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HLTC02H3 (51)
Chapter 16

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Health Studies
Toba Bryant

Chapter 16- Selling The Change: A comparison of the dangers of Hormone Replacement Therapies (HRT) in profit versus national health care delivery systems By Brian Richter and Cindy Patton HRT (combination of estrogen and progesterone) did not protect women from heart diseases but instead raised the risk of heart attack, stroke, and blood clots among users. The increased risk of breast cancer was already known. The take home message was that if you are using HRT to prevent heart disease during or after menopause then dont do it. The risks outweighed the benefits of taking the drugs which includes a decrease in hip fractures and a decrease in colorectal cancer On July 9 , 2002- millions of baby boomers within the menopause spectrum awoke to a new scientific discovery that was said to affect their ability to age gracefully and healthfully. Media reported that the first prospective study (Womens Health Initiative Trials (WHI) of the side effects of a drug that had been widely prescribed for 70 years had been abruptly halted when the drugs risks seemed to outweigh its benefits. Drugs for osteoporosis reduction benefit versus the risk for cancer? Menopause symptoms as poor sleep, depression, hot flashed and vaginal dryness. The question however is if these menopause symptoms are for real? Or just a fabrication of the middle class women (mostly white women)? Who knows why some women have problems while others do not? There are no possible descriptions regarding the variations among women race and class in the largest sense; diet, smoking, alcohol consumption and exercise are habits that are widely known to vary by race and class. However, we are left to imagine either that all menopausal women are the same or that the media is primarily concerned with middle class white women Mostly the debate about HRT is seen as a white middle class womans problem. This is because when doctors, advocates and policymakers are quizzed about the meaning of drugs and their newly recognized side effects, only because white middle class women are more likely to access medical care and also more likely to be offered pharmaceuticals than women from other races and classes Feminist critique; Medicalization of menopause, the gendered construction of medical knowledge and the analysis of social construction of the idea that womens bodies are inherently labile (adaptable or emotionally adaptable to change) and womens mental states determined by their biologic fluctuations Which side in the debate about whether and how individuals should continue HRT is the feminist side? Feminist side says how medicine is misused against a neo-liberal feminist position that argues that women can make their own decisions about their health care. In Macleans magazine, physicians have said that if women stop hormones abruptly, then a lot of women will be experiencing horrible hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, irritability and mood swings But reporters never directly raise the issue of the disqualifying effect of menopause on womens ability to exercise their rights as citizens (in Canada, one with the right to care; in the U.S, onewith the right to choose). Instead, both countries focus on directing women to seek advice from doctors. Canadian coverage places more emphasis on over-reliance on doctors authority which is likely due to a more fundamental difference in the two systems understanding of how to distribute health care. Thus, more attention to Canadian women who have a right to have their health interests protected by science and the state (as embodied by the doctor, funded through a largely public system) U.S women, who are accorded a right to CHOOSE health option even if that means disregarding the advice of their doctor, whose interests align not with the state but with the health care markets that pays him or her. The purpose is to position the media representation of the HRT debate not only in the context of feminist health concerns , but specifically in the context of debates about which consumers are able to direct the course of scientific research and evaluate its results on their own An overview of how HRT emerged as a treatment, how it gained such widespread use in North America without ever undergoing major trials. Media representation of doctors authority with respect to protecting womens right to care versus enacting womens right to choose HISTORY OF HRT: Switch from HRT as treatment to HRT as preventative therapy occurred without much debate and justification The term HRT is not even accurate entirely since the drugs that are prescribed to replace hormones lost at menopause do not actu
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