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Publication Detail
Valuing Profoundly Disabled People
Abstract
Growing numbers of babies are surviving into infancy and beyond with profound and multiple learning difficulties and disabilities. The conditions and abilities that characterise these lives are the subject of an extensive educational and medical literature. However, much less is written about the broader themes that emerge from reflection on profound disability. This book provides a series of philosophical reflections on the moral, social, political and educational questions that arise in response to human beings whose lives are characterised by dependency, vulnerability and profound impairment: what is the place of autonomy in the lives of profoundly disabled people with life limiting conditions? In what sense can we consider someone as a ?citizen? if they have no understanding of their own interests? Does the requirement to show respect for persons apply to everyone, irrespective of whether they have any conception of their own dignity? How should we compare the moral status of a human being with a non-human animal possessing equivalent or more elaborate capabilities? This book explores such questions as these, which are found to apply not only to profoundly disabled people, but also to people whose cognitive and other powers are undermined by the advance of dementia and related diseases of the brain.
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