Bioethics and disability rights: Conflicting values and perspectives [Book Review]

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 5 (2/3):111-123 (2008)
Continuing tensions exist between mainstream bioethics and advocates of the disability rights movement. This paper explores some of the grounds for those tensions as exemplified in From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice by Allen Buchanan and coauthors, a book by four prominent bioethicists that is critical of the disability rights movement. One set of factors involves the nature of disability and impairment. A second set involves presumptions regarding social values, including the importance of intelligence in relation to other human characteristics, competition as the basis of social organization, and the nature of the parent–child relationship. The authors’ disapproval of certain aspects of the disability rights movement can be seen to be associated with particular positions regarding these factors. Although the authors intend to use a method of ‘broad reflective equilibrium,’ we argue that their idiosyncratic commitment to particular concepts of disability and particular social values produces a narrowing of the moral significance of their conclusions regarding disability rights.
Keywords Disability rights  From chance to choice  Reflective equilibrium  Impairment  Eugenics
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11673-008-9096-3
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,280
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
R. Amundson (2000). Against Normal Function. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 31 (1):33-53.
Shelley Tremain (2001). On the Government of Disability. Social Theory and Practice 27 (4):617-636.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Ron Amundson (2010). Quality of Life, Disability, and Hedonic Psychology. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 40 (4):374-392.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

87 ( #54,169 of 1,932,535 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

12 ( #73,825 of 1,932,535 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.