The traditional biomedical and person-in-environment (PIE) perspectives are often found in conflict when framed within broader gender discrimination and consumerist health care practices. Our critical feminist analysis addresses the case of Katie, a vulnerable health care recipient, whose intersecting identities fall outside of the “margins of acceptability.” Communication deficits among team members and a lack of clear care protocols become evident. Insurance demands to justify coverage undermine the processes of beneficence and the ethic of care required for emancipatory advocacy. We present the tripartite paradigm of transformative complicity, cultural humility, and systems-based empowerment to address the complex ethical dilemmas that emerge. Strategies informed by experimental ethnography help us model effective transdisciplinary dialogue by inviting voices/commentators to rise from the margins (foot/endnotes) and decenter authorial power. Using an emancipatory social work framework, we offer actionable steps which, as revealed by our commentators, are often lacking from the medical team's and care recipient’s toolbox. We call ffor discursive courage to chip away at the socially constructed myths of biological and moral deficit that merge gender, colorism, class, and invisibility in the web of historical and structural discrimination. In addition, we welcome service seekers, as therapeutic colleagues, in the process of systemic empowerment.
A primary inspiration for this article lies with our dear colleagues from the former Association of Behavioral Sciences and Medical Education (ABSAME), co-directed by compassionate NSU humanists and outstanding transdisciplinary educators and scholars: Dr. Stan Cohen (co-founder), Dr. Patrick Hardigan (ABSAME former director), and Dr. Kathleen Hagen (ABSAME former Board of Director, outstanding musician, and transformative educator). Other highly supportive colleagues include Ms. Laurel Humbert (former ABSAME Vice-President), Dr. Don Self (former ABSAME journal editor), and Dr. Fred Hafferty (ABASME Board member. Our "familia academica" affiliated (past or present) to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor: Dr. Lorraine Gutierrez, Dr. Norbert O. Ross, Dr. Charles Garvin, Dr. Linwood Cousins, Dr. Ruth Dunkle, Dr. Laura Lein, Dr. Steven Applewhite, and Dr, David Brose have been profound inspirations. The spirit of our social work students from various institutions, highlighting NASW Student of the Year Cindy Newberry, shines in this work as well. The unique contribution of our work could not be accomplished without the support of our authorial decentering "voices from the margins" (in alphabetical order): Alexandra Cubero-Matos (anthropology, conservation ecology, and animal behavior student), Daniel Cubero-Matos (musician and community philosopher), Dr Parul Sud, MD (Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program at McLaren Hospital in Flint, MI), Ms. Dalia Reyes (Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish member, Flint, MI), and Dr. Odeather Hill, LMSW, PhD (Founder and President of Deaf Matters, Inc.). We would also like to thank Dr. Cheryl Hill, editor of the Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice and the reviewers of our article for their thought provoking comments. Finally, our work would no have been possible without the technical support of Mr. Sean Hennessy.
Duntley-Matos R, Ortega RM, Matos MM. Where’s Social Work? A Critical Analysis of Gender Invisibility, Ethical Conflict, and Advocacy in Medical Teams. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2020 Oct 19;18(4), Article 20.