Negotiating Public and Professional Interests: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Debate Concerning the Regulation of Midwifery in Ontario, Canada
Journal of Medical Humanities 2006 Fall; 27(3): 167-186
This article investigates the uneasy process of integrating midwifery's alternative, women-centered model of childbirth care within the medically-dominated healthcare system in Canada. It analyses the impure processes of rhetorical identification and differentiation that characterized the debate about how to regulate midwifery in Ontario by examining a selection of submissions from diverse health care groups with vested interest in the debate's outcome. In divergent ways, these groups strategically appeal to the value of the "public interest" in order to advance professional concerns. The study considers the implications of this rhetorical process for re-defining midwifery?s distinctive professional identity in relation to other health professions, to the state, and to the women for whom midwives care. Likewise, it suggests the relevance of rhetorical analysis for understanding the discursive formation and re-formation of health models, values, and professions in Western culture.
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