What About the Family?: Practices of Responsibility in Care

ISBN : 9780190624880

Hilde Lindemann; Janice McLaughlin; Marian A. Verkerk
224 ページ
140 x 210 mm

Health and social care decisions, and how they impact a family, are often viewed from the perspective of the individual family member making them-for example, the role of the parent in surrogacy questions, the care of the elderly, or decisions that involve fetuses or organ donations. What About the Family? represents a concerted, collaborative effort to depart from this practice-it rather shows that the family unit as a whole is intrinsic and inseparable from patient's ethical decisions. This deeper level of thinking about families and health care poses an entirely new set of difficult questions. Which family members are relevant in influencing a patient? What is a family, in the first place? What duties does a family have to its own members?

What makes an ethics of families distinctive from health care ethics, an ethic of care or feminist ethics is that it theorizes relationships characterized by ongoing intimacy and partiality among people who are not interchangeable, and remains centered on the practices of responsibility arising from these relationships.

What About the Family? edited by bioethicists Hilde Lindemann, Marian Verkerk, and Janice McLaughlin, represents an interdisciplinary effort, drawing, among other resources, on its authors' backgrounds in sociology, nursing, philosophy, bioethics, and the medical sciences. Contributors begin from the assumption that any ethical examination of the significance of family ties to health and social care will benefit from a dialogue with the debates about family occuring in these other disciplinary areas, and examine why families matter, how families are recognized, how families negotiate responsibilities, how families can participate in treatment decision making, and how justice operates in families.


Introduction: Hilde Lindemann, Janice McLaughlin, and Marian Verkerk
Chapter 1: Why Families Matter, Hilde Lindemann
Case Study: Lesbian Parents' Search for The Right Way to Disclose Donor Conception to Their Children, Veerle Prevost
Chapter 2: Recognizing Family, Janice McLaughlin
Case Study: The Family Imperative in Genetic Testing, Lorraine Cowley
Case Study: What Counts as a Family-And Who Is to Decide? Margareta Hyden
Chapter 3: Negotiating Responsibilities, Marian A. Verkerk
Case Study: Paternal Responsibility for Children and Pediatric Hospital Policies in Romania, Daniela Cuta
Case Study: Family Care-Giving as a Problematic Category, Jacqueline Chin
Chapter 4: Health Care Decisions, Ulrik Kihlbom and Christian Munthe
Case Study: Family-Centeredness as Resource and Complication in Outpatient Care with Weak Adherence, Using Adolescent Diabetes Care as a Case in Point, Andre Herlitz and Christian Munthe
Case Study: Annie's Problem, Jackie Leach Scully
Chapter 5: Justice, Intimacy, and Autonomy
Jamie Lindemann Nelson and Simon Woods
Case Study: Young Carers, Gideon Calder
Case Study: Autism, Family Life, and Epistemic Injustice: A Case Study, Richard Ashcroft


Hilde Lindemann is Emerita Professor of Philosophy at Michigan State University. A Fellow of the Hastings Center and a past president of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, her ongoing research interests are in feminist bioethics, feminist ethics, the ethics of families, and the social construction of persons and their identities. She is the former editor of The Hastings Center Report as well as of Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy.; Marian Verkerk is Full Professor Ethics of Care at the University Medical Centre of Groningen (UMCG) and the University of Groningen. She is interested in exploring how questions of morality and ethics are embedded in relational perspectives and experiences of care. She was previously program leader of an international research consortium on Ethics of Families. Since 2017 she has served as project leader on Patient Engagement at the UMCG.; Janice McLaughlin is Professor of Sociology at Newcastle University. Her research interests focus on childhood disability and the examination of its surrounding social and institutional worlds, including family. Though a sociologist, she draws from associated disciplines such as anthropology and bioethics, with a strong emphasis on empirical qualitative research. Her most recent book (with Edmund Coleman-Fountain and Emma Clavering) is Disabled Childhoods: Monitoring Differences and Emerging Identities (Routledge, 2018).