CFP: Disability and Ethics through the Life Cycle

Disability and Ethics through the Life Cycle: Cases, Controversies, & Finding Common Ground, May 21-22, 2010, Union College, Schenectady, NY

Despite a common interest in facilitating good medical care, bioethicists and members of the disability rights community sometimes differ in their approach to issues arising in the bio-medical settings, especially on such polarizing issues as abortion and physician-assisted suicide. Focusing on these polarizing issues, however, distracts attention from other ethical issues that affect people with disabilities in biomedical contexts. This conference will offer a forum for bioethicists, disability-rights advocates, and other stakeholders with a different focus for discussing these issues by viewing disability from a life -cycle perspective. People confront disability through the life cycle: infancy, childhood, reproductive years, middle age, and old age. At each age they confront situations with ethical dimensions that present them, their families, and their caregivers and biomedical researchers with ethical challenges. This conference is designed to promote interdisciplinary conversations about these less frequently discussed ethical issues.

We are soliciting contributed papers or panels for highly interactive sessions. Those interested should submit a 250-word abstract describing original work that does not substantially overlap with papers already published. Topics of interest include but are not limited to specific cases where disability generates ethical issues during infancy, childhood, the reproductive years, middle age, and old age, or research on people with disabilities. Because of the conference’s life-cycle focus, no papers on prenatal issues or assisted suicide will be considered.

The authors of accepted submissions will be invited to present their work at the conference. Presentations on these papers should not exceed 20 minutes in length. Accepted papers will be considered for publication in a printed volume to be edited by conference organizers.

General & Format Guidelines for Abstract Submission

  1. Abstracts must not exceed 250 words.
  2. Abstracts should contain the names, degrees and institutions of all authors.
  3. Abstracts should contain the contact information of at least one author (the submitting author), including an email address.
  4. Abstracts should be submitted to with a subject line of “Disability and Bioethics”.
  5. Deadline for abstract submission is 15 March 2010.
  6. Email notification of accepted abstracts will be sent by 5 April 2010.
  7. The presenting author(s) of a contributed paper must register for the conference and pay the registration fee $150 in order to have the paper included in the conference.

Sponsors: Albany Law School, Rapaport Ethics Across the Curriculum Program of Union College, & the Union Graduate College-Mount Sinai School of Medicine Bioethics Program

For additional information, contact  or


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