Reasonable Paternalism and the Limits of Sexual Freedom: A response to Greenspan and Leicester and Cooke
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Moral Education 31 (2):189-194 (2002)
This response argues that Greenspan's comment is basically incoherent, and that the position taken by Leicester and Cooke has unacceptable practical consequences. Greenspan admits that many people with 'mental retardation' lack adult decision-making capacities, but at the same time assumes that they have these very capacities in assigning them freedom rights. Leicester and Cooke consistently argue that people with 'mental retardation' do have adult reasoning powers and therefore should be given freedom rights. But this position has the rather disquieting implication that both the practice of treating 'mental retardation' as an exempting condition and the practice of giving them important special welfare rights seem to loose their justification.
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