Much work on epistemic injustice has identified the operation of negative stereotypes relating to gender and race; for instance, when someone’s testimony is dismissed, doubted, or accorded low credibility due to racist or sexist prejudices on the part of the listener (Dotson, 2011; Fricker, 2007; Kidd et al., 2017; Medina, 2013). But in recent years research has drawn attention to epistemic injustice in healthcare generally, and more specifically within psychiatry, pediatrics, and among people with disabilities (Blease et al., 2016; Carel & Kidd, 2014; Crichton et al., 2016; Kidd & Carel, 2016, 2019; Potter, 2015). What has been revealed is the systematic stifling of the voices and interpretive tools available to both ill and disabled persons: in particular, their information providing, testimonies, and interpretations. These types of epistemic injustice have been associated with the medical deficit model that dominates much of medical and psychiatric discourse (Kidd & Carel, 2018, 2019). Moreover, physically disabled persons’ claims that they are happy and living good lives have also been dismissed due to prejudices about the possibility of living well whilst disabled (Blease et al., 2016; Carel, 2016, ch. 6).Neurodiversity, epistemic injustice, and the good human life – Chapman – 2022 – Journal of Social Philosophy – Wiley Online Library
We’ve suggested that autistic individuals encounter testimonial injustice, when they claim to be happy or living good lives, and hermeneutical injustice, seen in the exclusion of neurodivergent modes of flourishing. But it is also vital to consider how these forms of injustice combine and interlock in practice. In day-to-day life, prejudiced stereotypes regarding autistic flourishing and wellbeing culminate in autistic individuals encountering a “catch-22”-like framing, whereby the possibility of being both autistic and living a good life is, to varying extents, unthinkable for many.Neurodiversity, epistemic injustice, and the good human life – Chapman – 2022 – Journal of Social Philosophy – Wiley Online Library
The central message I wish to convey is that the epistemic justice is an essential component of good psychiatric practice and there is no reason for the attitude of psychiatrists toward this framework to be one of antagonism. Medicine and psychiatry, practiced virtuously, are on the side of epistemic justice.
Epistemic justice is not something that is outside of good clinical care. Good clinical care is inclusive of our best ethical practices; just as good clinical care cannot be racist or sexist, good clinical care cannot be epistemically unjust. We cannot appeal to good clinical care to justify ignoring epistemic justice because epistemic justice clarifies a vital aspect of what good clinical care ought to be.Epistemic justice is an essential component of good psychiatric care | Psychological Medicine | Cambridge Core
Epistemic injustice pervades autism research in a way that only ever marginalizes autistic people in knowledge creation while providing an almost all-encompassing blanket of protection for non-autistic researchers—non-autistic people have an assumed objectivity that means they do not have to defend their involvement in the creation of knowledge.Frontiers | Academic, Activist, or Advocate? Angry, Entangled, and Emerging: A Critical Reflection on Autism Knowledge Production
I lean into my emotions because they inform my values, keep me tied to the autistic community, generate my sense of epistemic responsibility to the community I come from. I am open because when autistic students (whether undergraduate or postgraduate) approach me to ask how I handle the experience of feeling and living these accounts, they express a loneliness that silence only serves. I now have a policy of honesty and I tell them: I feel angry.Frontiers | Academic, Activist, or Advocate? Angry, Entangled, and Emerging: A Critical Reflection on Autism Knowledge Production