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Disability Law

Health law

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

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Foreword: The Disability Frame, Jasmine E. Harris, Karen Tani Jan 2022

Foreword: The Disability Frame, Jasmine E. Harris, Karen Tani

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This essay is the Foreword to the 2022 University of Pennsylvania Law Review symposium on “The Disability Frame.” “The disability frame” refers to the characterization of a particular controversy or problem as being “about” disability, which in turn can imply that disability-focused laws ought to resolve or adjudicate the issue. We see this frame function in at least four ways. First, the disability frame is sometimes invoked as a shield, with the hope that it will insulate someone from the reach of the state or exempt a person from an unwelcome or onerous responsibility (e.g., jury service, vaccination, a criminal …


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

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

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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 in medical rights-seeking. …