Seminar on Bioethics and Disabled People (1998)

Summaries of papers on Genetics & Bioetheics at the DPI Seminar. Presentations given by, Dr. Angus Clarke, Dr. Sarah Cunningham, and Dr. Theresia Degener, followed by an open debate. Internet publication URL:


Genetics and bioethics are issues at the forefront of media interest. They directly affect disabled people's lives but we are not being invited to partake in the current debates and are mainly unaware of the issues. This seminar aims to change this situation and give disabled people a voice.

Aims and Objectives

  • To educate a small group of disabled people on genetic engineering and other bioethical issues and discuss them from a disability perspective.
  • To create an expert body who are able to consult and advise on a broad range of issues in relation to disability.
  • That this representative group of the disability movement, the International Committee of the British Council of Disabled People (BCODP) and the DPI Europe Human Rights Task Force, will arrive at a joint standpoint on the issues and their implications, which can be used to educate, raise awareness and campaign in respect of legislation.
  • That as a result of the seminar and its report, more disabled people will be knowledgeable about the issues and be available for informed consultation.
  • To build alliances with non-disabled experts and emphasise the need for disabled people to be part of the debate.



Issues Arising from Genetics - Genetics and Disability, by Dr. Angus Clarke, Institute of Medical Genetics, University of Wales College of Medicine

Issues Arising from Quality of Life, by Dr. Sarah Cunningham-Burley, Department of Public Health, University of Edinburgh

The Global Picture and the European Situation Regarding Bioethics and Genetic Engineering, by Dr. Theresia Degener, legal adviser to the German Council of Centres for Self-Determined Living and lecturer at the Universities of Frankfurt, Mainz and Leipzig

An Open Debate followed the seminar.