Dignifying intellectual disability

William P. Cheshire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The highly offensive epithets, "moron, imbecile, and idiot," were once accepted clinical terms denoting patients with subnormal intelligence. How their meaning has degenerated over time exposes the danger of allowing hubris a voice in place of Hippocrates at the bedside. Healthcare professionals should exercise moral probity when choosing words that describe their patients and in all circumstances avoid the "neuroslur" - use of language that denigrates others by imputing inferior intellectual capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-77
Number of pages7
JournalEthics and Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • Philosophy
  • Health Policy

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  • Cite this

    Cheshire, W. P. (2014). Dignifying intellectual disability. Ethics and Medicine, 30(2), 71-77.