Foucault, Feminism, and Informed Choice
- Carolyn Ells
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The purpose of this paper is to show that the standard notion of informed choice is unacceptable and must be replaced. To do so, I examine Foucault's analysis of people in contemporary society, drawing attention to the ways power relations act upon us, and to the possibility of resistance. I show how feminist moral theory can be enriched by Foucault's analysis. Applying this new understanding of people and moral theory to an analysis of informed choice, I claim that the standard notion of informed choice is unacceptable, in part because it relies on a false conception of people. Its “necessary” features—intention, understanding, and absence of controlling influences—are much more difficult, if not impossible, to obtain than proponents of the standard notion believe. I end by offering direction for creating a new, Foucault-inspired, feminist theory of informed choice.
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- Foucault, Feminism, and Informed Choice
Journal of Medical Humanities
Volume 24, Issue 3-4 , pp 213-228
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
- Additional Links
- informed choice
- informed consent
- Carolyn Ells (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Biomedical Ethics Unit, McGill University, 3547 Peel Street, Montreal, Canada, QC, H3A 1X1