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This Article will attempt to analyze some of the considerations that should inform enlightened and compassionate public policy in this area. Section I will describe briefly the definition of mental retardation and common attributes of people who have the disability and the social and political world in which they live within our society. Section II will sketch some of the contexts in which legal issues about decision-making arise in the lives of people with mental retardation. Section III will discuss the generic legal doctrines of consent which form the backdrop for legal analysis of these problems, with particular attention to the United States Supreme Court's 1990 decisions concerning the constitutional aspects of consent law. Section IV will discuss these legal doctrines as they may apply-helpfully or otherwise-in the practical problem situations that people with mental retardation may confront in their lives.

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Villanova Law Review



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disability law

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