“Rogue” doctor in India provides fertility to older patients
Editor

As profiled in a recent Independent article, Dr. Anurog Bishnoi provides in vitro fertilization services to women who are often deemed “too old” by medical standards. Reading this excerpt, and the article, you might keep in mind classic themes of bioethics and … Continue reading

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The Biggest Health Problem Facing Canada: Indigenous Health
Editor

EDITOR’S NOTE: An expanded version of this editorial by Editor Alison Reiheld was solicited by the Canadian bioethics blog Impact Ethics. You can find it here. It contains links to more indigenous authors and groups about these kinds of health issues … Continue reading

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The ABCs of the AHCA: A is for abortion, B is for backward, C is for costly
Rory Kraft

EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece’s posting was delayed by technical errors. However, the analysis of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is still pressing and relevant. While the bill was pulled from a planned House vote in the US Congress on … Continue reading

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Bioethics Meets Families in The Netherlands this Summer
Jamie Nelson

EDITOR’S NOTE: IJFAB Blog is pleased to have Jamie L. Nelson, of IJFAB’s editorial team and Michigan State University, join us as a regular contributor. Her work has been linked from the blog previously in this entry on Bathrooms, Binaries, … Continue reading

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Just Caring for Caregivers in the U.S. Workplace… For Some Workers
Alison Reiheld

On September 8, 2016, Deloitte LLP announced it would grant 16 weeks of paid leave to employees who provide family caregiving not only to new children, but to older children, parents, and spouses.  This is an enormous improvement in the U.S. … Continue reading

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End-of-life care, and counseling, varies with disease type
Editor

US News and World Report recently published an article summarizing the results of a study of Veterans Affairs hospitals. The study found that patients with cancer or dementia received better end-of-life counseling, more palliative care, and better end-of-life planning on the … Continue reading

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Feminist Swag: Sellouts or sell out?
Editor

Have you ever wanted to tell the world you are a feminist without speaking? Have you ever wanted a t-shirt that shows what intersectional feminism can by by depicting Rosie the riveter as women of color, women wearing headscarves, tall … Continue reading

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On the Alzheimer’s Report

I saw a lot of surprise on social media about the Alzheimer’s Society report including that data that only 45% of patients and their caregivers are informed of their Alzheimer’s diagnosis. News reports went so far as to put out … Continue reading

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Lessons Great and Small

Oliver Sacks gave the Beatty lecture on the mysteries of the brain at McGill University in Montréal in October of 1997. I had the pleasure of being one of the many attending this exciting lecture. I write “exciting” as Sacks … Continue reading

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“Dying Shouldn’t Be So Brutal”

Our health care system is well honed to fight disease, but poorly designed to meet the basic safety needs of seriously ill patients and their families. We can do both. We must. People who are approaching the end of life … Continue reading

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Medication and Aging

There have been recent reports on the over-medicalization of older individuals in nursing homes and assisted living residences. This problem is not a new one. Just imagine: you are overworked and there is not enough staff to take care of … Continue reading

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Body Image, BMI, and the Continuing Problem of the Standards of Beauty

Feminist scholars have, for many years now, analyzed and interpreted the problems of body image that plague Western culture. Susan Bordo, Sandra Lee Bartky, Susie Orbach, and bell hooks are only a couple examples of prominent feminists who have examined the problem of how women understand their bodies, the cultural expectations for women’s bodies, and how these expectations produce a skewed body image that has little to do with “health.”

Similarly, what constitutes a healthy female body is also a contentious issue, as more recent explorations of health perceptions have shown us. A recent Tumblr post explicitly challenges some of the standard tools of Western medicine for determining healthy body weight.

american-women-who-all-weigh-154-pounds

Foz Meadows’s post, entitled “Female Bodies, a Weighty Issue,” made the rounds recently on social media. In her post, she argues that we as a society are still obsessed with thinness and ideal female body types that have little to do with lived reality. She explodes the concept of BMI as an accurate measurement of health, considers the problematic institution of clothing sizes for women, and examines the lack of linkage between weight and health. She concludes by arguing that “fat” simply means “not thin,” thus anticipating the criticism of many who are quick to point out that being overweight or obese can have detrimental effects on one’s long-term health. The issue is not about obesity; the issue, for Meadows, is that women who do not embody an ideal of female beauty (unnatural and unattainable for the majority of women) are often perceived as fat.

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