Decentering Whiteness in Feminist Bioethics: Assisted Reproductive Technologies as an Illustrative Case

In Lisa Campo-Engelstein & Paul Burcher (eds.), Reproductive Ethics Ii: New Ideas and Innovations. Springer Verlag. pp. 99-112 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In 1999, Susan Wolf diagnosed what was missing in bioethics: “an analysis that places race, ethnicity, and gender at the center.” Since then, not enough progress has been made in “decentering” whiteness in bioethics. The use of assisted reproductive technologies in the United States, and the bioethical discussion surrounding it, provides a window into the problem. Recent surveys of ART usage show racial disparities in access to ART and treatment outcomes. A personal testimony about egg freezing suggests a perceptual blindness when white experience is taken to be the norm. Nevertheless, bioethics, including feminist bioethics, has largely framed ART within the parameters of “normative whiteness.” This paper will argue that feminist bioethics needs to put race at the center of analysis and will suggest pathways for doing so. Decentering whiteness requires a consideration of epistemic limits and privilege, a reevaluation of the goals of feminism, and an embrace of empathy in service of a more responsive and flexible worldview.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,031

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

On feminist engagements with bioethics.Rada Drezgic - 2012 - Filozofija I Društvo 23 (4):19-31.
A 21st Century Reproductive Bioethics.Simone Pollo - 2020 - Phenomenology and Mind 19 (19):102.
Assisted Reproductive Technology in Cultural Contexts.Bolatito A. Lanre-Abass - 2008 - Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 18 (3):86-92.


Added to PP

10 (#1,221,414)

6 months
5 (#711,233)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references