Women and Children in Health Care: An Unequal Majority / Edition 1

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Overview

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 from an 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, fertility curtailment 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. The book 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 of paternalism 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 reading for all bioethicists, health-care analysts and policy-makers, and women's studies researchers.

This book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Patricia A. Marshall
This book examines a wide range of ethical issues in maternal and child health care, including fertility curtailment and regulation, fetal tissue transplantation, coercive treatment during pregnancy, and decisions regarding newborns. "The author aims to develop an egalitarian and care-based ethic for understanding the differential treatment of women and children in medical settings. Her ethical framework emphasizes the importance of human relationships. Her critique and analysis addresses gender stereotypes in health care, particularly within the context of obstetrics and gynecology. She also explores the redefinition of the family and the feminization of poverty. Mahowald urges health practitioners to empower women through collaborative and supportive alliances in medical care. "This book would be of interest to bioethicists, health practitioners, especially those involved in maternal and child health care, feminist philosophers and theologians, and social scientists with a special interest in women's issues. The range of topics and the contemporary nature of the problems addressed would also make this book interesting to the general public. "Notes and references follow each chapter. The citations and comments are relevant and comprehensive. The subject and name index are inclusive. A list of 33 cases, along with the page number on which they appear, follows the table of contents. This feature facilitates locating cases on specific topics. "This book represents a significant contribution to the literature on medical ethics and maternal and child health care. Professor Mahowald provides a stimulating and thoughtful discussion of controversial issues confronting women and children in ourcurrent health care system. The guidelines she develops for addressing these issues from an egalitarian perspective have much broader applicability than just maternal and child health. The book is insightful, provocative, and well written.
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Patricia A. Marshall, PhD (Loyola University Medical Center)
Description: This book examines a wide range of ethical issues in maternal and child health care, including fertility curtailment and regulation, fetal tissue transplantation, coercive treatment during pregnancy, and decisions regarding newborns.
Purpose: The author aims to develop an egalitarian and care-based ethic for understanding the differential treatment of women and children in medical settings. Her ethical framework emphasizes the importance of human relationships. Her critique and analysis addresses gender stereotypes in health care, particularly within the context of obstetrics and gynecology. She also explores the redefinition of the "family" and the feminization of poverty. Mahowald urges health practitioners to empower women through collaborative and supportive alliances in medical care.
Audience: This book would be of interest to bioethicists, health practitioners, especially those involved in maternal and child health care, feminist philosophers and theologians, and social scientists with a special interest in women's issues. The range of topics and the contemporary nature of the problems addressed would also make this book interesting to the general public.
Features: Notes and references follow each chapter. The citations and comments are relevant and comprehensive. The subject and name index are inclusive. A list of 33 cases, along with the page number on which they appear, follows the table of contents. This feature facilitates locating cases on specific topics.
Assessment: This book represents a significant contribution to the literature on medical ethics and maternal and child health care. Professor Mahowald provides a stimulating and thoughtful discussion of controversial issues confronting women and children in our current health care system. The guidelines she develops for addressing these issues from an egalitarian perspective have much broader applicability than just maternal and child health. The book is insightful, provocative, and well written.

5 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195108705
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/8/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Author 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.

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Table of Contents

1. An Egalitarian Overview

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