A Phenomenology of Maternal Care and Moral Agency
Serious Illness, Pain, Suffering and Recovery
Routledge – 2014 – 224 pages
This book exploits the power of phenomenological methods to access and describe lived moral experiences of patients and their families, their fundamentally social nature, and the genetic, social and developmental origins of relational agency, suffering and decision making.
Creating new fields of communication for patients, their family members and health professionals in shared decision making processes, this book works to reframe conversations in bioethics from the perspective of human science and focuses on the central role emotions have in attaching values to experiences in health and illness. The first section of the book outlines phenomenological approaches to the human sciences and discusses how they can be used to illuminate experiences of health and illness. The second part of the book then applies this to original empirical research. A series of applied chapters present some areas of ethical inquiry, including:
Exploring how moral phenomenology could provide fruitful alternatives to traditional frameworks in bioethics, this is an important addition to the literature. It will be of interest to scholars and students of bioethics and phenomenological methods in the health and human services.
Part 1: Conceptual Frameworks in Human Science, Phenomenology and Ethics 1. Phenomenological Approaches to Moral Experience in Health and Illness 2. Probing Questions of Intersubjectivity 3. Role of Genetic Phenomenology in Understanding Social Development and Creative Action Part 2: Applications of Phenomenological Methods to Ethics 4. Expanding Consciousness of Pain and Suffering 5. Surrogacy: The Value of the Surrogate 6. Futility: Unjust Demand for Treatment 7. Ethical Encounters with the Other at the End of Life 8. Contributions of Moral Phenomenology to an Ethics Framework for Understanding Health and Illness
Mary Beth Morrissey is Health and Legislative Consultant at the Ravazzin Center on Aging, Fordham University, USA, where she also teaches in social work. She has practised as a health care attorney for over 20 years.