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National Council on Disability (NCD) Is Releasing a Series of Reports on Bioethics and Disability

October 15, 2019
Source: National Council on Disability (NCD), Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)

Despite the growing consensus that disability is a normal part of the human experience, the lives of people with disabilities are routinely devalued in medical decision-making. Negative biases and inaccurate assumptions about disabled people persist. In medical situations, these biases can have serious and even deadly consequences.

Beginning on September 25, the National Council on Disability (NCD) is releasing a series of reports on bioethics and disability. The five reports were developed through a cooperative agreement with the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF), which appreciates and acknowledges the valued work of our partners, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, and Not Dead Yet, in creating the series.

Each report examines the status and future of how a variety of key issue areas – including organ donation, assisted suicide laws, genetic testing, systems such as Quality Adjusted Life Years, and assumptions about medical futility – are developing due to technological and scientific advances as well as legal changes and healthcare delivery. A combination of original research, stakeholder and scholar interviews, literature reviews, reviews of media reports, and legal analysis is used to examine each topic. Each report includes findings and makes recommendations to lawmakers and policymakers that we hope will ensure that the lives of people with disabilities are valued on an equal and nondiscriminatory basis with all others.

The Bioethics and Disability Report Series will be available on the NCD website at

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