Journal of Medical Humanities

, Volume 24, Issue 3–4, pp 213–228 | Cite as

Foucault, Feminism, and Informed Choice

Article

Abstract

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.

Foucault feminism informed choice informed consent power resistance 

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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biomedical Ethics UnitMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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