Thursday, June 21, 2007

Petition for the Creation of Disability Advisory Committee

The signature count for the petition calling for the creation of an AMA Disability Advisory Committee is presently 178 and climbing quickly. It is particularly striking and encouraging to find such broad-based support for its creation. Here are some of their comments and viewpoints:

. "It is all about respect for humankind and believing all peoples should have a say."

. "please include people with disabilities on your ethics commitees; they have awareness and understanding that cannot be duplicated ... "

. "Please support this bill as we need certified interpreters to communicate with hearing people."

. "Disability awareness education among able-bodied individuals does NOT substitute for adequate representation of disabled individuals ..."

. "It's not too late to start a new history of the relationship between people with disabilities and the medical community."

. "Doctors need all the data they can get before making life changing decisions."

. "A Disability Advisory Committee is needed to promote the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs) and help unknowledgeable doctors thru the process of providing quality care, advice, and information with options, alternatives for all range of disabilities and treatments."

. "To be surgically casted and physically altered for the convenience of others should happen to no one. The Disability Advisory Committee within the AMA is sorely needed to ensure something like this does not happen again."

. "The rights of people with disabilities are being violated regularly by medical professionals. The AMA needs a vehicle to hear from the disability community."

. "Autistic with VATER Association, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, severe asthma - the views/assumptions of parents/doctors about my life do NOT represent my reality, only other disabled people's experience can."

. "A Disability Advisory Committee is desparately needed. Too many persons with disabilities can't receive decent medical care due to the inaccessibility found beyond the reserved parking lot and automatic doors. Communication is a big barrier ..."

. "The disability community needs you to hear their voices. At any time you or a loved one can become a member of the community and, if you don't understand now, you will understand."

. "An open and ongoing dialogue between the leading physician organization and the disability community is long overdue to address years of medical provider ignorance and unjust power imbalances ... "

. "We need to treat people with disabilities like PEOPLE ..."

. "Nothing about us without Us!"

. "Medical doctors do not know because they are not taught that most of their assumptions . about people with disabilities are based more on societal fears and stereotypes than fact ... Do no more harm."

. "What better way to serve your clients that to hear their "first voice.""

. "We need someone to represent us (people with disabilities) on your board not just people with medical knowledge but people that know what it is like to live with a disability."

. "As a medical writer who is now legally blind (yet still active full-time) I am perhaps more aware than most how easy it is to misunderstand another person's situation when you have nothing but intuition to go on."

. "Establishing an AMA Disability Advisory Committee is not only appropriate, it is a win-win situation for both the AMA and the disability community."

. "This is a long overdue step. The AMA truly needs the counsel of people with disabilities, who are a minority with legally protected civil rights ... It is critical that the AMA understands and incorporates the advice and counsel of the disability leaders so that the organization can give guidance to and better lead its members on issues pertaining to disability.:

. "Such a committee MUST, not should, exist in every medical professional organization in America, in order to protect the rights of people with disabilities and allow medical professionals to fully serve human beings fairly. A Disability Advisory Committee needs to happen TODAY."