Disability and the problem of suffering

Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (8):547-547 (2020)
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I am grateful to Philip Reed for his article ‘Expressivism at the Beginning and End of Life’. His piece compellingly demonstrates the import of expanding analyses concerning the expressivist thesis beyond the reproductive sphere to the end-of-life sphere. I hope that his intervention spurns further work on this connection. In what follows, I want to focus on what I take to be moments of slippage in his use of the concept of disability, a slippage to which many disability theorists succumb. In short, I argue that there are crucial moments in his argument where Reed runs together cases of disability that should be kept distinct—at minimum for the context in which he discusses them. Namely, forms of disability the suffering of which justice can eliminate versus those that ‘no amount of accessibility and social justice could eliminate’.1 Disability studies scholars and philosophers of disability have long noted that certain types of disability are often ‘left …
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Archival date: 2020-07-29
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