Feminist Approaches to Bioethics: Theoretical Reflections and Practical Applications

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Westview Press, 1997 - Medical - 280 pages
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No other cluster of medical issues affects the genders as differently as those related to procreation—contraception, sterilization, abortion, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, surrogate motherhood, and genetic screening. Yet, the moral diversity among feminists has led to political fragmentation, foiling efforts to create policies that are likely to serve the interests of the largest possible number of women. In this remarkable book, Rosemarie Tong offers an approach to feminist bioethics that serves as a catalyst, bringing together the varied perspectives on choice, control, and connection. Emphasizing the complexity of feminist debates, she guides feminists toward consensus in thought, cooperation in action, and a world that would have no room for domination and subordination.Tong fairly and comprehensively presents the traditions of both feminist and non-feminist ethics. Although feminist approaches to bioethics derive many insights from nonfeminist ethics and bioethics, Tong shows that their primary source of inspiration is feminist ethics, leading them to ask the so-called “woman question” in order to raise women’s consciousness about the systems, structures, and relationships that oppress them. Feminist bioethicists are, naturally, focused on acting locally in the worlds of medicine and science. Their different feminist voices must be raised at the policy table with one message in order to actually do something to make gender equity a present reality rather than a mere future possibility. Inability to define a plan that guarantees liberation for all women must not prevent feminists from offering a plan that promises to improve the estates of many women. Otherwise, a perspective less appealing to women may fill the gap.
  

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Contents

Nonfeminist Approaches to Ethics
9
Feminist Approaches to Ethics
37
Nonfeminist Approaches to Bioethics
53
Feminist Approaches to Bioethics
75
Part
99
Nonfeminist Bioethical Perspectives on Sterilization
108
Conclusion
120
Nonfeminist and Feminist Perspectives
156
Feminist Bioethical Perspectives
162
Nonfeminist Bioethical Perspectives
173
Feminist Bioethical Perspectives
181
Feminist and Nonfeminist Perspectives on Surrogacy
187
Feminist and Nonfeminist Perspectives on Genetic
213
Epilogue
243
About the Book and Author
272
Copyright

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Page 22 - Social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both: (a) to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged, consistent with the just savings principle, and (b) attached to Offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity.
Page 84 - The mode of production in material life determines the general character of the social, political and spiritual processes of life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but on the contrary their social existence that determines their consciousness.
Page 22 - Among the essential features of this situation is that no one knows his place in society, his class position or social status, nor does anyone know his fortune in the distribution of natural assets and abilities, his intelligence, strength and the like.
Page 16 - Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law...
Page 16 - Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end.
Page 214 - When you come right down to it the reason that we did this job is because it was an organic necessity. If you are a scientist you cannot stop such a thing. If you are a scientist you believe that it is good to find out how the world works; that it is good to find out what the realities are; that it is good to turn over to mankind at large the greatest possible power to control the world and to deal with it according to its lights and its values.
Page 129 - I am arguing only that having a right to life does not guarantee having either a right to be given the use of or a right to be allowed continued use of another person's body even if one needs it for life itself. So the right to life will not serve the opponents of abortion in the very simple and clear way in which they seem to have thought it would.
Page 35 - The ironist — the person who has doubts about his own final vocabulary, his own moral identity, and perhaps his own sanity — desperately needs to talk to other people, needs this with the same urgency as people need to make love. He needs to do so because only conversation enables him to handle these doubts, to keep himself together, to keep his web of beliefs and desires coherent enough to enable him to act. He has these doubts and these needs because, for one reason or another, socialization...

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About the author (1997)

Rosemarie Tong is a Distinguished Professor of Health Care Ethics in the Department of Philosophy and Center for Professional Applied Ethics at the University of North Carolina.

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