feminism, bioethics, law
Feminist legal theory provides a healthy skepticism toward legal doctrine and insists that we reexamine even formally gender-neutral rules to uncover problematic assumptions behind them. The article first outlines feminist legal theory from the perspectives of liberal, cultural, and radical feminism. Examples of how each theory influences legal practice, case law, and legislation are highlighted. Each perspective is then applied to a contemporary bioethical issue, egg donation. Following a brief discussion of the common themes shared by feminist jurisprudence, the article incorporates a narrative reflecting on the integration of the common feminist themes in the context of the passage of the Maryland Health Care Decisions Act. The article concludes that gender does matter and that an understanding of feminist legal theory and practice will enrich the analysis of contemporary bioethical issues.
Bioethics and Medical Ethics | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
6 Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 69 (1996).