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Disability Ethics



  • Michael Sleasman, “Bioethics Past, Present, and Future: Important Signposts in Human Dignity” (An overview of bioethics and the breadth of issues it encompasses).
  • John Kilner, “The Ends Don’t Justify the Genes.”
  • John Kilner, “Poor Prognosis for Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)?”
  • Andrew Fergusson, “The One Who Smiles a Lot.”
  • Video resource from our Academy of Fellow Consultation on “Hope, Suffering, and Disability.”


Disability Ethics (General)

  • Armstrong, Felicity, and Len Barton, eds. Disability, Human Rights and Education: Cross-Cultural Perspectives. Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis, 1999.
  • Baird, Robert M., Stuart Rosenbaum, and S. Kay Toombs. Disability: The Social, Political, and Ethical Debate. Amherst, NY: Promethus, 2009.
  • Brock, Brian, John Swinton, eds. Disability in the Christian Tradition: A Reader. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2012.
  • Brown, Ivan and Maire Percy, eds. A Comprehensive Guide to Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing, 2007.
  • Buchannan, Allen, Dan Brock, Norman Daniels, and Daniel Wikler. From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  • Charlton, James I. Nothing about Us without Us: Disability Oppression and Empowerment. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.
  • Davis, Lennard J., ed. The Disability Studies Reader. New York: Routledge, 2013.
  • Francis, Leslie and Anita Silvers. Americans with Disabilities. New York: Routledge, 2000.
  • Goodley, Dan. Disability Studies: An Interdisciplinary Introduction. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE Publications, 2012.
  • Greig, Jason Reimer. Reconsidering Intellectual Disability: L’Arche, Medical Ethics, and Christian Friendship. Georgetown University Press, 2015.
  • Hall, Kim Q. Feminist Disability Studies. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2011.
  • Hauerwas, Stanley. Suffering Presence: Theological Reflections on Medicine, the Mentally Handicapped, and the Church. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame, 1986.
  • Keith, Heather and Kenneth D. Keith. Intellectual Disability: Ethics, Dehumanization and a New Moral Community. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.
  • Longmore, Paul K. Why I Burned My Book and Other Essays on Disability. Temple University Press, 2003.
  • Oullette, Alicia. Bioethics and Disability: Toward a Disability-Conscious Bioethics. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
  • Reimer, Kevin S. Living l’Arche: Stories of Compassion, Love, and Disability. Collegeville, Minn: Liturgical Press, 2009.
  • Reinders, Hans S. The Future of the Disabled in Liberal Society: An Ethical Analysis. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2000.
  • ———, ed. The Paradox of Disability: Responses to Jean Vanier and L’Arche Communities from Theology and the Sciences. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010.
  • Reynolds, Thomas E. Vulnerable Communion: A Theology of Disability and Hospitality. Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2008.
  • Scully, Jackie Leach. Disability Bioethics: Moral Bodies, Moral Differences. Baltimore: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008.
  • Shakespeare, Tom, ed. Disability Research Today: International Perspectives. New York: Routledge, 2015.
  • Swain, John, Sally French, and Colin Cameron. Controversial Issues in a Disabling Society. Philadelphia; Open University Press, 2003.
  • Tada, Joni Eareckson, and Nigel M. de S. Cameron. How to Be a Christian in a Brave New World. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006.
  • Tada, Joni Eareckson, Steve Bundy, Kathy McReynolds, and Pat Verbal, eds. Beyond Suffering: A Christian View on Disability Ministry. Agoura Hills, CA: Christian Institute on Disability, Joni & Friends International, 2011.
  • Yong, Amos. Theology and Down Syndrome: Reimagining Disability in Late Modernity. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2007.

Out of Print

  • Bishop, Marilyn. Religion and Disability: Essays in Scripture, Theology, and Ethics. Kansas City, MO: Sheed & Ward, 1995.


  • Bayefsky, Michelle and Bruce Jennings. Regulating Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis in the United States: The Limits of Unlimited Selection. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
  • Edmonds, Matt. A Theological Diagnosis: A New Direction Genetic Therapy, ‘Disability’ and the Ethics of Healing. Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2011.
  • Glover, Jonathan. Choosing Children: Genes, Disability, and Design. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Goggin, Gerard. Disability in Australia: Exposing a Social Apartheid. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2004.
  • Mitchell, Kevin J. The Genetics of Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015.
  • Parens, Erik, and Adrienne Asch, eds. Prenatal Testing and Disability Rights. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2000.
  • Quinn, Gerard, Aisling de Paor, and Peter Blanck, eds. Genetic Discrimination: Transatlantic Perspectives on the Case for a European Level Legal Response. New York: Routledge, 2015.
  • Van Cleve, John Vickrey, ed. Genetics, Disability, and Deafness. Gallaudet University Press, 2004.
  • Wasserman, David, Jerome Bickenbach, and Robert Wachbroit, eds. Quality of Life and Human Difference: Genetic Testing, Health Care, and Disability. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Out of Print

  • Swinton, John, and Brian Brock, eds. Theology, Disability and the New Genetics: Why Science Needs the Church. New York; T&T Clark, 2007.

Philosophical Perspective

  • Beates, Michael S. Disability and the Gospel: How God Uses Our Brokenness to Display His Grace. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2012.
  • Bickenbach, Jerome E., Franziska Felder, and Barbara Schmitz, eds. Disability and the Good Human Life. Cambridge University Press, 2014.
  • Byrne, Peter. Philosophical and Ethical Problems in Mental Handicap. New York: Palgrave, 2000.
  • Creamer, Deborah Beth. Disability and Christian Theology: Embodied Limits and Constructive Possibilities. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • Figueroa, Robert, and Sandra Harding, eds. Science and Other Cultures: Issues in Philosophies of Science and Technology. New York: Routledge, 2003.
  • Haslam, Molly Claire. A Constructive Theology of Intellectual Disability: Human Being as Mutuality and Response. New York: Fordham University Press, 2012.
  • Jespersen, Ejgil and Mike J. McNamee, eds. Ethics, Disability, and Sports. New York: Routledge, 2013.
  • Keith, Heather E. and Kenneth D. Keith. Intellectual Disability: Ethics, Dehumanization and a New Moral Community. Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.
  • Kittay, Eva Feder and Licia Carlson, eds. Cognitive Disability and its Challenge to Moral Philosophy. Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.
  • Kristiansen, Kristjana, Simo Vehmas, and Tom Shakespeare, eds. Arguing about Disability: Philosophical Perspectives. New York: Routledge, 2009.
  • Olyan, Saul M. Disability in the Hebrew Bible: Interpreting Mental and Physical Differences. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  • Ralston, D. Christopher and Justin Ho, eds. Philosophical Reflections on Disability. New York: Springer, 2010.
  • Reinders, Hans. Disability, Providence, and Ethics: Bridging Gaps, Transforming Lives. Baylor University Press, 2014.
  • Reinders, Hans. Receiving the Gift of Friendship: Profound Disability, Theological Anthropology, and Ethics. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008.
  • Schipper, Jeremy. Disability Studies and the Hebrew Bible: Figuring Mephibosheth in the David Story. Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies 441. New York: T&T Clark, 2006.
  • Tataryn, Myroslaw I., and Maria Truchan-Tataryn. Discovering Trinity in Disability: A Theology for Embracing Difference. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2013.
  • Wendell, Susan. The Rejected Body: Feminist Philosophical Reflections on Disability. New York: Routledge, 1996.
  • Yong, Amos. The Bible, Disability, and the Church: A New Vision of the People of God. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011.


  • Bickenbach, Jerome Edmond. Ethics, Law and Policy. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc., 2012.
  • Blanck, Peter, Eve Hill, Charles D. Siegal, and Michael Waterstone. Disability Civil Rights Law and Policy: Cases and Materials. 2nd ed. Eagan, Minn.: West Publishing, 2009.
  • Carey, Allison C., Liat Ben-Moshe, and Christ Chapman, eds. Disability Incarcerated: Imprisonment and Disability in the United States and Canada. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
  • Fleischer, Doris and Frieda Zames. The Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation. Temple University Press, 2011.
  • Flynn, Eilionoir. From Rhetoric to Action: Implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Cambridge University Press, 2011.
  • Foxx, Richard M. and James A. Mulick. Controversial Therapies for Autism and Intellectual Disabilities: Fad, Fashion, and Science in Professional Practice. New York: Routledge, 2015.
  • Harris, Jennifer & Alan Roulstone. Disability, Policy and Professional Practice. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE Publications, 2011.
  • Iriarte, Edurne Garcia, Roy McConkey, and Robbie Gilligan, eds. Disability and Human Rights: Global Perspectives. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
  • Kelly, Christine. Disability Politics and Care: The Challenge of Direct Funding. University of British Columbia Press, 2015.
  • Lollar, Donald J. and Elena M. Andresen, eds. Public Health Perspectives on Disability: Epidemiology to Ethics and Beyond. New York: Springer, 2011.
  • McLean, Sheila. Impairment and Disability: Law and Ethics at the Beginning and End of Life. New York; Routledge, 2007.
  • Pothier, Dianne and Richard Devlin, eds. Critical Disability Theory: Essays in Philosophy, Politics, Policy, and Law. University of British Columbia Press, 2005.
  • Schur, Lisa, Douglas Kruse, and Peter Blanck, eds. People With Disabilities: Sidelined or Mainstreamed? Cambridge University Press, 2013.
  • Silvers, Anita, David Wasserman, Mary B. Mahowald and Lawrence C. Becker. Disability, Difference, Discrimination: Perspectives on Justice in Bioethics and Public Policy. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999.

For related materials, also consult the End of Life, Genetic Ethics, Human Dignity, Human Enhancement, and Reproductive Ethics Bibliographies.

Position Statement