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Book cover: Studies in Law, Politics, and Society

Studies in Law, Politics, and Society

ISSN: 1059-4337
Series editor(s): Professor Austin Sarat

Subject Area: Sociology and Public Policy

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Revisiting rights across contexts: Fat, health, and antidiscrimination law

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Title:Revisiting rights across contexts: Fat, health, and antidiscrimination law
Author(s):Anna Kirkland
Volume:48 Editor(s): Austin Sarat ISBN: 978-1-84855-930-1 eISBN: 978-1-84855-931-8
Citation:Anna Kirkland (2009), Revisiting rights across contexts: Fat, health, and antidiscrimination law, in Austin Sarat (ed.) Special Issue Revisiting Rights (Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Volume 48), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.121-145
DOI:10.1108/S1059-4337(2009)0000048008 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article type:Chapter Item
Abstract:Doctors need to consider all kinds of traits and risk factors about a person in a treatment situation, while antidiscrimination law puts significant restrictions on what an employer can consider about a person in hiring. These two contexts – health care and the antidiscrimination-governed workplace – seem to adopt entirely incompatible conceptions of how to regard the person, and hence, what rights she is considered to deserve. Therefore, how can we make sense of the claim by fat acceptance advocates that doctors discriminate against them based on their weight? Even when little or no formal rights exist for fat citizens in either sphere, there are nonetheless transformative discourses available that cross-pollinate each context. Revisiting rights by bringing these two discordant contexts together helps illuminate problems of injustice that must be confronted in the future as we move toward a more universal and equitable health care system in which conceptions of rights must have some place.

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