Monday, 21 January 2008

Equality and Disability Rights

I just received an e-mail from Scope about their equality campaign.
National disability organisation Scope is calling on the Government to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as a matter of urgency.

The Convention is the first treaty in history to give the millions of disabled people across the globe comprehensive human rights and recognise that disabled and non-disabled people share a common humanity.

The Convention is the first human rights treaty of the 21st century and was the fastest negotiated convention in the UN’s history. Negotiations involved individual disabled people and their governments from all over the world, but at present the Convention is not enforceable.

20 countries need to ratify the Convention before it becomes legally binding. So far only five have done so. The UK is not among them.

The UK should demonstrate its full and lasting commitment to disabled people’s human rights by being one of the first 20 countries to ratify the Convention and sign the optional protocol.

If you are British or are resident in Britain, you can sign Scope's petition calling for the convention to be ratified here

And in other news, Katie Thorpe will NOT be having a hysterectomy. That was in Scope's e-mail too.

I find a lot of that article disturbing and think it could have been a lot better written. Of particular disgust/concern to me is the the headline "Teenager refused hysterectomy". It's not exactly a bad thing that the hospital said no, is it?!?! They have said that when Katie does get her periods they will consider doing a partial hysterectomy IF a clinical case for doing so can be proved. Her mother claims in the article that they have proved a need for Katie to have the "necessary evil" removed. Obviously the NHS Trust don't agree.

In other words, the excuse "She's got CP" ain't enough.

I am pleased by this development but saddened that it's not made more of a splash in the news - it's HUGE. I also want to note that I think this equality issue becomes more and more of a feminist issue too as the stories come out. We've still heard nothing about boys having their growth halted prematurely or puberty prevented due to disability - but I'm sure we will someday and that they'll be more of an outcry than there has been for Katie and for Ashley. Cos they aren't just disabled, they are girls too.

1 comment:

Ina said...

Hi Wheelchair Princess, I discovered your blog today and I have been reading about hysterectomy and the Katie Thorpe and Ashley X stories. I had no idea about this issue, thanks for reporting and commenting everything... It's nice to read the opinion of real experts like you, who live in the situation every day, and not false experts - lawyers, doctors, journalists... I agree that being a woman is far above disability and this teenager WOMAN should have the right to decide herself things that concern her sexuality, her body, her future life, her future happiness. As an - "abled-bodied" but above all just a - woman, I am sincerelly DISGUSTED that some people even consider of taking away another woman's womb, just because she has a physical disability. Emma, I am quoting you in my blog if that's OK with you... Please read and comment...


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