Disabled child in a wheelchair being cared for by a special needs nurse / Working with disability

Hastings Center News

If Not Now, Then When? Taking Disability Seriously in Bioethics

The impression of bioethicists as “dangerous” has been a theme in the disability movement for decades. Is it outdated? An article in the Hastings Center Report argues that ableism and unexamined assumptions about people with disabilities have persisted in bioethics despite decades of counternarratives, research, and divergent perspectives. Ableism and such assumptions can lead to health care decisions that are prone to bias, mistreatment, and a lack of consideration of viable options for living with disability. As the field of bioethics moves toward certification examinations and as new generations join the field’s ranks, these problems need to be rectified with solutions at the individual, interpersonal, and structural levels. It is past time to take disability seriously. Read the article.