Foucault, Feminism, and Informed Choice
Journal of Medical Humanities 2003 Winter; 24(3-4): 213-228
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 featuresintention, understanding, and absence of controlling influencesare 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.
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