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Beyond Legal Smokescreens: Applying A Human Rights Analysis To Sterilization Jurisprudence

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Chapter Summary

Sterilization jurisprudence provides a rich basis for examining the legal constructs that disguise social policy considerations. In the cases of Eve, Jeanette and Marion, legal concepts overshadowed the pivotal issue of equality for women with intellectual disabilities. All three cases deal with issues of competence, of parens patriae power, of substitute decision-making, of rights and of well-being, as well as with discrimination, equality and difference. All three cases raise issues of inclusion and exclusion in relation to the traditional presumption that women control their own bodies and specifically the access to decision-making around child bearing to which non-disabled women have access.

Keywords: rights of women with intellectual disabilities; sterilization jurisprudence; substitute decision-making

10.1163/ej.9789004189508.i-552.67
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