The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted on December 13, 2006, and entered into force on May 3, 2008, constitutes a key landmark in the emerging field of global health law and a critical milestone in the development of international law on the rights of persons with disabilities. At the time of its adoption, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights heralded the CRPD as a rejection of the understanding of persons with disabilities “as objects (...) of charity, medical treatment and social protection” and an embrace of disabled people as “subjects of rights.”The text of the Convention itself, and the highly participatory process by which it was negotiated, signal a definitive break from previous international approaches that focused on disability within a medical model framework. In contrast to traditional approaches, the CRPD embraces a social model of disability, concentrating the disability experience not in individual deficiency, but in the socially constructed environment and the barriers that impede the participation of persons with disabilities in society. (shrink)
This article reviews the contributions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to the progressive development of both international human rights law and global health law and governance. It provides a summary of the global situation of persons with disabilities and outlines the progressive development of international disability standards, noting the salience of the shift from a medical model of disability to a rights-based social model reflected in the CRPD. Thereafter, the article considers the Convention's structure (...) and substantive content, and then analyzes in specific detail the particular contributions of the Convention to health and human rights law and global health governance. It concludes with an exploration of the potential implications of the CRPD's innovations for some of the most pressing issues in global health governance, including the Convention's contributions to the principle of participation in decision-making. (shrink)
Janet E. Buerger uses this remarkable collection of images to produce a cultural history of the daguerreotype's most learned following—an elite group of mid-nineteenth-century intellectuals who sought to understand and develop the ...
Throughout the biological and biomedical sciences there is a growing need for, prescriptive ‘minimum information’ (MI) checklists specifying the key information to include when reporting experimental results are beginning to find favor with experimentalists, analysts, publishers and funders alike. Such checklists aim to ensure that methods, data, analyses and results are described to a level sufficient to support the unambiguous interpretation, sophisticated search, reanalysis and experimental corroboration and reuse of data sets, facilitating the extraction of maximum value from data sets (...) them. However, such ‘minimum information’ MI checklists are usually developed independently by groups working within representatives of particular biologically- or technologically-delineated domains. Consequently, an overview of the full range of checklists can be difficult to establish without intensive searching, and even tracking thetheir individual evolution of single checklists may be a non-trivial exercise. Checklists are also inevitably partially redundant when measured one against another, and where they overlap is far from straightforward. Furthermore, conflicts in scope and arbitrary decisions on wording and sub-structuring make integration difficult. This presents inhibit their use in combination. Overall, these issues present significant difficulties for the users of checklists, especially those in areas such as systems biology, who routinely combine information from multiple biological domains and technology platforms. To address all of the above, we present MIBBI (Minimum Information for Biological and Biomedical Investigations); a web-based communal resource for such checklists, designed to act as a ‘one-stop shop’ for those exploring the range of extant checklist projects, and to foster collaborative, integrative development and ultimately promote gradual integration of checklists. (shrink)
My assessment of Jean Porter's Natural and Divine Law is mixed. She provides a generally accurate account of the scholastic theory of natural law, since she steers clear of the erroneous notion that its understanding of "nature" was confined to the physical or biological and rightly notes that "nature" refers to the fullness of human nature. Her account of modern natural law theory is less reliable; for she ignores the work of several prominent contemporary natural law theorists and regrettably caricatures (...) the natural law theory employed in Church documents. I found most illuminating her claims that biblical themes influenced which issues became the focus of scholastic natural law. Her entire project, however, is flawed in serious ways: 1) surprisingly, in light of her previous work, she neglects nearly entirely the role of virtue in natural law theory; and 2) the trajectory of her work is designed to lead the Church to change its teaching on sexuality, even to the point of claiming that scholastic natural law theory has principles that justify homosexual celebrating of the erotic in the gay lifestyle. (shrink)
It is possible to defend the Church’s teaching that contraception is incompatible with God’s plan for sexuality in many different ways. This essay sketches the fundamental views of reality common to all the defenses and the main lines of the most prominent defenses, some based on natural law, on the theology of the body, and on the physical, psychological, and social consequences of the use of contraception. While all the defenses have merit, the argument based on the recognition that sexual (...) intercourse is meant to be a complete self-gift has a special power of its own. (shrink)
Foreword by Robert H. Bork -- Culture wars -- A distorted understanding of rights -- The right to privacy -- Griswold and contraception -- Roe and abortion -- Assisted suicide and homosexuality -- Political connections and natural consequences.
Should there be a female age limit on public funding for assisted reproductive technology (ART)? The question bears significant economic and sociopolitical implications and has been contentious in many countries. We conceptualise the question as one of justice in resource allocation, using three much-debated substantive principles of justice—the capacity to benefit, personal responsibility, and need—to structure and then explore a complex of arguments. Capacity-to-benefit arguments are not decisive: There are no clear cost-effectiveness grounds to restrict funding to those older women (...) who still bear some capacity to benefit from ART. Personal responsibility arguments are challenged by structural determinants of delayed motherhood. Nor are need arguments decisive: They can speak either for or against a female age limit, depending on the conception of need used. We demonstrate how these principles can differ not only in content but also in the relative importance they are accorded by governments. Wide variation in ART public funding policy might be better understood in this light. We conclude with some inter-country comparison. New Zealand and Swedish policies are uncommonly transparent and thus demonstrate particularly well how the arguments we explore have been put into practice. (shrink)