The pursuit of beauty: the enforcement of aesthetics or a freely adopted lifestyle? (1/35)

Facelifts, tummy tucks and breast enlargements are no longer the privilege of the rich and the famous. Any woman can have all these and many more cosmetic surgical treatments, and an increasing number of women do. Are they having cosmetic surgery because they are duped by a male-dominated beauty system, or do they genuinely choose these operations themselves? Feminists (and others) give diametrically opposed answers to this question. At the heart of the controversy, or so I claim in this article, lies a conceptual problem about free choice; therefore, the only thing that can settle it is a conceptual analysis of "freedom". After having briefly outlined the views of both sides of the debate, I offer such an analysis.  (+info)

Setting the agenda for urban bioethics. (2/35)

Urban bioethics has two goals. First, it aims to focus attention on neglected bioethical problems that have particular salience in urban settings. Three problems are highlighted: socioeconomic inequality as a major determinant of health inequality, the foundations of an ethic for public health, and the impact of social context on the therapeutic alliance between patients and physicians. Second, urban bioethics serves as a vehicle for raising deep theoretical and methodological questions about the dominant assumptions and approaches of contemporary bioethics. Demands for cultural sensitivity, so pronounced in the urban context, compel us to reexamine the central commitment in bioethics to personal autonomy. The multiculturalism of urban life also argues for a dialogic approach to bioethical problem solving rather than the monologic approach that characterizes most bioethical thinking. Although my brief for redirecting bioethics will resonate with many critics who do not consider themselves urban bioethicists, I argue that there are special advantages in using urban bioethics to expose the limitations of contemporary bioethical paradigms.  (+info)

The place for individual conscience. (3/35)

From a liberationist, feminist, and Catholic point of view, this article attempts to understand the decision of abortion. People are constantly testing their principles and values against the question of abortion. Advances in technology, the rise of communitarianism and the rejection of individualism, and the commodification of children are factors in the way in which the abortion debate is being constructed in society. The paper offers solutions to end the ugliness of the abortion debate by suggesting that we would be able to progress further on the issue of abortion if we looked for the good in the opposing viewpoint. The article continues with a discussion of Catholics For a Free Choice's position on abortion, and notes firstly that there is no firm position within the Catholic Church on when the fetus becomes a person; secondly that the principle of probablism in Roman Catholicism holds that where the church cannot speak definitively on a matter of fact (in this case, on the personhood of the fetus), the consciences of individual Catholics must be primary and respected, and thirdly that the absolute prohibition on abortion by the church is not infallible. In conclusion, only the woman herself can make the abortion decision.  (+info)

Portrait of Science. Scientist, technologist, proto-feminist, superstar. (4/35)

Although Marie Curie is known primarily for her discovery of radium, her true gift to science was her realization that radioactivity is an intrinsic atomic property of matter rather than the result of chemical processes. She was one of the few Nobel laureates to win the prize twice (physics and chemistry). During her career and as one of the first prominent women scientists, she became increasingly aware of the need for funding for research and of the scientific freedom that money can bring. By nature shy and reserved, Marie's fame, as both a scientist and as an exemplar of a liberated professional woman of the roaring twenties, grew to superstar proportions.  (+info)

The face of women's health: Helen Rodriguez-Trias. (5/35)

The American Public Health Association has announced that it will establish an award in the name of Helen Rodriguez-Trias, MD, its first Latina president, who died of lung cancer on December 27, 2001 [corrected]. Rodriguez-Trias, a nationally known advocate for underserved communities, was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Clinton in January 2001 for her work on behalf of children, women, people with AIDS, and the poor. This article is based on a dialogue with Rodriguez-Trias that began in September 2001 and ended December 12, 2001.  (+info)

Internet cancer support groups: a feminist analysis. (6/35)

Internet Cancer Support Groups (ICSGs) are an emerging form of support group on Internet specifically for cancer patients. Previous studies have indicated the effectiveness of ICSGs as a research setting or a data-collection method. Yet recent studies have also indicated that ICSGs tend to serve highly educated, high-income White males who tend to be at an early stage of cancer. In this article, a total of 317 general ICSGs and 229 ethnic-specific ICSGs searched through,,,, and are analyzed from a feminist perspective. The written records of group discussions and written memos by the research staff members were also analyzed using content analysis. The idea categories that emerged about these groups include (a) authenticity issues; (b) ethnicity and gender issues; (c) intersubjectivity issues; and (d) potential ethical issues. The findings suggest that (a) researchers adopt multiple recruitment strategies through various Internet sites and/or real settings; (b) researchers raise their own awareness of the potential influences of the health-related resources provided by ICSGs and regularly update their knowledge related to the federal and state standards and/or policies related to ICSGs; and (c) researchers consider adopting a quota-sampling method.  (+info)

Emotions for sale: cigarette advertising and women's psychosocial needs. (7/35)

OBJECTIVE: To explore messages of psychosocial needs satisfaction in cigarette advertising targeting women and implications for tobacco control policy. METHODS: Analysis of internal tobacco industry documents and public advertising collections. RESULTS: Tobacco industry market research attempted to identify the psychosocial needs of different groups of women, and cigarette advertising campaigns for brands that women smoke explicitly aimed to position cigarettes as capable of satisfying these needs. Such positioning can be accomplished with advertising that downplays or excludes smoking imagery. As women's needs change with age and over time, advertisements were developed to reflect the needs encountered at different stages in women's lives. Cigarette brands for younger women stressed female camaraderie, self confidence, freedom, and independence; cigarette brands for older women addressed needs for pleasure, relaxation, social acceptability, and escape from daily stresses. CONCLUSIONS: Psychosocial needs satisfaction can be communicated without reference to cigarettes or smoking. This may explain why partial advertising bans are ineffective and comprehensive bans on all forms of tobacco marketing are effective. Counter-advertising should attempt to expose and undermine the needs satisfaction messages of cigarette advertising campaigns directed at women.  (+info)

Gender, ageing, and injustice: social and political contexts of bioethics. (8/35)

There has been considerable work in bioethics addressing injustice and gender oppression in the provision of healthcare services, in the interaction between client and healthcare professional, and in allocation of healthcare services within a particular hospital or health service. There remain several sites of continued injustice that can only be addressed adequately from a broader analytical perspective, one that attends to the social and political contexts framing healthcare policy and practice. Feminist bioethicists have a strong track record in providing this kind of analysis. Using current Australian aged care and welfare policy this paper demonstrates some of the ways in which issues of gender, age, and social inequity shape bioethical debate, policy, and practice in the areas of aged care and welfare provision. The author develops an argument that demonstrates the gender injustice underlying health care and welfare policy. This argument recognises the inevitability of human dependency relations, and questions the adequacy of current political theories to address the requirements for full and equal citizenship. The author shows that an adequate analysis of the ethics of aged healthcare depends on sufficient consideration of the social and political context within which healthcare policy is framed and an adequate understanding of human dependency.  (+info)