Women’s troubles

From Australian Doctor, 21 August 2008:
“WANTED: Single, White Male for Medical Research.” When US bioethicist Rebecca Dresser wrote these words in 1992, she was not recruiting for a clinical trial. But she might well have been. Her landmark article drew attention to the deplorable reality that women were being excluded from clinical research across the medical spectrum, from cardiovascular disease to HIV.
The article had a profound effect on Australian academic Wendy Rogers, now associate professor of medical ethics and health law at Flinders University in Adelaide.
“I was horrified that women might not be included in research,” Professor Rogers says. She had long been interested in feminist bioethics, but her desire to investigate the gender divide in medical research was being stymied by a lack of information.
So Professor Rogers and colleague Dr Angela Ballantyne decided to dig up that information for themselves. They examined a big range of recent Australian studies to try to get a sense of how well women were being represented in medical research, and published their results earlier this year. Although a decade-and-a-half have passed since Rebecca Dresser’s comments, it seems not a lot has changed. Read more.

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