Disability Rights

Disability rights advocates have been among the earliest and most vocal critics of emerging human genetic and assisted reproductive technologies. They are acutely aware that technologies enabling the selection of “good” genes and “normal” traits can devalue the bodies and ultimately the lives of people with disabilities. Their concerns are grounded in histories of discrimination and abuse, notably the twentieth-century state-sponsored sterilization projects in dozens of U.S. states, and the Nazi campaigns to exterminate hundreds of thousands of disabled people in German medical facilities and concentration camps. Today, disability rights advocates remind all of us to ask whether scientific innovations, including prenatal tests, embryo screening, and gene editing for reproduction, are likely to create a future that respects or devalues difference and disability as a part of the human condition.

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On August 2nd, scientists achieved a milestone on the path to human genetic engineering. For the first time in the United States, scientists successfully edited the genes of a human embryo. A transpacific team of researchers used CRISPR-Cas9 to...

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Last month, researchers in Oregon broke new scientific ground when they used CRISPR/Cas-9 to genetically modify human embryos, a first in the United States. CRISPR/Cas-9 is a powerful tool that offers immense promise for treating and curing disease, and it...

Biopolitical Times

Last Wednesday, the MIT Technology Review reported that a team of Oregon researchers had altered human embryos, using the genome-editing...

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Coerced sterilizations are a shade away from eugenics.

Last Thursday, Tennessee judge Sam Benningfield was suddenly inundated with accusations of...

Landscape photo of the US Supreme Court building. with the sun and blue sky above.

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A hammer is shown in the middle, with several nails attached to a wooden board. The nails are dented and bent.

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A nurse examines a newborn baby through a transport incubator

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