Mere Difference Views of Disability, Ethical Considerations (Term Paper Sample)
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Mere Difference Views of Disability
Ethical considerations on how to address disability focus on different perceptions of whether disability is a disadvantage or merely being different. According to Barnes (55), disability makes one physically non-standard, but does not necessarily make the disabled worse off. This is the mere-difference view of disability, and is contrasted with the bad-difference view that a disability is bad and would still be, even if people accept and accommodate people living with disabilities (Barnes 55). Additionally, the idea that disability has no harm is closely linked with mere differences view. Critics who argue that the mere difference view of disability means that it is morally impermissible to cure disability and it is permissible to cure disability are wrong as people can adapt and disability does not necessarily mean there is harm.
There are different views of disability, and Barnes main argument is that the assumption that disability is inherently bad is erroneous. Opponents of this view have argued that the view indicates that causing disability is permissible, yet common sense dictates that people are not to cause harm to the disabled, and the argument is that disability is inherently bad and it is not a mere difference. Barnes further argued that if people were to ignore the assumption that disability is bad, then they would treat the disabled differently. For instance, nowadays it is less likely that western psychotherapists argue for curing homosexuality, where the individuals are then cured and be like straight people. This is based on the notion that homosexuality is a mere difference and this is similar to the case of those living with disabilities where there is a mere difference with the able bodied.
Proponents of the mere difference view understand the implication of harm, and they treat disability as being in the minority when considering physicality and comparing the disabled with the majority able bodied. Those who defend this view, focus on disability being a social construct where social and cultural rules influence perceptions about bodies. One implication of the view is that there are social and intrinsic harms that need to be considered in the mean difference view of disability (Barnes 58). For instance, the social model of disability highlight that negative effects of disability are the result of social prejudice rather than the disability condition. This implies that it is the society that causes more harm to the disabled, rather than the disability condition. There is recognition that people are unlikely to accommodate those with disabilities, and it would not be permissible to cause disability.
In the case of people with Down syndrome, there are those who are willing to live despite the challenges they face. Iceland now allows parents to choose the option of abortion if after the screening there is recognition that there is a high risk of Down syndrome and other genetic conditions. Even some of the people with disabilities do n
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