Assistive technology has great potential to contribute to health, functioning, and quality of life. To date, as exemplified in the Canadian context, variations and inequities in access to assistive technology are evident; the development of legislation, policies, and programs has not kept up with the increasing use of assistive technology. In this article, we apply ;Daniels’s (2008) theory of just health to argue that equitable access to assistive technology funding and services is necessary for justice. In doing so, we offer (...) theoretical guidance for the development of legislation, policies, and programs to guide such access in health and social services. (shrink)
This study brings together two important literatures together in the one volume. One concerns the role of quality assessments in social policy, especially health policy. The second concerns ethical and social issues raised by prenatal testing for disability. Hitherto, these two literatures have had little contact with each other: few scholars have written about both, or have compared the two domains in a systematic way, while people with disabilities and disability scholars are underrepresented in recent discussion on health policy and (...) quality of assessment. This book turns the perspectives of disability scholars on issues that have largely been the province of health methodology, policy and philosophy, while angling philosophical policy analysis on problems that have largely been the province of disability scholarship. This volume will be sought after by bioethicists, philosophers, and specialists in disability studies and healthcare economics. (shrink)
This collection of original essays, from both established scholars and newcomers, takes up a debate that has recently flared up in philosophy, sociology, and disability studies on whether disability is intrinsically a harm that lowers a person's quality of life. While this is a new question in disability scholarship, it is also touches on one of the oldest philosophical questions: What is the good human life? Historically, philosophers have not been interested in the topic of disability, and when they are (...) it is usually only in relation to questions such as euthanasia, abortion, or the moral status of disabled people. Consequently, implicitly or explicitly, disability has been either ignored by moral and political philosophers or simply equated with a bad human life, a life not worth living. This collection takes up the challenge that disability poses to basic questions of political philosophy and bioethics, among others, by focusing on fundamental issues as well as practical implications of the relationship between disability and the good human life. (shrink)
Disability & Justice: The Capabilities Approach in Practice is an interdisciplinary examination of the practical application of the capabilities approach viewed through the lens of the experience of disability. Careful and critical examination of vital foundational concepts is undertaken prior to contextualizing the experience of disability and how we might begin to promote an inclusive society through an application of the capabilities approach.
Often advocates for persons with disabilities are resistant to what might appear to be the banal truism that, at bottom, disability is a decrement in health. Disability advocates have long objected to the “medicalization” of disability, when that means focusing entirely on a person’s underlying impairments and ignoring all of the manifold obstacles in his or her environment — e.g., physical, human-built, attitudinal, social, political, and cultural — that makes living with those impairments at least disadvantageous and socially devalued. Over-medicalization (...) is another and well understood problem that people with disabilities are justifiably concerned about. Yet it is somewhat of a mystery why anyone with an impairment would ever deny, or feel uncomfortable being told, that their impairment is a health problem. Surely, people with disabilities are unhealthy, by virtue of their impairments and to the degree according to the severity of those impairments. How could it be otherwise? (shrink)
This text introduces university students to the philosophical ethos of critical thinking, as well as to the essential skills required to practice it. The authors believe that Critical Thinking should engage students with issues of broader philosophical interest while they develop their skills in reasoning and argumentation. The text is informed throughout by philosophical theory concerning argument and communication—from Aristotle's recognition of the importance of evaluating argument in terms of its purpose to Habermas's developing of the concept of communicative rationality. (...) The authors' treatment of the topic is also sensitive to the importance of language and of situation in shaping arguments, and to the necessity in argument of some interplay between reason and emotion. Unlike many other texts in this area, then, Good Reasons for Better Arguments helps to explain both why argument is important and how the social role of argument plays an important part in determining what counts as a good argument. If this text is distinctive in the extent to which it deals with the theory and the values of critical thinking, it is also noteworthy for the thorough grounding it provides in the skills of deductive and inductive reasoning; the authors present the reader with useful tools for the interpretation, evaluation and construction of arguments. A particular feature is the inclusion of a wide range of exercises, rich with examples that illuminate the practice of argument for the student. Many of the exercises are self testing, with answers provided at the back of the text; others are appropriate for in-class discussion and assignments. Challenging yet accessible, Good Reasons for Better Arguments brings a fresh perspective to an essential subject. (shrink)
Often advocates for persons with disabilities strongly object to the claim that disability essentially involves a decrement in health. Yet, it is a mystery why anyone with an impairment would ever deny, or feel uncomfortable being told that, their impairment is at bottom a health problem. In this paper, I investigate the conceptual linkages between health and disability, relying on robust conceptualizations of both notions, and conclude it makes no conceptual sense to insist that a person can be seriously impaired (...) yet still be, or become, “perfectly healthy.” But that cannot be the end of it since this kind of error is commonly made, and I try to tease out the reason why not only disability advocates but agencies like the WHO and the CDC fall victim to it. I conclude by conceding that there are indeed sound political reasons for being cautious about the alignment of disability and ill-health, but suggest that the price we pay in conceptual confusion may be too high to allow those reasons to dictate policy. (shrink)
Argumentation theory has much to offer our understanding of the doctor-patient relationship as it plays out in the context of seeking and obtaining consent to treatment. In order to harness the power of argumentation theory in this regard, I argue, it is necessary to take into account insights from the legal and bioethical dimensions of informed consent, and in particular to account for features of the interaction that make it psychologically complex: that there is a fundamental asymmetry of authority, power (...) and expertise between doctor and patient; that, given the potential for coercion, it is a challenge to preserve the interactive balance presumed by the requirement of informed consent; and finally that the necessary condition that patients be ‘competent to consent’ may undermine the requirement of respecting patient autonomy. I argue argumentation theory has the resources to deal with these challenges and expand our knowledge, and appreciation, of the informed consent interaction in health care. Keywords: argumentation theory, informed consent, doctor-patient interaction, competency to consent, autonomy, medical paternalism. (shrink)
The defence of necessity has had a long, though confused, legal career. Like self-defence, consent, duress, insanity and mistake of law, necessity is rooted in moral intuitions about when conduct which causes harm to another's person or property is not wrong, or should be tolerated, permitted or praised. If a man is literally starving to death and steals a loaf of bread, we are reluctant to say that his extreme circumstances should make no difference at all to the way we (...) treat him at trial. And if two men, adrift at sea, are clinging to a log which can only support the weight of one, we are once again reluctant to say that if one pushes the other off the log, it is just a case of murder. These intuitions are deepseated; but it is extremely difficult to articulate the defence they seem to support, or to isolate the circumstances which mark the difference between a situation where the defence ought to apply and where it ought not. (shrink)
This is a collection of Canadian legal decisions, mostly from the highest court of the land, that raise and respond to central issues in political and legal philosophy and social ethics. All the issues raised by these cases are current and controversial. They include: the scope of judicial review and legitimate powers of the courts; separation of powers; the nature and scope of rights of speech, association, Aboriginal rights, and legal protections in criminal prosecution; equality and its pursuit in a (...) free and democratic society; autonomy and its protection; the nature of legal responsibility in criminal and tort law; and legitimate punishment. This edition takes into account the many changes that have occurred in our court's interpretation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Twelve new cases have been added, as has a new section on "Group Self-Determination" that takes into account important changes in Aboriginal rights. Many of the cases from the previous edition have been re-edited and slightly expanded, with "follow up" cases included to reflect how they are now interpreted. (shrink)
R. E. Jennings has recently provided us with two formal renderings of the motto of the view he calls ‘pseudo-subjectivism’, viz., ‘One ought to do what one thinks one ought to do’. These renderings are.