The invisible made visible? The ethical significance of befriending people with disabilities

Carolin Ahlvik-Harju

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


With the starting point in a story about a dancer with a profound disability, the topic for critical discussion in this article is prenatal diagnosis in the Nordic countries in light of concepts of what it means to be human and human fulfilment. More specifically, the focus is on human life with limited capabilities and how a widened view of such a life is crucial in the task of creating a society where all human beings can be perceived as desirable and of equal worth. In the first part of this article the practice of prenatal diagnosis is showed to be filled with narrow conceptions of what it means to be human and perspectives are brought to light that can be argued to have been made invisible in the introduction and implementation of prenatal diagnosis in the Nordic countries as well as in the ethical debate. In the second part the vision and actualization of L’Arche is discussed as an example of how befriending people with disabilities can challenge mainstream ethical narratives and widen a narrow view of morality and what it means to be human.     
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)122–146
JournalStudia Theologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Theological ethics
  • Prenatal diagnosis
  • Disability
  • L'Arche
  • Human dignity
  • Friendship

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