(In) equality, (ab) normality, and the americans with disabilities act

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 21 (2):209-224 (1996)
The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act enacted a conceptual shift in the meaning of ‘disability.’ Rather than defining ‘disability’ as a disadvantageous physical or mental deficit of persons, it codifies the understanding of ‘disability’ as a defective state of society which disadvantages these persons. In contrast, the standard medical model incorrectly conceptualizes disabled persons as biologically inferior, and thus confines them to the role of recipients of benevolence or care. Turning to an ethic of caring yields counter-intuitive results that conflict with the conceptual apparatus of the ADA. It is argued that in order to liberate social thought from this medical model and thus move the disabled from being socially marginalized to being socially enabled, one must re-conceptualize current practice by adopting the ADA's conceptual framework. Keywords: caring, disability, equality, ethics, health care polic CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
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