This volume offers a collection of writings on ethical issues regarding retarded persons. Because this important subject has been generally omitted from formal discussions of ethics, there is a great deal which needs to be addressed in a theoretical and critical way. Of course, many people have been very concerned with practical matters concerning the care of retarded persons such as what liberties, entitlements or advocacy they should have. Interestingly, because so much practical attention has been given to issues which are not discussed by ethical theorists, they offer a rare opportunity to evaluate ethical theories themselves. That is, certain theories which appear convincing on other subjects seem implausible when they are applied to reasoned and com pelling views we hold concerning retarded individuals. Our subject, then, has both practical and conceptual dimensions. More over, because it is one where pertinent information comes from many sources, contributors to this volume represent many fields, including philosophy, religion, history, law and medicine. We regret that it was not possible to include more points of view, like those of psychologists, sociologists, nurses and families. There is however, a good and longstanding literature on mental retardation from these perspectives.
Table of ContentsSection I / Examining the Rights Tradition.- Rights and Borderline Cases.- Applying Moral Theory to the Retarded.- Joseph Margolis, John Rawls, and the Mentally Retarded.- Do the Retarded Have a Right Not to Be Eaten? A Rejoinder to Joseph Margolis.- The Rights of the Retarded.- Rights, Justice and the Retarded.- Section II / Respect and Labeling.- Respect and the Retarded: Issues of Valuing and Labeling.- Person Ascriptions, Profound Disabilities and Our Self-Imposed Duties: A Reply to Loretta Kopelman.- The World Gained and the World Lost: Labeling the Mentally Retarded.- Labeling the Mentally Retarded: A Reply to Laurence B. McCullough.- Section III / Theology and Philosophy of Religion.- Must God Create the Best?.- Parenting, Bonding, and Valuing the Retarded.- Responsibility for the Retarded: Two Theological Views.- Philosophical and Theological Perspectives on the Value of the Retarded: Responses to William F. May and John C. Moskop.- Section IV / Law and Public Policy.- The Legal Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons in Twentieth Century America.- Examining Legal Restrictions on the Retarded.- Who Speaks for the Retarded?.- Commentary on David J. Rothman’s ‘Who Speaks for the Retarded?’.- Dilemmas in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.- Health Care, Needs and Rights of Retarded Persons.- Notes on Contributors.