A More “Inclusive” Approach to Enhancement and Disability
David Wasserman and Stephen Campbell call for a reconsideration of our understanding of ability and enhancement in light of the increasingly blurry line between bodies and environments. They advocate for a way of seeing human enhancement in light of technologies that do not modify a person’s body. Specifically, they favor a broader conception of enhancement that acknowledges that a person’s abilities cannot be evaluated in isolation from a person’s environment. This approach challenges the social model of disability by demonstrating that the distinction between a bodily modification and an environmental modification isn’t always justified. Wasserman and Campbell’s broader focus also demonstrates why it is a mistake for bioethicists and commentators to evaluate individual bodily changes in ability without considering how those changes would also change human environments.
The views expressed in this essay are the authors’ own. They do not represent the positions or policies of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Public Health Service, or Department of Health and Human Services.
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