Impairment and Disability: Law and Ethics at the Beginning and End of Life

Sheila A.M. McLean, Laura Williamson

    Research output: Book/ReportBook


    This book is concerned with way(s) in which some people - because of disability or impairment - are treated in the healthcare setting, specifically at the beginning and end of life. In particular, it addressed the extent to which ethical principles and/or legal rules can shape the way(s) in which impairment or disability is used to influence society's judgements about people; most particularly at the beginning and end of life. We are concerned with identifying how, and in what way(s), law and ethics in this area are coherent with the aims of living in a society which truly values the principles of non-discrimination. Moreover, we will evaluate the extent to which law and ethics may inform the debate about the treatment of people with impairment or disability, and/or be utilised to ensure that it is no longer valid to claim - as many do - that the prejudice of the 'abled' in respect of the 'dis-abled' results in discriminatory assumptions and practices which can have profoundly important consequences. In doing so, we will evaluate the models usually used to critique social and legal approaches to people who live with impairment or disability, and consider whether more is needed than simply resolving the apparent tensions between them. The healthcare setting is ripe for such an evaluation. Not only are the decisions made in that context of extreme importance, as they may predict life or death, but they also occur within a relationship that is already unequal.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationAbingdon
    Number of pages216
    ISBN (Print)978-1-84472-040-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Publication series

    NameBiomedical Law and Ethics Library


    • disability
    • impairment
    • law
    • ethics
    • children
    • elderly people


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