Different, not separate

Carton Virto, Eider

Elhuyar Zientzia eta Teknologia aldizkariaren zuzendaria

Recommendations for incorporating a gender perspective into clinical practices cannot be more sensible: not treating them when they are different and not treating them when they are equal. The aim of these recommendations is to address gender discrimination in health services, so that women do not receive less favourable care and treatment, as it is usually the consequence of gender discrimination. Women are often affected.

The data say so. For example, the incidence of myocardial infarction in women is lower than in men, while the mortality rate is higher due to the different response the patient receives by gender. Also 85% of the psychodrugs prescribed in Spain are aimed at women, although cases of anxiety and depression are not so high among women than among men. In addition, the medicalization of natural processes is much more evident among women than among men, both regarding the rule, childbirth or menopause.

Separation is not limited to health services. It starts from designing clinical sessions that look for new medicines and treatments. The use of female animals in research remains much lower, and in tests with people women are significantly lower, even when researching diseases that affect women more, even though many diseases do not appear in the same way in one gender and the response to treatments is not the same. Sometimes it is justified behavior, but the end result cannot be a medical system that makes women more vulnerable as women.

In the two articles dedicated to this topic, we collect in this issue representative cases, deep concerns and concrete proposals for change of situation in medicine. And with this, the invisibility transmitted by the researchers involved in the interior pages, and the need to become visible.

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