A Jurisprudence of Dysfunction: On the Role of 'Normal Species Functioning' in Disability Analysis

48 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2006

See all articles by Ani B. Satz

Ani B. Satz

Emory University School of Law; Rollins School of Public Health; Center for Ethics; Georgetown University Law Center


This article considers the proper role of normal species functioning in disability analysis. Failure to consider properly the role of normal functioning has profoundly impacted American disability law by creating divergent outcomes in the application of established United States Supreme Court tests and severely undermining protections for persons with disabilities. This article examines competing, dominant conceptual models of functioning, the Supreme Court's use of these models, and then proposes a novel conceptual framework, which requires a blend of the models as applied to three distinct levels of disability analysis. This article is a discrete and integral part of disability law reform, bearing on the tension between civil rights and social welfare models of disability law.

Keywords: disability, discrimination, philosophy, ethics, civil rights, government policy, public policy, health law

JEL Classification: I12, I18, J71, K31, Z00

Suggested Citation

Satz, Ani B., A Jurisprudence of Dysfunction: On the Role of 'Normal Species Functioning' in Disability Analysis. Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics, Vol. 6, p. 221, June 2006; Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 06-19. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=910542

Ani B. Satz (Contact Author)

Emory University School of Law ( email )

1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.emory.edu/faculty/faculty-profiles/ani-b-satz.html

Rollins School of Public Health ( email )

Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Center for Ethics ( email )

Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.georgetown.edu/faculty/facinfo/tab_faculty.cfm?Status=FullTime&ID=2735

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