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date: 17 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter introduces and defines the concept of habilitative health as the ability to succeed at three types of tasks necessary for human survival and thriving: self-habilitation, habilitation of others, and habilitation of the physical and social environment in which one lives. Habilitative health is an aspect of the complete health scale, ranging from worst to best health in terms of physiological, intellectual, psychological, and behavioral functioning. The argument here is that the nature and gravity of disabilities generally can best be understood in terms of a lack of habilitative health in specified ranges of physical and social environments. This eliminates many differences between the medical and social models of disability and unifies discussions of individual health with discussions of public or social health. It also recasts the discussion of human rights to healthcare as a discussion of human duties of care to self, others, and the habitable world.

Keywords: complete health, duties, disabilities, habilitative health, habilitative tasks, health scale, hospitable environment(s), inabilities, self-habilitation, survival, thriving

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