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Preventing Intellectual Disability
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  • 3 colour illus. 7 tables
  • Page extent: 0 pages

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 (ISBN-13: 9780511056253 | ISBN-10: 0511056257)

This is the first book that covers comprehensively the difficult ethical issues involved in prevention of intellectual disability (learning disability, mental retardation). These issues are discussed both practically and theoretically in the light of four case examples drawn from real life. The cases demonstrate various issues raised by the concept of preventing intellectual disability, including definition, epidemiology, screening, and genetic counselling. Two major approach models (reproductive autonomy and public health) are scrutinised, and the practical issues of prevention are examined closely with respect to three syndromes (Down, Fragile X, and Aspartylugosaminuria). The question 'Why should intellectual disability be prevented?' is examined thoroughly at each stage. As a paediatrician and a philosopher, Dr Louhiala presents the issues in a way that is both user-friendly and philosophically sound.

• Written by an author who is both a paediatrician and a philosopher • Begins and ends with real-life cases • Practical and comprehensive


Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction; 2. What is intellectual disability?; 3. Epidemiology of intellectual disability; 4. Prevention of intellectual disability: general issues; 5. Prenatal diagnosis and screening; 6. Genetic counselling; 7. Why should intellectual disability be prevented?; 8. Moral status and intellectual disability; 9. The ethics of prevention in practice: three syndromes; 10. Conclusion; References; Index.


'A moral minefield is carefully mapped and made accessible …'. Journal of Psychological Medicine

'… represents a happy marriage between ethical and clinical issues. A close reading of this important and challenging book has been an important experience for the reviewer. Offering sound food for thought, it demands a good act of mastication to be properly digested. I recommend it to all who are engaged in 'a joint search for a morally excusable decision' in matters of genetic counselling.' European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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