Kristien Hens

Published On


Page Range

pp. 117–142

11. Diseases, Disorders, Disabilities, and Norms

I return to one of the central tenets of bioethics, that of biomedical ethics. I describe how there is rich literature on concepts of disease in the philosophy of medicine—understanding what we mean by health and disease influences how we think about the ethics of medicine. I give an introduction to thinking about disability. I describe a thoroughly biological and normative way of looking at pathology and health, that of Georges Canguilhem. I give the example of the bioethical debate about human enhancement.