Search Resources (English): Medicalization

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Side effects: a dramatic prescription

This article introduces the community theatre production of Side Effects, seen by nearly 10,000 women across Canada, a play about women’s experiences in the health care system.  Illustrates the valuable role this production played.  Major portions of this article are based on the Side Effects Final Report, written and compiled by Barbara Lysnes of The Great Canadian Theatre Company, and on quotes from personal feedback from audience and direct quotes from the Side Effects script.  

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Published: 1986
Medicalization of Sex (podcasts)

Podcast series of radio documentaries that arose from the Medicalization of Sex conference that took place in Vancouver in April 2011. The three podcasts explore the way in which sex has been positioned in popular culture, in medical discourse and in the news media, as something that is not simply healthy at times, but as necessary in the maintenance of good health. It looks at how this kind of discourse affects how women view their own sexuality, how it plays into compulsory sexuality, and asks: Is sex necessarily "healthy"?

The three parts are:
Part one: Sex for health
Part two: The trouble with female genitalia
Part three: Barbara Marshall -- 'Sexualizing the Third Age

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Published: 2011
Menopause in Japan means konenki

This article explores the different experiences and understandings of menopause for women in Japan as compared to women in North America. Acknowledges the power of language in shaping our experiences. 

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Published: 1990
Seeking sickness: medical screening and the misguided hunt for disease

Discusses the most common and recommended types of screening and weighs the pros and cons of each. Deals with questions such as: Do mammograms save lives? Is a colonoscopy necessary for everyone? Is it worth it to spend thousands of dollars for a whole-body scan? Also examines the roles of practitioners and drug companies in getting us to “test-early-and-test-often.”

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Published: 2012
Nurturing mothers

This article discusses the culture of childbearing. Explores how medicalization has becomes the ritual of birth in North America. Explores how women are reclaiming their bodies in birth. 


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Published: 1983
Over-diagnosis epidemic

A ten-part online series that outlines the growing problem of overdiagnosis and overuse of medical screening tests.

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Published: 2012
In praise of midwifery

This article explores the history of choices in childbirth. Shares one woman's home birth experience. 

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Published: 1991
Myth: whole-body screening is an effective way to detect hidden cancers

Discusses how whole body screening (e.g. Computerized Tomography (CT) scans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology or Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans) is promoted to healthy people as preventative health care, while the evidence shows it offers no proven health benefits and exposes people to unnecessary health risks.

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Published: 2009