Women and Children in Health Care: An Unequal Majority

Paperback | February 15, 1996

byMary Briody Mahowald

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The ideal of equality constitutes a criterion for assessing current practice through attention to differences among individuals and groups. Inequality occurs when irrelevant differences are invoked in order to secure power or advantages over others. This book examines health care issues froman egalitarian perspective, focusing particularly on those that affect the lives of women and children. These are some of the most hotly debated, controversial, yet genuinely humanitarian issues of our time. They include gender stereotypes in medicine and in adolescent socialization, fertilitycurtailment and enhancement, coercive treatment during pregnancy, fetal tissue transplantation, decisions regarding newborns, decision-making by minors, the feminization of poverty and its impact on women's and children's health, and the meaning and role of "family" in health care decisions. Thebook describes a case-based or "feminine" model of reasoning as appropriate to the health care setting, but also as a possible rationale for exploitation of women. Different versions of feminism are clearly explained and specifically related to care-based reasoning. To overcome the pitfalls ofpaternalism and excessive stress on patient autonomy, a concept of "parentalism" is defended. An egalitarian perspective, the author claims, involves use of one's power to empower others. Because of the timeliness of the topics discussed, and the depth of detail, this book will be necessary readingfor all bioethicists, health-care analysts and policy-makers, and women's studies researchers.

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The ideal of equality constitutes a criterion for assessing current practice through attention to differences among individuals and groups. Inequality occurs when irrelevant differences are invoked in order to secure power or advantages over others. This book examines health care issues froman egalitarian perspective, focusing particul...

Mary Briody Mahowald is Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the College, and Assistant Director of the Center for Clinical Medical Ethics of the University of Chicago.

other books by Mary Briody Mahowald

Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 5.98 × 0.67 inPublished:February 15, 1996Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195108701

ISBN - 13:9780195108705

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Table of Contents

1. An Egalitarian Overview2. Sex-Roles and Stereotypes in Health Care3. Obstetrics and Gynecology: A Unique Specialty4. Abortion: Complexity and Conflict5. Fertility Curtailment: Selected Issues6. Fertility Enhancement and the Right to Have a Baby7. In Vitro Development and Childbirth8. Coercive Treatment After Fetal Viability9. Fetal Tissue Transplantation -- A Slippery Slope?10. Decisions Regarding Disabled Newborns11. Children and Moral Agency12. Gender Socialization and Adolescents13. The Feminization of Poverty: Its Impact on Women's and Children's Health14. The "Family" and Health Care15. Just Caring: Power for Empowerment

Editorial Reviews

"A practical approach to bioethical problem-solving that favors middle level guidelines over abstract principles."-- Anne Donchin, Indiana University