Human Dignity and the Profoundly Disabled

Human Reproduction and Genetic Ethics 17 (2):185-203 (2011)
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Abstract

One challenge to the concept of human dignity is that it is a rootless notion invoked simply to mask inequalities that inevitably exist between human beings. This privileging of humans is speciesist and its weak point is the profoundly disabled human being. This article argues that far from being a weak point, the profoundly disabled person is a source of strength and witness to the intrinsic dignity that all human beings have by virtue of being human. The disabled represent the reality of human existence that is both strong and fragile. Although human dignity can be understood philosophically its depth is rooted in Christian theological insights. The profoundly disabled occupy a privileged position and share in a theology of mission since they testify to the interdependence of every human being and human dependence on God to a myopic world that only values strength, autonomy and independence. Content Type Journal Article Category Article Pages 185-203 DOI 10.1558/hrge.v17i2.185 Authors Pia Matthews, Theology, Philosophy, and History, St Mary’s University College, Waldegrave Road, Strawberry Hill, TW1 4SX Journal Human Reproduction & Genetic Ethics Online ISSN 2043-0469 Print ISSN 1028-7825 Journal Volume Volume 17 Journal Issue Volume 17, Number 2 / 2011

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