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Institute for the Study of Disability and Bioethics

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News and Events

May 29-30, 2009
Dr. Mostert keynoted the Second International Symposium on Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia in Washington, DC on Saturday, May 31st. His keynote was entitled: "Death-making: People with disabilities and You." The address was very well received by the large audience.

May 2009
The ISDB is an official sponsor of the Second International Symposium on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide and Dr. Mostert is a headlining guest speaker presenting on the issue of eugenic death-making and people with disabilities. The Symposium is at the National Conference Center, Washington DC, near Dulles airport on May 29 - 30, 2009.

There will never be a more important time to stop assisted suicide! Every group in the US, Canada, and the UK that specifically focuses on the issue are sponsoring the Second-International Symposium.

April 30, 2009
The Institute for the Study of Disability and Bioethics yesterday joined with the Bioethics Defense Fund, and the Pro-Life Legal Defense Fund, in filing a friend of the court brief appealing the legalization of physician-assisted suicide in Montana.

Hard on the heels of last November's ballot initiative legalizing assisted suicide in Washington State, a Montana trial court judge ruled that Montanans had both a right to die and a right to physician-assisted suicide. The judge made it clear that she understood that Montana had no safeguards in place for physician-assisted suicide, and no legal definitions of the crucial terms competent or terminally-ill, conditions legally specified in both Oregon and Washington. Further, the court indicated that the decision for physician-assisted suicide should be the sole responsibility of physicians, despite there being no legal guidelines specifying how doctors might establish whether a person requesting physician-assisted suicide was competent to do so or not. Read the filed brief here.

April 25, 2009
Dr. Mostert delivered a keynote at the annual conference of Alliance for Life Ontario in Guelph, Canada. The title of his keynote was Why Life Unworthy of Life Matters, Why Useless Eaters Matter: Understanding the Past to Seize the Future.

March-April 2009
Dr. Mostert attended meetings of the UN's Population Development Committee (2nd committee) to work on pro-life and pro-disability language in meeting documents. Dr. Mostert also supervised students from Regent's School of Education and Robertson School of Government who assisted in research on document language.

February 2009
Dr. Mark Mostert was invited to serve as the external examiner for doctoral theses in Special Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.

February 2009: ISDB Files Amicus Brief in Baxter vs. Montana
In December, a Montana superior court judge, ruling the case of Baxter vs. Montana, declared assisted suicide legal in the state. The ruling is currently under appeal. ISDB, in conjunction with the Pro-Life Legal Defense Fund (Boston), is filing a friend of the court brief as part of the appeal.

Late January 2009
Dr. Mostert visited the United Nations (UN) for the meetings of the Third Committee (Economic & Social Committee). He was accompanied by two students from Regent's Robertson School of Government who assisted in researching a number of issues related to accreditation processes for NGOs at the UN. He will lead more RSG students to the UN later this spring for the UN's Committee on the Status of Women, and thereafter meetings of the Second Committee (Population).

November 2008
Dr. Mostert attended meetings at the UN related to global aspects of disability and the implementation of the newly ratified UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In October, Dr. Mark Mostert will deliver a keynote address in Winnipeg at Canada's National Euthanasia Symposium entitled Death-making and Eugenics: The Imperative Call to Local, National, and International Action.

South Africa
In July, Dr. Mark Mostert delivered a formal lecture to the assembled Faculty of Education and their guests at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. His address was entitled The United Nations and the Path to the First Human Rights Treaty of the New Century.

South Africa
Dr. Mostert delivered lectures on special education research, disability & bioethical issues, and UN related disability issues to undergraduate, honors, and master's classes in educational and counseling psychology at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. He also consulted with numerous master's and doctoral students about their thesis and dissertation research.

South Africa
Dr. Mostert is chairing a group of leading South African special education and educational psychology researchers to produce a special edition of The Journal of International Special Needs Education.

South Africa
Dr. Mostert has recruited two highly promising doctoral students from the University of Johannesburg who will pursue PhDs in special education at Regent University.

In May, 2008, ISDB co-director Dr. Mark Mostert interviewed Dr. Deborah Strong about disability in Nepal. To view the interview, please
click here.

Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation hosts Terri's Day
The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, in collaboration with Priests for Life, announces the International Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Terri Schindler Schiavo, and All of Our Vulnerable Brothers and Sisters, which will be observed each year on March 31, the anniversary of her death.

Mostert Attends the Pontifical Academy for Life at the Vatican in Rome, Italy
At the end of February, Dr. Mark Mostert, ISDB Co-Director, attended the annual conference of the Pontificia Academia pro Vita (The Pontifical Academy for Life) at the Vatican in Rome, Italy. The theme of the conference was Close by the Incurably Sick Person and the Dying: Scientific & Ethical Aspects. Presenters included moral philosophers from several European countries, the US, and South America. Conference highlights included addresses by Prof. Msgr. Maurizio Calipari, professor of bioethics at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University, Professor Paulina Taboada, Director of the Center for Bioethics at the Pontifical Catholic University, Santiago, Chile, and Msgr. Willem Eijk, Archbishop of Utrecht, Holland. Dr. Mostert also attended an audience granted by Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Benedict's address to the conference is available online.

Mostert Consults at the United Nations 46th Session
In January, Dr. Mark Mostert, Co-Director of the Institute for the Study of Disability & Bioethics, attended meetings of the UN's 46th session of the Economic and Social Development Council. A main agenda item was the inclusion of persons with disabilities in mainstream society, especially in the workforce. Country delegations were encouraged to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in order that the Convention becomes a binding legal document. Highlights included the address of the Special Rapporteur on Disability, Her Excellency Sheikha Hessa Khalifa bin Ahmed al-Thani of Qatar.

International Conference Development Continues
Formulation of an international conference, Inclusion for All: Central African Education Summit on the Educational Future of Children with Disabilities, continues with planning efforts underway with several disability organizations, universities, and NGOs in Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa.

Mostert Consults at the United Nations
In early November, Dr. Mostert attended the week-long session of the UN's Third Committee, which deals with international social, humanitarian, and cultural issues. Dr. Mostert met with representatives of several delegations (including the ambassadors from Haiti and Burundi, as well as high-level first/second secretaries of Egypt, Pakistan, Benin, Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, and Zimbabwe) to share the aims of the ISDB. The members were unanimous in understanding the need for help with disability issues in their countries, especially because most countries have recently signed the UN Declaration of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which obligates them to begin providing advocacy and services for their citizens with disabilities, which are sorely lacking or non-existent. He has been invited to return to the UN for further work and meetings in late January.

Mostert Addresses International Symposium
In late November, Dr Mostert, delivered a keynote address at the First International Symposium on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide in Toronto, Canada, in late November. His address, The Nazi T4 Program: A Blueprint for the Current War Against People with Disabilities was well received by the 400+ members of the audience. Dr. Mostert was also interviewed by Canada's Salt and Light TV, and was quoted in a National Post article about the conference. Other speakers included issue experts Margaret Somerville, Rita Marker, Wesley J. Smith, and Bobby Schindler.
Read more about the conference
| See photographs from the conference

Mostert to be Part of Israeli Medical Working Group
Dr. Mostert has been invited to become a member of a medical working group at Israel 's University of Haifa 's International Center for Health, Law, and Ethics. The UNESCO-funded center consists of 16 departments, including The Department for Healthcare, Ethics and the Holocaust, which promotes education and research on medicine and the Holocaust. The working group, led by the department's chair, Dr. Tessa Chelouche, aims to educate medical and other healthcare-profession students and qualified professionals in on-going ethical issues generated by holocaust-era medical events. The working group will also compile and publish a formal curriculum to be distributed worldwide to academic institutions.

Highly Successful Institute Launch
On Wednesday, October 3rd, the ISDB was successfully launched to the public. Attended by a wide range of advocates for people with disabilities and advocacy organizations, the Institute's headline panel included former US Attorney General John Ashcroft, Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell, ACLJ chief counsel Dr. Jay Sekulow, Bobby Schindler, brother of Terri Schiavo and founder of the Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation, and high-profile disability-rights attorney Jerri Ward. Read more>>