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American Journal of Bioethics.

Intersectionality in Clinical Medicine: The Need for a Conceptual Framework

Intersectionality has become a significant intellectual approach for those thinking about the ways that race, gender, and other social identities converge in order to create unique forms of oppression. Although the initial work on intersectionality addressed the unique position of black women relative to both black men and white women, the concept has since been expanded to address a range of social identities. Here we consider how to apply some of the theoretical tools provided by intersectionality to the clinical context. We begin with a brief discussion of intersectionality and how it might be useful in a clinical context. We then discuss two clinical scenarios that highlight how we think considering intersectionality could lead to more successful patient–clinician interactions. Finally, we extrapolate general strategies for applying intersectionality to the clinical context before considering objections and replies.

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Volume 19, Issue 2
February 2019


Multiple Marginalizations: What Bioethics Can Learn From Black Feminism Amal W. Cheema, Karen M. Meagher & Richard R. Sharp
Ethical Guidelines for DNA Testing in Migrant Family Reunification Nita Farahany, Saheel Chodavadia & Sara H. Katsanis