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Terri Schiavo and the language of biopolitics


This paper argues that competing ethical positions in the Terri Schiavo debate—calls to “err on the side of life” or to “err on the side of liberty”—aim to regulate life and not to defend its sanctity or freedom. Advancing analyses of the “bio-politics” of the case, I show how Terri Schiavo’s status as a speaking-being is an important question for both positions. Informed by feminist concerns about the marginalization and ventriloquization of voices, I argue that bioethicists should “lend an ear” to the voices of Terri Schiavo.

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