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

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Overview

Although women and children comprise the majority of health caregivers and patients, they often do not receive equal treatment. This book addresses that discrepancy by focusing on health care issues that particularly affect women and children. Topics considered 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. Women and Children in Health Care examines these topics, often using actual cases to develop the analysis. The author describes a care-based model of reasoning while warning of its possible use as a rationale for exploitation of women in the context of health care. Different versions of feminism are explained and applied to different issues, with the author advocating an egalitarian perspective that involves the use of one's power to empower others. Health care approaches that affect the lives of women and children are some of the most controversial yet genuinely humanitarian issues facing society today. Because of the timeliness of the topics covered and the depth of detail, this book is necessary reading for all those interested in bioethics, health care, women, and children.

This book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Among the best. Her analysis demonstrates her expertise in both philosophical ethics and clinical medicine.... An important addition to the bioethics literature. It should be in the library of every health sciences center. We should be grateful to Mary Briody Mahowald for reminding us what health care is supposed to be about and how far we still have to go to get there." —Bruce D. Weinstein, Ph.D., NEJM

"Very valuable and stimulating. Her thesis is sharp, well thought out, and challenging, and covers the range of issues. These issues lie at the heart of many of the social controversies we are struggling with today. Stimulating reading for all those interested in women and children's health care issues." —Choice

"Represents a significant contribution to the literature on medical ethics and maternal and child health care.... Mahowald provides a stimulating and thoughtful discussion of controversial issues confronting women and children in our current health care system. The book is insightful, provocative, and well-written." —Patricia A. Marshall, PhD (Loyola Univ Medical Center), Doody's Journal

"A thorough, well-documented analysis and discussion of a wide range of issues. . . . this is a book with relevance for all practitioners." —Annals of Internal Medicine

"Should be required reading...for those who are uneasy about the moral environment of contemporary medical practice.... Takes a major step toward remedying the child neglect characteristic of recent moral philosophy.... She covers an enormous amount of ground in a relatively short space....[a] courageous and important book." —Laura M. Purdy, PhD (Wells College), JAMA

"[Mahowald] considers selective reproductive and child health care issues from an interesting perspective. The author...brings experience, gained through years of experience in the clinical arena, to the ideas set forth in her book.... [Mahowald] provides a cursory discussion of theories that create the structure for egalitarian perspective that is applied to issues in ensuing chapters.... This volume is written for a physician audience to stimulate new lines of thought about issues that are important to women. The discussion of reproductive issues from multiple philosophical perspectives is thought provoking....[Women and Children in Health Care] has the potential to stimulate thought for new directions and visions for the health care of women." —Louise M. Wulff, Director of Research for the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses, WHI (Women's Health Issues - published by Elsevier Science?)

"A strength of this book lies in the avoidance of inflexible rules or principles and the examination of complex issues from a broad range of viewpoints in conjunction with the egalitarian perspective....The author does not reduce complex issues to simplistic solutions but explores them thoroughly....Will be of interest to nurses....to faculty teaching or students in women's health or biomedical ethics courses....or to anyone interested in ethical aspects of health care for women and children....A well-organized and thoughtful exploration of the ethical issues that confront the women and children cared for by obstetric, gynecologic, and neonatal nurses. It would be an excellent reference for educators and practitioners." —Mary K. Shannahan, RN, PhD (School of Nursing, Florida State University, Tallahassee), Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing

"Mahowald provides an insightful philosophical description of an egalitarian perspective for moral reasoning and ethical decision-making in health care....[She] effectively argues that the differences between men and women and between children and adults have led to inequalities....In light of the pharmacy profession's acceptance of pharmaceutical care as its mission, this book provides an excellent analysis and presentation of an ethic of caring in balance with an ethic for just treatment. Pharmacists in any practice environment will benefit from reading this book twice-once for its essence and once for reflection and application to their own professional practices. Students of ethics, feminism, communication, socialization, medical sociology, and sociology of the professions will find the book worthwhile reading." —Jean M.B. Woodward, PhD, University of Iowa, American Journal of Hospital Pharmacy

"Mahowald offers a uniquely helpful and genuinely distinguished contribution to the literatures of moral theory, political theory, feminist theory and practical ethics. Women and Children in Health Care should not be missed by anyone with interests in any of these areas." —Ethics

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

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

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