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Vulnerable Adults and the Law$
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Jonathan Herring

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737278

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198737278.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 May 2021

Concluding Thoughts

Concluding Thoughts

(p.263) 9 Concluding Thoughts
Vulnerable Adults and the Law

Jonathan Herring

Oxford University Press

This concluding chapter synthesizes the key themes in the text and attempts to correct some possible misapprehensions concerning vulnerability. It also emphasizes the dangers of the language of vulnerability which emerge because of the current law’s norm of people being competent autonomous individuals. The chapter briefly discusses three particular dangers that current law brings. First, it leads vulnerable people to invasive and paternalistic interventions which some people do not accept. The label ‘vulnerable’ is used to indicate that the group is unable to look after themselves and may even pose a risk to others. Second, those interventions are often designed to help the people escape from vulnerability and become independent and self-sufficient. The goal is to move vulnerable people to a safe place and equip them to stand up for themselves. Lastly, the current approach in the law suggests that not everyone is vulnerable.

Keywords:   vulnerability, autonomy, mutuality, relationality, individualism, relational

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