For years, medical professionals have had set standards for their patients. Regardless of sex, race, nationality, symptoms and treatments have been the same for everyone. However, doctors are now realizing that the way the body human expresses itself is dependent on sex. And this is exactly what feminist medicine seeks to teach.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
Studies have discovered that the symptoms for certain illnesses can be different based on the patient’s sex.
This idea has so far only been explored in relation to heart diseases. Research has also been conducted on the same.
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This is because medical research has, until now, been focused on men. For studies, researches, and surveys, males have been chosen as subjects. Consequentially, analysis and treatments have been based on their bodies. As a result, they are better suited to males than females. Despite the fact that female physiology is completely different, the same standards are applied to them.
For example, heart attack presents itself in drastically different forms in males and females.
According to Dr. Baruch, “With men it is a pathology of large blood vessels, and therefore the episodes are very dramatic and sharp, and are expressed by sharp pain in the chest and shortness of breath. With women, on the other hand, we’re dealing with small blood vessels, so the symptoms are much vaguer, and among other things include fatigue, nausea, and stomach pain. So, it’s harder to diagnose.”
Dr. Lior Baruch is an Israeli physician.
WHAT IS FEMINIST MEDICINE?
Feminist medicine seeks to incorporate this knowledge into the actual practice of medicine. This means that doctors start to acknowledge the differences between male and female physiology and treat their patients accordingly.
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Dr. Baruch explained what feminist medicine is for her –
“This is gender-based medicine, which is aware of sexual and gender-based diversions of various pathologies, and which speaks a feminist language with proper sensitivity. I wanted to promote equal medical care for women and minority groups — LGBTQA, ethnic minorities, and other groups which aren’t receiving care that is optimal for them.”
When women’s rights to healthcare are under attack are all over the world, medical knowledge that understands and addresses their concerns and differences is exactly what is needed.