Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Keep dying hard -- we're Not Dead Yet.

UPDATE: Well, I wrote too presumptively. In fact, this symposium does include at least one voice from the disability community. Adrienne Asch, a formidible scholar and student of disability issues, is included in the lineup. Still, it is difficult to see this event as negative from a disability perspective.

Talk about a stacked deck. Let’s get together to figure out ways to make it easier for people in America to die (read: kill off burdensome people, especially relatives who complicate our lives). So the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics, run by the notorious and disability-phobic Dr. Arthur Caplan, having a symposium, oops, I mean a special symposium: The Legacy of the Terri Schiavo Case: Why is it so hard to die in America? From the Press Release: “The two-day symposium is designed to encourage a national dialogue about the future of end-of-life issues -- including lessons learned, challenges that remain, and ways these types of issues should be handled moving forward. Hosted by Dr. Arthur Caplan, chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and director of the Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania. Symposium speakers include: Michael Schiavo, Terri Schiavo's former husband; Circuit Judge George W. Greer, Schiavo case judge; Julia Duane Quinlan, mother of Karen Ann Quinlan; Mary J. Labyak, program director, The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, hospice where Terri Schiavo died; Jay Wolfson, Dr.P.H., J.D., Terri Schiavo's court-appointed guardian; Robert Bazell, chief science and health Correspondent, NBC News.” Not surprisingly, nobody from the disability rights side is included to present other perspectives.
The death-fest will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. this coming Sunday, April 30 at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Auditorium and Lobby, Biomedical Research Building II/III, 421 Curie Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
The gig is to mark the 10th anniversary of the Center for Bioethics. I think I’d rather attend Not Dead Yet’s 10th anniversary fete (see item below).

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