From my perspective, one of the most salient issues is disability, amelioration vs acceptance. We live in an unprecedented era in which cures, research and the like are allowing persons with previously untreatable conditions to have these conditions fixed. This has a number of ethical indications that relate to the carrying out of several kinds of “Good”.
In the book Communication Ethics Literacy: Dialogue and Difference, Arnett, Bell and Harden Fritz (2009) point out that “every communication ethic carries out or reflects two sorts of related goods” (p> 4). These are substantive hypergoods, or the overarching belief systems, and communicative practices, or the methods used to carry out such goods.
With regards to understanding how people arrive at a given position on disability, it is important first to know what their substantive good is. Some, often those who are born with a condition like blindness or hearing loss, believe fiercely that tampering with this condition should be avoided at all costs. It is as much a part of their cultural makeup as race/ethnicity, location, language, etc. To this end, they will actively resist attempts at medical intervention and do not wish to consider arguments in opposition to their views, no matter how compelling.
On the other hand, there are individuals who think that disability is indicative of some kind of sin or failure. They in many cases believe with religious (either in the literal sense of church/place of worship and God or figuratively as it refers to level of passion) fervor that all such “maladies” should be immediately eradicated. They go as far as pounding blind people in their eyes, yanking individuals out of wheelchairs, and other similar means in order to demonstrate how these goals might be accomplished. They may or may not pursue it from a medical angle, but if they do they devour all of the research done therein and sometimes subject a person (let’s say child of parent) to aggressive surgeries with questionable track records of success.
I know, as one who has seen this played out from both sides. My “good” is that we do live in an era of incredible innovation, but it is also vital to let the individual decide what and how much should be done to change their situation. As one who was born blind, I wouldn’t want this condition altered. I’ve grown up with it, it’s all I know, and to acquire vision would be just as drastic for me as losing it would be for a sighted person. But I also have hearing loss as part of my disorder. I wouldn’t say I’m fanatical about improving my hearing, but I certainly regard the new research coming down the pipe about gene therapy and the restoration of hair cells for example with interest.