‘It’s not just about having babies’: A socio-bioethical exploration of older women’s experiences of making oncofertility decisions in Britain

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

This article discusses how research in bioethics can be conducted through a sociological lens, using not only methods, but social and sociological theory and methodology to reflect on those bioethics theories that currently inform policy and practice in the healthcare setting. Using selected findings from a research project investigating the experiences of British premenopausal cancer patients making decisions to undergo fertility damaging cancer treatments, this chapter provides a case study of how sociology is an important field to include in the interdisciplinary field of bioethics. The results from interviews with cancer survivors showed that older premenopausal women (aged 35–50) attach importance to their fertility status for non-childbearing reasons. Participants felt that their healthcare professionals made assumptions about their fertility/ovarian preservation needs, which kept participants from making fully informed decisions about their cancer treatments. This research uses the experience of older oncofertility patients to highlight the need to address the persistent lack of effective communication between healthcare professionals and patients about oncofertility options, in order to better support autonomous, informed decision-making in the clinical context.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophies and Sociologies of Bioethics
EditorsH. Riesch, N. Emmerich, S. Wainwright
PublisherSpringer
Pages93-105
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-92738-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-92737-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2018

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