Joel Michael Reynolds
Georgetown University
Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) is a very rare condition describing those with an intense desire or need to move from a state of ability to relative impairment, typically through the amputation of one or more limbs. In this paper, I draw upon research in critical disability studies and philosophy of disability to critique arguments based upon the principle of nonmaleficence against such surgery. I demonstrate how the action-relative concept of harm in such arguments relies upon suspect notions of biological and statistical normality, and I contend that each fail to provide normative guidance. I then propose a critical theory of harm, one marked by substantive engagement with both empirical and reflective inquiry across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. I conclude by discussing the implications of this theory and how it might enrich ongoing debates in bioethics, philosophy of disability, and the health humanities more broadly.
Keywords Bioethics  Disability  Body Integrity Identity Disorder  Critical Disability Studies  Medical Ethics
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References found in this work BETA

Speciesism and Moral Status.Peter Singer - 2009 - Metaphilosophy 40 (3-4):567-581.
A Libertarian Case for Mandatory Vaccination.Jason Brennan - 2018 - Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (1):37-43.

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Renewing Medicine’s Basic Concepts: On Ambiguity.Joel Michael Reynolds - 2018 - Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 13 (1):8.

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