Feminism and Healthcare: Toward a Feminist Pragmatist Model of Healthcare Provision
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This chapter covers a range of topics pertaining to the ontological, epistemological, and ethical intricacies, complications, and possibilities of providing quality healthcare to women patients regardless of disability, race, ethnicity, and class by using empirical examples of certain diseases. Methodological concepts through reflections on subjectivity and objectivity are presented as contested issues, and radical objectivity, a concept comprising subjectivity, objectivity, and intersubjectivity, is proposed as a knowledge paradigm that allows healthcare personnel and patients to make knowledge claims that are mutually recognized as valid. Three models of healthcare, paternalistic, person-centered, and feminist pragmatist, are presented, outlining the specific problems inherent in each model of healthcare provision. The paternalistic model allows for no agency on the patients’ part, elevating healthcare personnel, specifically doctors, to authoritative knowers. The person-centered model of healthcare grants some shared responsibility between healthcare personnel and patients, and some concessions are made toward patients as knowers. In the feminist pragmatist model, healthcare personnel and patients commit to equal relationships. Gender equality and gender equity are identified as insufficient tools for organizational change, and theories of professions are drawn on to deliberate about change at the systemic level.
KeywordsFeminism Methodology Ontology Epistemology Paternalism Pragmatism
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