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Mothers and Midwives


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Table of Contents

Foreword Acknowledgements Glossary of terms and context of analysis Glossary of terms Context of the analysis Introduction References CHAPTER 1: The need for a midwifery ethic of practice The metaphor Looking for the pool of ethics: a personal journey Ways of seeing: ways of acting The social construction of our world The nature of 'practice' References CHAPTER 2: On the sealed highway - mainstream ethics, medicalisation and midwifery The nature of midwifery practice The influence of moral philosophy, and nursing ethics Moral philosophy and mainstream ethical frameworks available to midwives Why midwives would be turning to mainstream ethical frameworks Summary References CHAPTER 3: The false trail - a critique of bioethics and the problem-solving approach for midwifery ethics Bioethics - its development and critics (the pool of ethics) Casuistry and context Quandary or dilemma-based ethics Contextualism A critique of the normative, dilemmic/problem-solving approach of bioethics for midwifery When the situation is stripped of context When the subject is depersonalised The abstract nature of principles What is ethically 'good'? Prior ethical practice , character, virtues and relationships Summary References CHAPTER 4: Midwifery's detour through nursing ethics - a critique of professional codes and influences that shape the midwifery ethics discourse Traditions of a professional practice, institutionalisation, and application of a code a critique of ethical codes Perceived strengths of codes Perceived weaknesses of codes How ethical discourse in midwifery is shaped Educational curricula and their ethical orientation The workplace setting and institutional influence Text books, journals and conference presentations: their ethical orientation CHAPTER 5: Off the beaten track - feminist virtue ethics and midwifery Values and assumptions of feminist theory - epistemology and ontology A feminist approach to ethics in midwifery Virtue Ethics - context, character and relationship Narratives, identity and traditions The public and private Privilege Difference Normal/Abnormal - The impact of linguistics Metaphors in childbirth reveal practice orientation Summary References CHAPTER 6: A conducted tour or independent travel? examining underlying assumptions and values Owners of the original knowledge Profiles of those women telling their experiences The informant-researcher relationship Constructing consensual meanings Mothers' and midwives' shared values Power in relationships Power 'over' - exploitative, manipulative Power 'for' - nutritive Power 'with' - integrative Summary References CHAPTER 7: Facing obstacles along the way - mothers' and midwives' narratives of unethical childbirth practices Institutional dominance Paternalism Lack of self-determination Fear, Safety, Mortality-Morbidity (negativity of attitude) Unsupportive of the woman Procedure-oriented approach; 'system workers' Values conflict Workplace/service provider versus personal/professional midwifery ethics Not valuing individuals Emotions/feelings Summary References CHAPTER 8: Going to a comfortable place - the ethical voice of mothers and midwives 'Being with' woman Values-Virtues Supporting the woman Knowing the woman Woman's comfort: security, 'safe' for the woman Ways of seeing Metaphors used by mothers and midwives Personal transformation Summary References CHAPTER 9: Checking our course - values and philosophical foundations of the midwifery profession The philosophy and theory behind midwifery practice Ways of knowing: midwifery's epistemology Ethical theories and principles 'incorporated' Ways of seeing and construction: orientation Practitioner definitions of midwifery practice Practitioner identified philosophy of midwifery practice: values and beliefs Summary References CHAPTER 10: Plotting our practice - values and philosophical foundations of the birthing environment The power of language Birth language A concept analysis of normal labour Practice decisions and conflict between work place and personal/professional ethics The midwifery relationship Summary References CHAPTER 11: The discourse of other travellers - literature on women's experiences The birth: women's experiences The midwife's approach: women's experiences Summary References CHAPTER 12: Mapping a new ethic for midwives - from 'practice estate' to the pool and back, now a return journey travelled in tandem The ethic of engagement - a midwifery ethic The nature of engagement in ethical responses and relationships The centrality of concepts which emerged from real life experience and literature, in an ethic of midwifery Implications for practice and recommendations References Conclusion

About the Author

Faye Thompson has thirty years experience as a midwife and educator. She studied philosophy and the humanities as an undergraduate in Australia, and now lectures on health care ethics. As a feminist, she seeks to reunite morality and personal interest so that the woman is not subordinated in women's healthand childbirth practices.

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