthy' nation is one in which difference is included and
      celebrated - not a nation designed by the powerful."

      PAE campaigner Holly Williams said: "The timing of this conference is a
      blast from the past in a society celebrating the achievements of the
      Paralympics and the new disability equality act. There needs to be a bigger
      public debate about what sort of a society we want to live in. PAE is in
      favour of an inclusive and supportive society where disabled people have
      equal rights, and adequate financial support. Social justice will help
      us be
      a healthy and happy population. Eugenics is morally unacceptable, elitist,
      and medically risky."

      For more information on today's demonstration contact: Holly Williams from
      People Against Eugenics 07775 603341, peopleagainsteugenics@..., or
      Rachel Hurst (Disability Awareness in Action) 07939 143068 (on Sept 30th).

      Quotes from speakers.

      Robert Edwards: 'Soon it will be a sin for parents to have a child which
      carries the heavy burden of genetic disease. We are entering a world where
      we have to consider the quality of our children.' (Speaking at European
      Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, reported in Metro, 5 July
      1999).

      John Harris: "Eugenics is the attempt to create fine healthy children and
      that's everyone's ambition." Harris told the BBC that couples who choose to
      have disabled babies are "misguided".
      news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3120478.stm

      John Harris: "I don't think infanticide is always unjustifiable." Daily
      Telegraph Jan 25 2004

      Jeff McMahan: "Because of their rudimentary cognitive and emotional
      capacities {congenitally severely cognitively impaired human beings] have a
      relatively weak time-relative interest in continuing to live." The
      Ethics of
      Killing NY Oxford University Press 2002, p204.
      "There are no morally significant differences between severely retarded
      human beings (PAE note: this means all human beings, not just newborn
      babies) and animals with comparable psychological capacities." Ibid, p228

      Notes for editors

      1) 'People Against Eugenics' is an alliance of disability rights
      campaigners, feminists, social justice activists and members of the public
      who have come together to oppose the eugenic agenda of this conference.
      2) First International conference "Ethics, Science and Moral Philosophy of
      Assisted Human Reproduction", http://www.humanreproethics.org/welcome.htm.
      3) The Eugenics Society, which was founded in, 1907 changed its name to The
      Galton Institute in 1989. In 1999 PAE held a protest at its conference in
      London, at which three speakers (Arthur Jensen, Richard Lynn and Glayde
      Whitney) who are well known for claiming that black people are genetically
      inferior to whites were speaking.
      4) Children of Choice: Freedom and the New Reproductive Technologies, John
      Robertson (Princeton University Press, 1994).
      5) 'Its only teeth - are there limits to genetic testing? Aldred, Crawford,
      Savariayan and Savulescu, 2003 Clinical Genetics: 63 333-339.
      6) Gay Science Timothy F. Murphy Columbia University Press New York 1997.

      ============

      MEDIA RELEASE
      PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

      PLACE Royal Society, Carlton House Terrace, London SW1

      DATE/ TIME 9 am Sept 30th 2004


      Embargo: 8:30 AM Sept 30th 2004

      DISABILITY discrimination concern forces legal inquiry over eugenics
      conference

      On the day that the new disability discrimination legislation comes into
      force, People Against Eugenics (PAE) can reveal that a conference being
      held at the Royal Society today and tomorrow has raised such serious
      concerns about potential sex and disability discrimination that the
      Royal Society has been forced to take legal advice about whether it can
      continue. In response to a letter from (PAE), the Royal Society has been
      forced to release a statement saying that its lawyers were particularly
      concerned about four talks being given at the conference:

      * Why we are morally obliged to genetically enhance our children -
      Julian Savulescu

      * Gay science: choosing our children's sexual orientation - Timothy Murphy

      * Preventing the existence of people with disabilities - Jeff McMahon

      * Eugenics some lessons from the past -- David Galton

      PAE will be demonstrating outside the conference from 8:30am tomorrow
      morning.

      Disabled campaigner, Rachel Hurst, said: "Disabled people are human
      beings too - a 'healthy' nation is one in which difference is included
      and celebrated - not a nation designed by the powerful."

      PAE supporter Holly Williams said: "This proves how dangerous and
      divisive this conference is. Even if the talks are not actually illegal,
      the Royal Society should never allow it premises to be used to promote
      eugenics and hatred of disabled people."

      More information about the speakers was contained in our earlier press
      release, which can be obtained from the PAE e-mail address.

      For more information on today's demonstration contact: Holly Williams
      from People Against Eugenics 07775 603341,
      peopleagainsteugenics@..., or Rachel Hurst (Disability Awareness
      in Action) 07939 143068 (on Sept 30th).

      Notes to editors

      'People Against Eugenics' is an alliance of disability rights
      campaigners, feminists, social justice activists and members of the
      public who have come together to oppose the eugenic agenda of this
      conference. PAE supports women's right to choose (abortion).

      First International conference "Ethics, Science and Moral Philosophy of
      Assisted Human Reproduction", http://www.humanreproethics.org/welcome.htm.



      --
      Dr. Gregor Wolbring
      webpage: http://www.bioethicsanddisability.org
      blog: http://wolbring.blogspot.com/

      Member of the Executive of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO

      Chair: Disabled People's International (www.dpi.org) Taskforce for Bioethics

      Biochemist at the Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Faculty of Medicine University of Calgary, Canada

      Adjunct Assistant Professor for bioethical issues at the Dept. of Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies Faculty of Education University of Calgary, Canada

      Adjunct Assistant Professor with the John Dossetor Health Ethic Center, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

      Founder and Executive director of the International Center for Bioethics, Culture and Disability Founder and Coordinator of the International Network on Bioethics and Disability http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Bioethics/join

      Phone 1-403-2108710
      Fax 1-403-283-4740
      e-mail gwolbrin@...
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.