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This section explores white Western diagnosis, starting with the author’s experiences of being diagnosed with mental retardation in 1966 at Oregon’s Fairview Hospital and Training Center and a decade later with cerebral palsy. This story underlines the power of diagnosis, which can both provide people access to vital medical technology and shame them, reveal a path toward less pain and get them locked up. The analysis focuses on diagnosis as a tool and an action rather than a truth and asks the question, to whom is diagnosis useful and for what purposes? This query helps frame a critique of the...

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