Journal of Medical Ethics 34 (9):639-639 (2008)

Oscar Pistorius was born without fibulas and had both legs amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old. A business student at the University of Pretoria, Pistorius runs with the aid of carbon-fibre artificial limbs and is the double amputee world record holder in the 100, 200 and 400 metres events.1“I don’t see myself as disabled,” says Oscar, “There’s nothing I can’t do that able-bodied athletes can do.”2 But then the question is: do prosthetic limbs simply level the ground for Pistorius—“Blade-runner”, compensating for his disability, or do they give him an unacceptable advantage? As Jeré Longman nicely put it: is he disabled, or too-abled?3Athletics’ world governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations , shares the latter opinion, and assigned to German Professor Brüggemann the task of monitoring Oscar’s performances and analysing the information. According to his study, Pistorius’ limbs use 25% less energy than able-bodied athletes to run at the same speed.4 On the strength of these findings, on 14 January 2008 the IAAF ruled …
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DOI 10.1136/jme.2008.026674
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