The right-to-die exception: How the discourse of individual rights impoverishes bioethical discussions of disability and what we can do about it

"Tell the health professionals why people with disabilities get depressed and suicidal. Tell them about institutions. Let them know the real reasons people with disabilities give up."The disability studies perspective has been consistently marginalized in twentieth-century American bioethical discourse. Like Ralph Ellison's nameless protagonist who is "invisible … simply because people refuse to see me" (Ellison 1995, 3), both disabled people and disability studies perspectives have been conspicuously absent from mainstream contemporary bioethical inquiries. Considerations of provision, accommodation, and institutionalization have been pushed to the periphery of discourse. The lament of Ellison's invisible man—"I ..
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DOI 10.2979/FAB.2010.3.2.43
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