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Childhood and Disability: Ethical Considerations

Benham, Jessica L. (2019) Childhood and Disability: Ethical Considerations. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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In this thesis, I argue in favor of supported decision-making as a model for decisions made by people with intellectual and/or developmental disability, claiming that these individuals can and should control the decisions that impact their lives. I suggest that we can understand the support needs of individuals with ID/DD as a part of the decision-making process that undermines autonomy no more than the support afforded an abled individual. I also argue that the ongoing and pervasive infantilization of disabled adults disregards the breadth of decision-making capacity these individuals may have. I demonstrate the risks in infantilizing those with developmental and intellectual disability, while also noting the promise of reclaiming connections between disability and childhood. Finally, I argue that the state of Pennsylvania has an ethical obligation to fully fund Medicaid Waivers, which provide for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), because HCBS is better realization of autonomy, dignity, and respect for disabled adulthood than institutional care.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Benham, Jessica L.jessicabenham@pitt.edujlb325
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairParker, Lisa
Committee MemberGill-Peterson,
Committee MemberPaterson, Mark W.
Date: 25 September 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 25 July 2019
Approval Date: 25 September 2019
Submission Date: 31 July 2019
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 93
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Bioethics
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Supported decision-making, intellectual disability, childhood, developmental disability
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2019 16:40
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2021 05:15


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