For four years this interdisciplinary group of scholars and practitioners, including physicians, lawyers, philosophers, and social scientists, collaborated closely on the development of these essays. The result is an examination of both the real world of women's health status and health care delivery in different countries, and the assumptions behind the dominant medical model of solving problems without regard to social conditions. The writing is also informed by the some of the authors' own experiences with women's health issues: birth, menopause, major surgery, and providing care for mothers and grandmothers.
Rather than focusing on types of medical interventions, The Politics of Women's Health asks what feminist health care ethics looks like if we start with women's experiences and concerns. It begins to unravel two key concepts of women's empowerment-agency and autonomy -- that apply to all areas of concern to women.
Susan Sherwin is Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies, Dalhousie University.