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Whither a Welfare-Funded ’Sex Doula' Programme?
  1. Steven J. Firth
  1. Social and Moral Philosophy, Helsingin Yliopisto, Helsinki, Finland
  1. Correspondence to Steven J. Firth, Social and Moral Philosophy, Helsingin Yliopisto, Helsinki 00014, Finland; steven.firth{at}


The sexual citizenship of disabled persons is an ethically contentious issue with important and broad-reaching ramifications. Awareness of the issue has risen considerably due to the increasingly public responses from charitable organisations which have recently sought to respond to the needs of disabled persons—yet this important debate still struggles for traction in academia. In response, this paper continues the debate raised in this journal between Appel and Di Nucci, concurring with Appel’s proposals that sexual pleasure is a fundamental human right and that access to sexual citizenship for the severely disabled should be publicly funded. To that endeavour, this paper refutes Di Nucci’s criticism of Appel’s sex rights for the disabled and shows how Di Nucci’s alternative solution is iniquitous. To advance the debate, I argue that a welfare-funded ‘sex doula' programme would be uniquely positioned to respond to the sexual citizenship issues of disabled persons.

  • disability
  • sexuality/gender
  • rights
  • right to healthcare
  • philosophical ethics

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  • Contributors I am the sole author.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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