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(1/130) Selecting subjects for participation in clinical research: one sphere of justice.

Recent guidelines from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) mandate the inclusion of adequate numbers of women in clinical trials. Ought such standards to apply internationally? Walzer's theory of justice is brought to bear on the problem, the first use of the theory in research ethics, and it argues for broad application of the principle of adequate representation. A number of practical conclusions for research ethics committees (RECs) are outlined. Eligibility criteria in clinical trials ought to be justified by trial designers. Research ethics committees ought to question criteria that seem to exclude unnecessarily women from research participation. The issue of adequate representation should be construed broadly, so as to include consideration of the representation of the elderly, persons with HIV, mental illness and substance abuse disorders in clinical research.  (+info)

(2/130) International developments in abortion law from 1988 to 1998.

OBJECTIVES: In 2 successive decades since 1967, legal accommodation of abortion has grown in many countries. The objective of this study was to assess whether liberalizing trends have been maintained in the last decade and whether increased protection of women's human rights has influenced legal reform. METHODS: A worldwide review was conducted of legislation and judicial rulings affecting abortion, and legal reforms were measured against governmental commitments made under international human rights treaties and at United Nations conferences. RESULTS: Since 1987, 26 jurisdictions have extended grounds for lawful abortion, and 4 countries have restricted grounds. Additional limits on access to legal abortion services include restrictions on funding of services, mandatory counseling and reflection delay requirements, third-party authorizations, and blockades of abortion clinics. CONCLUSIONS: Progressive liberalization has moved abortion laws from a focus on punishment toward concern with women's health and welfare and with their human rights. However, widespread maternal mortality and morbidity show that reform must be accompanied by accessible abortion services and improved contraceptive care and information.  (+info)

(3/130) Human rights is a US problem, too: the case of women and HIV.

Overall, US AIDS incidence and mortality have shown significant declines since 1996, probably because of new antiviral therapies. For women, however, these benefits have been much less pronounced than for men. At the heart of women's HIV risk is gender-based discrimination, which keeps women, and especially women of color, poor and dependent. Although human rights issues are often linked with AIDS issues abroad, in the US they receive insufficient attention in our response to women's HIV risk. Advocacy from public health professionals is needed to overcome the longstanding paternalistic attitudes of federal agencies toward women and to change the paradigm of women's HIV/AIDS prevention and care. Examples of unjust and punitive social policies that may affect women's HIV risk include the 1996 welfare policy legislation, drug treatment policies for women, and women's access to medical research and technology. The overriding public health response to AIDS consists of behavioral interventions aimed at the individual. But this approach will not successfully address the issues of women with AIDS until efforts are made to eliminate society's unjust and unhealthy laws, policies, and practicles.  (+info)

(4/130) Some thoughts on ICPD+5.


(5/130) I

CPD and its aftermath: throwing out the baby?  (+info)

(6/130) The female condom: tool for women's empowerment.

International and US experience with the female condom has shown that the device empowers diverse populations of women, helping them negotiate protection with their partners, promoting healthy behaviors, and increasing self-efficacy and sexual confidence and autonomy. This commentary reflects on some approaches that have been taken to study empowerment and makes several observations on the political and scientific initiatives needed to capitalize on this empowerment potential. Women's interest in the female condom indicates a need for more women's barrier methods to be made available. For some women, cultural proscriptions against touching the genitals may create initial hesitancy in trying these methods. But the disposition of regulatory agencies and the attitudes of health care providers has unfortunately exaggerated this reticence, thereby effectively reducing access to these methods. Also, lack of important detail in clinical studies restricts our capacity to introduce the female condom, or similar methods, under optimal conditions. Future trials should prioritize community-based designs and address a range of other critical health and social issues for women. Women's need for HIV/AIDS prevention technologies remains an urgent priority. Both political and scientific efforts are needed to realize the public health potential embodied in the female condom.  (+info)

(7/130) Minority women and advocacy for women's health.

US minority health issues involve racial/ethnic disparities that affect both women and men. However, women's health advocacy in the United States does not consistently address problems specific to minority women. The underlying evolution and political strength of the women's health and minority health movements differ profoundly. Women of color comprise only one quarter of women's health movement constituents and are, on average, socioeconomically disadvantaged. Potential alliances may be inhibited by vestiges of historical racial and social divisions that detract from feelings of commonality and mutual support. Nevertheless, insufficient attention to minority women's issues undermines the legitimacy of the women's health movement and may prevent important advances that can be achieved only when diversity is fully considered.  (+info)

(8/130) Issues for service providers: a response to points raised.

The issue of abortion has evolved since 1967. In this paper, the shift in the discourses of abortion are discussed. The article suggests that abortion is used as a "back-up" method of family planning and that this is broadly acceptable. Although there is little public opposition to abortion as such, there are influences that undermine abortion provision as it now exists. Growing concern about the status of the fetus shapes a number of debates. For example the issue of what the fetus feels during abortion influences abortion practice. Advances in technology and the increase in knowledge about the unborn fetus will not change a woman's decision about having a late termination. The article concludes with the idea that a woman is a moral, civilised human being that deserves the right to make decisions about her reproductive life.  (+info)