Bioethics and Women: Across the Life Span

Paperback | September 20, 2006

byMary Briody Mahowald

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All persons, while different from one another, have the same value: this is the author's relatively uncontroversial starting point. Her end point is not uncontroversial: an ideal of justice as human flourishing, based on each person's unique set of capabilities. Because the book's focus iswomen's health care, gender justice, a necessary component of justice, is central to examination of the issues. Classical pragmatists and feminist standpoint theorists are enlisted in support of a strategy by which gender justice is promoted. Two features of the book are unique: (1) the topicspresented cover the entire life span of women, not just those related to reproduction; (2) a range views about moral status are applied not only to fetuses but also to individuals already born. Attention to these features is intended to facilitate ethical consistency or moral integrity and respectfor those who hold different moral views. While delineating and defending the book's perspective, the first section provides an overview of bioethics, critiques prevalent approaches to bioethics and models of the physician-patient relationship, and sketches distinguishing aspects of women's healthcare that are prevalently neglected. Positions about moral status are also presented. The second section identifies topics that are indirectly as well as directly related to women's health, such as domestic violence and caregiving. Brief cases illustrate variables relevant to each topic.Empirical and theoretical considerations follow each set of cases; these are intended to precipitate more expansive and critical examination of the issues raised. The last section is devoted to an egalitarian ideal that may be pursued through an ethic of virtue or supererogation rather thanobligation. By embracing this ideal, according to the author, moral agents support a more demanding level of morality than guidelines or laws require.

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All persons, while different from one another, have the same value: this is the author's relatively uncontroversial starting point. Her end point is not uncontroversial: an ideal of justice as human flourishing, based on each person's unique set of capabilities. Because the book's focus iswomen's health care, gender justice, a necess...

Mary Briody Mahowald is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Chicago, School of Medicine (Emerita).

other books by Mary Briody Mahowald

Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 6.3 × 9.29 × 0.79 inPublished:September 20, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195176170

ISBN - 13:9780195176179

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Table of Contents

Part Two: Topics, Issues, and CasesPreconception and Prenatal Decisions. 4Medically Assisted Reproduction. 5Non-compliance during pregnancy. 6Decisions at parturition and birth. 7Treatment of minors. 8Preventing Pregnancy and Birth. 9Domestic and family violence. 10Nonreproductive health issues. 11Care of the elderly and end of life care. 12Research Issues. 13Part Three: An Egalitarian IdealVirtue and gender justice in health care. 14Part One: A Bioethics for WomenAn Egalitarian Overview. 1Distinguishing Features of Women's Health Care. 2Different Starting Points, Standpoints, End Points. 3

Editorial Reviews

"This is a well-written, thought provoking book and a welcome addition to any library."--Doody's