Taking Their Cut: Constructing the Female Patient Through American Health Policy, 1990 - 1993
The topic that is addressed here is the embodying of the female patient through the political-medical discourse that accompanied the Women’s Health Equity Act and breast cancer politics between 1990 and 1993. Through an examination of women’s health policy during these formative years together with Foucault’s theory of the gaze and embodiment, this paper will formulate the manner in which the female patient comes to personify certain characteristics and medical concerns as an effect of the relationship between politics and medicine. In addition to the central thesis supplementary themes materialize throughout the paper. One motif is the cyclical relationship between politics and the media. When one party brings a subject to the forefront, the other reacts and strengthens national attention concerning the matter. Women’s health as a disciplinary field also raises questions regarding theories of the body by constricting patients to binary categories of male/man and female/woman, a concept that draw parallels to the codification of race/ethnicity in society. As a policy issue women’s health illustrates the contradictions that exist between the body, disease, the goals of medical care, and our self-image in relation to policy makers. Reviewing this period of research and the formation of women’s health policy exposes the multifaceted relationship between politics and medicine. Simultaneously, policy crafted between 1990 and 1993 highlights the deep roots of cultural bias concerning the social value of female bodies and their feminine body parts.
School:Bowling Green State University
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:health policy breast cancer foucault women s equity act
Date of Publication:01/01/2005