Previous Page

Feminist Approaches to Bioethics: Theoretical Reflections and Practical Applications

Place of Publication: 
New York

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 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 nonfeminist ethics and bioethics. 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 feminist bioethicists 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, committed to acting locally in the worlds of medicine and science. But their different feminist voices must also be raised at the policy table in order 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 welfare of many women. Otherwise, a perspective less appealing to women may fill the gap. (Publisher)