Friday, February 01, 2008

From the WBP Book Club…

While I certainly do not call myself an expert on the latest “must read”, here's one I highly recommend.

Written from a feminist perspective, Susan Sherwin’s “No Longer Patient: Feminist Ethics & Healthcare,” is an in-depth exploration of medical and feminist ethics, and how each impacts the other.

Sherwin critically examines controversial issues such as abortion, reproductive technologies, invitro fertilization and surrogate motherhood and others, and how these matters, considered “traditional” by mainstream medical ethics groups, become larger, highly-charged feminist-rooted issues involving inequality of power and the powerlessness of women in directing and making their own healthcare decisions.

The book presents a powerful analysis of—and comparison—between “feminine” vs. “feminist” ethics in healthcare, defining what Sherwin calls an “oppressive” healthcare environment weighted-down by systemic barriers and other restrictions that threaten the rights of women to control the direction and ultimate destiny of their healthcare.

Biological reproduction is a major focus for all women, regardless of one's own personal position taken today in this new, still to be explored, arena of feminist bioethics. Sherwin’s perspective tackles the knowledge-base deficiencies currently in existence, the direct result of a clear lack of understanding and discussion of these issues. Sherwin issues a call to action to her readers to recognize these gaps and disparities in healthcare for women, and to become involved in initiating change. I found it difficult to put down.

3 comments:

Sue Trinidad said...

A quick note for our Seattle-area readers: Susan Sherwin will be speaking at a public talk at UW on February 27.

More info here:
http://courses.washington.edu/cultmed/

Wanda Reese said...

Great news. Way to go, Sue.

bob koepp said...

It's been a long time since I read "No Longer Patient," but I seem to recall that Sherwin had some interesting things to say about the downside of medicalizing women's reproductive biology. Medicalization isn't a form of liberation...