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Thread: Disabilities Ethics

  1. #1
    Who are you? Walrus's Avatar
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    Default Disabilities Ethics

    A girl with mild cerebral palsy at my school wrote a summary of an article of her choosing, as was our homework. She chose an article about how stem cells may one day the key to curing cerebral palsy. This has stuck in my mind since. If someone had a life-altering disability, would they choose to cure it?

    Hicky, I'm going to use you as an example. You were born with Fetal Alcohol Effect, which severely affects physical and mental growth, social skills and overall brain functioning. Would you cure it, or do you think it's important to live with your mother's mistake of drinking while you were in utero?

    There are a ton of movements out on the internet and elsewhere pushing for the cure of autism. I'm sure you've seen the ads - I saw a Cure Autism Now sticker on a gumball machine a couple years ago, and it's not uncommon to see the "Cure Autism Now" ribbons on the back of people's cars. While pacing my computer room, I began to question the ethics of curing such a disorder

    70% of autistics have an IQ below 70. 50% are essentially either nonverbal or have limited speech. A good portion of their parents want to cure them of autism. When I think about it critically, it's quite selfish of the parents. While they mean well by just trying to give their child a normal life, by advocating for a cure, they are rejecting who their child is. The child has autism, and autism is a part of them. It doesn't define them, necessarily, but it is a part of the child. To "cure" that part of the child is to destroy part of what makes the child the way he or she is. Who said that autism was a 'bad thing' that needed to be 'cured' in the first place?

    A lot of people have this idea that other people need to be "fixed" or "cured" of a problem. For instance, there always seems to be wrong with kids, or at least adults seem to think so. Jimmy is hyperactive because of his personality, and the adults don't like handling Jimmy because of his hyperactivity. Rather than accepting that Jimmy is just a rambunctious child, his teachers or parents may want to medicate him to calm him down.

    I think situations like the one I described are really horrible. Parents and teachers, in my opinion, are getting lazier. Rather than working with kids like Jimmy to effectively deal with his hyperactivity, they take the easy way out and just dope him up with some medication he probably doesn't need. But honestly, why does every child -- or person, for that matter -- have to have some problem that needs to be corrected? They say 28% of people in China need professional counseling. Well, shoot, maybe it's NORMAL to be stressed. You're depressed? I'm pretty sure depression is a normal human emotion. Just because you're not happy 24/7 doesn't mean you need medication. Everyone and their uncle are on antidepressants these days. Everyone's depressed, apparently. Antidepressants and stimulants seem to be the new legal drug these days. Not feeling happy? Pop in a pill, because you obviously have a problem a pill can correct.

    But getting back to the main point, why does everyone think people who are "different" need to be cured? I have some issues that make me come off as being quirky, but I don't want to be "cured" of it, because those "issues" that society wants to correct are what makes me me. Just like autism is an integral part of an autistic's personality, curing the "problem" in essence sabotages the individual.

    At least that's my take on it. Your views?

  2. #2
    supafly Nanaki's Avatar
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    I don't really think stem cell research is wrong. If the fetus' are already dead, then why not use them. Now if its about abortion, you will have to go into another subject. I say this because, I think most people would want to cure their disease, unless they like getting the handicap spot at K-mapart, but if they take advantage of it like in South Park, I say no. If I had cerebral palsy and I could be cured via fetus' embryoes already dead/out of the womb, then yes I would. Because, there really should be no reason to not use the already dead/not being used embyro to heal people if they wish to be healed. In a way, it does sound immoral though, and that is why I think so many people are against it...

    On another note, you pace in your computer room?
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    Leader of the 7 Sins of PD: Dante Espeonmaster's Avatar
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    I'll have to look up autism because I don't know what that is, but I can say that not all disabilities are personality traits that could be left alone. My dad, for example, has narcolepsy. It makes him unable to stay awake very much during the day, and it's very hard for him to sleep at night. He lost his job because he couldn't stay awake at work, and he even used to fall asleep while driving. Now all he can do all day is watch TV, which he can pause every time he needs to recline in his chair and sleep. He's tried many different medications, and a lot of them have done the opposite of what they were intended to do. He hates having narcolepsy. He hates not being able to work, and not being able to do more because he can't stay awake. I know that if he could be cured, he would want to be, but unfortunately the most he can do is take medicines that don't always help.

    What I'm getting at is, I think if someone has something disabling, they should be cured. Unless they say otherwise, I think it might be better for them.
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  4. #4
    Vanity of vanities, all is vanity Hicky's Avatar
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    I think it's important to live like this. It's just acceptance. I mean, yeah, I see myself as absolutely fine even though I know that is not the case and I try to forget it rather than inexplicably cure it.

  5. #5
    what about .. eyebrows God's Avatar
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    Pushing pills on hyperactive kids and wanting to cure autism are massively different things. While being very active is a personality trait, autism is a genetic defect, which seriously limits people intellectually and socially and is a detriment to their quality of life.

    Who said that autism was a 'bad thing' that needed to be 'cured' in the first place?
    you did
    70% of autistics have an IQ below 70. 50% are essentially either nonverbal or have limited speech.

  6. #6
    Who are you? Walrus's Avatar
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    Having a low IQ and no verbal skills may not be perceived as "bad" by the autistic. I think the choice of being cured of autism should be left to the person with autism.

  7. #7
    what about .. eyebrows God's Avatar
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    Having extremely low intelligence could constitute as not being in the right state of mind to make those kinds of decisions.

    Why would anyone for any reason not want to be cured from Autism? "Because they were born that way?" You werent supposed to be born that way - it's a genetic defect. It limits their lives, careers, relationships with others, and a massive amount of other things. Certainly if I had a child born with autism I would still love and take care of them, but if there was a cure for it, I wouldn't think twice. Not because life would be easier for me, but because their life would be a lot better.

  8. #8
    captain of the ship kg's Avatar
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    I think a cure for autism would be amazing. A massive amount of people (actually I'm not sure how many autistc people there are so don't quote me on that) would be able to live their lives more fully and contribute to society. On the other side of the coin, though, it's that many more people reproducing and inhabiting space. This probably sounds massively insensitive, but maybe autism is one of natures attempts at population control? I suppose it depends on the amount of autistic people though.

  9. #9
    LL2
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    Actually. Alot of people who have autism can usually become genuises.

  10. #10
    what about .. eyebrows God's Avatar
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    autism is characterised by an abnormally low iq while genius is characterised by an abnormally high iq so you're wrong sorry

    thinkin of savantism

  11. #11
    Vanity of vanities, all is vanity Hicky's Avatar
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    Or Aspergers Syndrome, which is on the autistic spectrum but doesn't actually constitute being "autistic"

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    Revolting Mex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LL2 View Post
    Actually. Alot of people who have autism can usually become genuises.
    In what aspect LL? I know a few autistic people with incredible IQ's, but horrible social skills and intelligence. It's not that easy getting past said "faults" to become noticed and respected for your IQ if you can hardly hold a conversation.


    But what am I to say? I don't have Autism, and I suppose I could be considered lucky in that aspect. But if someone who DID have autism wanted to "cure" themselves, I say let them. It's a matter of choice, and people should always be given the option for change even if they don't want it.

  13. #13
    Who are you? Walrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LL2 View Post
    Actually. Alot of people who have autism can usually become genuises.
    You don't "become" a genius. Either you're born that way or you're not. Obviously you didn't pay attention to the fact that 70% of autistics have an IQ below 75. And there are some autistic savants, but they constitute probably less than 1% of the autistic population.

    And even if they've got a phenomenal IQ, it doesn't mean anything. I know a lot of people at my school who have a frighteningly high IQ but have no social skills at all. And I mean none. Intelligence gets you nowhere unless you have other attributes, like social skills.

  14. #14
    Revolting Mex's Avatar
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    I just said that Walrus. Good way to back me up if anything

  15. #15
    Vanity of vanities, all is vanity Hicky's Avatar
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    I don't have any social skills or any IQ. But I don't want to get cured. I'm used to how I am.

    I assume that people that are young would greatly benefit from being cured, but it would be difficult to perform and expensive.

  16. #16
    Elite Four Member Myuu's Avatar
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    Stem cell research have advance quite a lot... I was reading that we can reover some stem cells and keep the child alive. It is quite expensive though.

  17. #17
    Revolting Mex's Avatar
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    I've come to the point where I don't even care if the child lives of not. Most of them time stem cells are taken from fetuses that would never be alive anyways.

    However, if there was a chance it would live, too bad. More people are deserving of the cells then a baby that isn't even alive yet.

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    Leader of the 7 Sins of PD: Dante Espeonmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mex View Post
    I've come to the point where I don't even care if the child lives of not. Most of them time stem cells are taken from fetuses that would never be alive anyways.

    However, if there was a chance it would live, too bad. More people are deserving of the cells then a baby that isn't even alive yet.
    That's where I disagree. If the fetus has a chance to be born with a full life ahead of it, it should be given that chance. It's still a living being.
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  19. #19
    Elite Four Member Myuu's Avatar
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    but most stem cells are from non future fetus

  20. #20
    Leader of the 7 Sins of PD: Dante Espeonmaster's Avatar
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    I was aiming my post at the "however" in Mex's.
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  21. #21
    Elite Four Member Myuu's Avatar
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    Well yeah... that is true it is harsh to kill a living thing for the sake of others...

  22. #22
    Revolting Mex's Avatar
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    Harsh to kill a being that hasn't even lived yet?
    Is it harsh to save a life that has already experienced living?

    I have to disagree. This planet is already over populated. Why do we need more humans? Tell me this.

  23. #23
    what about .. eyebrows God's Avatar
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    then shouldnt we let the people with muscular/cellular diseases die rather than curing them

  24. #24
    Who are you? Walrus's Avatar
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    fetal stem cells tend to come from surplus eggs from IVF treatments that would be destroyed anyway if they weren't used for stem cell research, so it's not exactly like we're harvesting eggs for the sole point of killing.

  25. #25
    Defenestration is imminent pichubro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myuu View Post
    Well yeah... that is true it is harsh to kill a living thing for the sake of others...
    Well, you can't deny that that's what you do when you eat something that was once alive.

    But on the strem cell research, I'm neutral. I mean, it's fine to save someone's life with the cells, but not everyone should live to be 100.

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