1st Edition

The Disability Bioethics Reader

Edited By Joel Michael Reynolds, Christine Wieseler Copyright 2022
    418 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    418 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Disability Bioethics Reader is the first introduction to the field of bioethics presented through the lens of critical disability studies and the philosophy of disability.

    Introductory and advanced textbooks in bioethics focus almost entirely on issues that disproportionately affect disabled people and that centrally deal with becoming or being disabled. However, such textbooks typically omit critical philosophical reflection on disability. Directly addressing this omission, this volume includes 36 chapters, most appearing here for the first time, that cover key areas pertaining to disability bioethics, such as:

    • state-of-the-field analyses of modern medicine, bioethics, and disability theory
    • health, disease, and the philosophy of medicine
    • issues at the edge- and end-of-life, including physician-aid-in-dying, brain death, and minimally conscious states
    • enhancement and biomedical technology
    • invisible disabilities, chronic pain, and chronic illness
    • implicit bias and epistemic injustice in health care
    • disability, quality of life, and well-being
    • race, disability, and healthcare justice
    • connections between disability theory and aging, trans, and fat studies
    • prenatal testing, abortion, and reproductive justice. 

    The Disability Bioethics Reader, unlike traditional bioethics textbooks, also engages with decades of empirical and theoretical scholarship in disability studies—scholarship that spans the social sciences and humanities—and gives serious consideration to the history of disability activism.

    Part I: History, Medicine, and Disability

    1. A Short History of Modern Medicine and Disability
    Michael Rembis

    2. Eugenics, Disability, and Bioethics
    Robert Wilson

    3. Theories of Disability
    Joel Michael Reynolds

    Part II: Bioethics: Past & Present

    4. A Critical History of Bioethics
    John Evans

    5. Methods of Bioethics
    Alison Reiheld

    6. Disability Bioethics: From Theory to Practice
    Rosemarie Garland-Thomson

    Part III: Philosophy of Medicine & Phenomenology

    7. Disability and the Definition of Health
    Sean Aas

    8. The Lived Experiences of Illness and Disability
    Havi Carel

    Part IV: Prenatal Testing and Abortion

    9. Abortion, Disability Rights, and Reproductive Justice
    Elizabeth Dietz

    10. A Fatal Attraction to Normalizing: Treating Disabilities as Deviations from “Species-Typical” Functioning
    Anita Silvers

    11. Being Disabled and Contemplating Disabled Children
    Jackie Leach Scully

    12. The Wrongs of Wrongful Birth: Disability, Race, and Reproductive Justice
    Desiree Valentine

    Part V: Disability, The Life Course, and Well-Being

    13. Disability, Ideology, and Quality of Life: A Bias in Biomedical Ethics
    Ron Amundson

    14. The Challenge of Chronic Pain
    Emma Sheppard

    15. Chronic Illness and Well-Being
    Lydia Nunez Landry

    16. Disability and Aging Studies: Obstacles and Opportunities
    Erin Lamb

    Part VI: Issues at the Edge & End of Life

    17. Death, Pandemic, and Intersectionality: What the Failures in an End-of-Life Case Can Teach About Structural Justice and COVID-19
    Yolonda Wilson

    18. Disorders of Consciousness, Disability Rights, and Triage during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Even the Best of Intentions Can Lead to Bias
    Joseph J. Fins

    19. Bioethical Issues in Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease
    Tia Powell

    20. Between “Aid in Dying” and “Assisted Suicide”: Disability Bioethics and the Right to Die
    Harold Braswell

    21. Theorizing the Intersections of Ableism, Sanism, Ageism and Suicidism in Suicide and Physician-Assisted Death Debates
    Alexandre Baril

    Part VII: Disability, Difference, and Healthcare

    22. Disability Bioethics and Race
    Andrea Pitts

    23. Bioethics and the Deaf Community
    Teresa Blankmeyer Burke

    24. Hunger Always Wins: Contesting the Medicalization of Fat Bodies
    Anna Mollow

    25. Trans Care within and against the Medical-Industrial Complex
    Hil Malatino

    Part VIII: Intellectual and Mental Disabilities

    26. Defining Mental Illness & Psychiatric Disability
    Laura Guidry-Grimes

    27. Research Ethics and Intellectual Disability: Finding the Middle Ground between Protection and Exclusion
    Kevin Mintz and David Wasserman

    28. Inconvenient Complications to Patient Choice and Psychiatric Detention: An Auto-ethnographoc Account of Mad Carework
    Erica Hua Fletcher

    29. Disability Bioethics, Ashley X, and Disability Justice for People with Cognitive Impairments
    Christine Wieseler

    Part IX: Disability Bioethics: Connections & New Directions

    30. Feminist Theorizing and Disability Bioethics
    Lauren Guilmette

    31. Disability Bioethics and Epistemic Injustice
    Anita Ho

    32. Disability Studies Meets Animal Studies
    David Peña-Guzmán

    Part X: The Ends of Medicine: Caring, Curing, and Justice

    33. Improving Access within the Clinic
    Nicole D. Agaronnik and Lisa I. Iezzoni

    34. The Goals of Medical Technology
    Joseph A. Stramondo

    35. "Why insist on justice, why not settle for kindness?" Kindness, justice, and cognitive disability
    Eva Feder Kittay

    36. Selections of Brilliant Imperfection
    Eli Clare


    Joel Michael Reynolds is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Disability Studies at Georgetown University, Senior Research Scholar in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Senior Advisor to The Hastings Center, and core faculty in Georgetown’s Disability Studies Program. Reynolds is author of The Life Worth Living: Disability, Pain, and Morality (University of Minnesota Press), the founder of The Journal of Philosophy of Disability, and co-founder of the Oxford Studies in Disability, Ethics, and Society book series from Oxford University Press.

    Christine Wieseler is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Wieseler is author of articles published in Hypatia, IJFAB: International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics, and Social Philosophy Today as well as chapters in two edited book collections.

    "Covers an impressive range of topics. . . [and] a wealth of diversity in issues, perspectives, and arguments . . . . Overall, this book is an excellent resource, and should be considered by those designing university courses relating to bioethics [and] medical law and ethics."
    Heloise Robinson in Medical Law Review