Public event: Treating Autism

Treating Autism Poster JPEGThe Ethics Advisory Board of EU-AIMS (which includes SSHM members Ilina Singh and Des Fitzgerald) is delighted to announce this public event:

Treating Autism: The Promises, Perils & Politics of Pharmaceutical Intervention

A Public Dialogue at the Wolfson Theatre, Institute of Psychiatry,

16 De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF

October 22nd 2014, 6pm to 8pm

Featuring Richard Ashcroft (Queen Mary, University of London); Virginia Bovell (Ambitious About Autism); Declan Murphy (Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London); Ilina Singh (King’s College London); Sandy Starr (Progress Educational Trust); Russell Stronach (Autistic UK)

More information and tickets:

What would it mean to develop medical treatment for the core features of autism? Recent research has enriched our understanding of the biology of autism, as well as the social experiences of being autistic, but the core biological features of autism are still not well understood. Any medication for the core symptoms of autism is thus still some way off in the future. Nonetheless, much research is now looking for biological markers for which treatments might be developed. ‘EU-AIMS’ is a collaboration seeking new methods for the development of biological markers and drug treatments for autism. There is considerable support for such an endeavour, including from groups representing autistic people, and their families and allies. However, other autistic people, some autism self-advocacy groups, and some ethical and legal scholars, are concerned about autism coming to be defined only as a biological disorder in need of treatment – and have called for wide debate on the relationships between biology, treatment, and difference in autism.

This public dialogue, organised by the Ethics Advisory Board of EU-AIMS, brings together autism advocates and self-advocates, psychiatrists, and ethicists, to discuss these issues. This event asks: what are the prospects for intervening pharmaceutically on the core features of autism in the future? What social and ethical issues are thrown up by this development? How should we balance promise and risk in seeking medical interventions – and how can questions around difference, disability, and advocacy become audible within pharmacological research? How can a diverse range of autistic voices be heard around these questions – and how can autism researchers and autistic people come together to work through these issues?

Please join us: booking is required, but the event is free and open to all.

Information and tickets available at:

This entry was posted in Bioethics, Health Policy, Neuroscience. Bookmark the permalink.

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