Ethics. Research. Community.

Autonomy, justice, and disability.

UCLA law review. University of California, Los Angeles. School of Law. 
[Record Source: PubMed]
In this Article, Professor Carlos A. Ball explores the philosophical foundations for the types of rights and benefits that our society currently provides to individuals with disabilities. The concept of autonomy places on society a moral obligation to assist individuals with disabilities when their basic human functional capabilities are impaired. The exercise of this obligation entails assisting individuals with crossing a minimum threshold of functional capabilities below which it is not possible to lead autonomous lives. In making this argument, Professor Ball responds to libertarian critics who contend that notions of freedom or liberty proscribe an activist role for government in this arena. He explains how even a libertarian state redistributes wealth in order to provide for some incapacities. Professor Ball also disputes the idea that the meeting of the needs of the disabled is enough to provide moral justification for the rights and benefits provided to individuals with disabilities. The problem with the concept of needs, Professor Ball argues, is that it fails to account sufficiently for the human good of personal autonomy.
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