Disability, technology, and place: Social and ethical implications of long-term dependency on medical devices

Ethics, Place and Environment 10 (1):7 – 28 (2007)
Medical technologies and assistive devices such as ventilators and power wheelchairs are designed to sustain life and/or improve functionality but they can also contribute to stigmatization and social exclusion. In this paper, drawing from a study of ten men with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, we explore the complex social processes that mediate the lives of persons who are dependent on multiple medical and assistive technologies. In doing so we consider the embodied and emplaced nature of disability and how life is lived through bodies coupled with technologies and experienced as 'techno-body-subjects in situ'. Normative implications for theory and research, including bioethics research, are discussed.
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