- The Oxford Handbook of Practical Ethics
- Notes On The Contributors
- Reproductive Technology
- Environmental Ethics
- Gender and Sexual Discrimination
- Race and Racial Discrimination
- Affirmative Action
- People with Disabilities
- Freedom of Speech and Religion
- Legal Paternalism
- Economic Justice
- Intergenerational Justice
- Corporate Responsibility
- National Autonomy
- International Economic Justice
- World Hunger
- Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide
- Capital Punishment
Abstract and Keywords
This article focuses on the disability problem and the rights of the disabled people for a dignified existence. The system of removing people from the community because they are disabled took hold in the USA in the middle of the nineteenth century. Before 1820, disabled people stayed with their families or found places elsewhere in their immediate communities. During the following forty years, however, residential schools meant to train these individuals so that they could be more productive sprang up, supported by charitable donations and government funds. Up until the US Civil War, these institutions focused on improving the skills and therefore the productivity of corporeally or cognitively impaired people, and on giving them access to the Bible and therefore to the word of God, with the goal of returning them to the community to earn their own livings.
Anita Silvers, Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University, has written extensively about ethics and bioethics, and disability theory. Among her books on these subjects are Disability, Difference, Discrimination: Perspectives on Justice in Bioethics and Public Policy (with David Wasserman and Mary Mahowald) (1998), Americans with Disabilities: Implications of the Law for Individuals and Institutions (with Leslie Francis) (2000), and Medicine and Social Justice (with Margaret Battin and Rosamond Rhodes) (2002). She is currently writing (with Michael Ashley Stein) a series of law review articles on protection from disability discrimination and genetic discrimination, of which two have already been published, and a book of essays titled Odd Ones Out: Normality and Singularity in Law, Medicine, and Art.
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