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Discounted lives? Weighing disability when measuring health and ruling on "compassionate" murder.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature198208
Source
Soc Sci Med. 2000 Aug;51(3):407-17
Publication Type
Article
Date
Aug-2000
Author
M. Rock
Author Affiliation
Department of Social Studies of Medicine, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada. mrock@po-box.mcgill.ca
Source
Soc Sci Med. 2000 Aug;51(3):407-17
Date
Aug-2000
Language
English
Publication Type
Article
Keywords
Disabled Persons
Health Services Research
Homicide - legislation & jurisprudence
Humans
Quality of Life
Saskatchewan
Value of Life
Abstract
This paper examines the politics of "suffering" by considering the Disability-Adjusted Life Year (DALY) alongside a controversial Canadian murder case, involving the killing of a child with disabilities by her father. The DALY aims to measure health and death correctly so as to allocate resources fairly, and eventually achieve better living conditions among the world's people. The Latimer controversy centres on the contention that some lives are not worth living, which the DALY's formula also implies. By ranking types of people according to their degree of disability, the DALY rates the lives of some people as worse than "a state equivalent to death". By examining the politics of "suffering" in the DALY and the Latimer affair, this paper underlines a valorisation of the "normal" body in much of the social science literature on health, medicine and suffering.
PubMed ID
10855927 View in PubMed
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