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University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Equal protection

2020

Sociology

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How Medicalization Of Civil Rights Could Disappoint, Allison K. Hoffman Jul 2020

How Medicalization Of Civil Rights Could Disappoint, Allison K. Hoffman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay reflects on Craig Konnoth’s recent Article, Medicalization and the New Civil Rights, which is a carefully crafted and thought-provoking description of the refashioning of civil rights claims into medical rights frameworks. He compellingly threads together many intellectual traditions—from antidiscrimination law to disability law to health law—to illustrate the pervasiveness of the phenomenon that he describes and why it might be productive as a tool to advance civil rights.

This response, however, offers several reasons why medicalization may not cure all that ails civil rights litigation’s pains and elaborates on the potential risks of overinvesting ...