Nursing Ethics: Feminist Perspectives

Helen Kohlen, Joan McCarthy

The aim of this book is to show how feminist perspectives can extend and advance the field of nursing ethics. It engages in the broader nursing ethics project of critiquing existing ethical frameworks as well as constructing and developing alternative understandings, concepts, and methodologies. All of the contributors draw attention to the operations of power inherent in moral relationships at individual, institutional, cultural, and socio-political levels. The early essays chart the development of feminist perspectives in the field of nursing ethics from the late 19th century to the present day and consider the impact of gender roles and gendered understandings on the moral lives of nurses, patients and families. They also consider the transformative potential of feminist perspectives to widen the scope of nursing and midwifery practices to include the social, economic, cultural and political dimensions of moral decision-making in health care settings. The second half of the book draws on feminist insights to critically discuss the role of nurses and midwives in leadership, healthcare organisations, and research as well as the provision of particular forms of care e.g. care in the home and abortion care.

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