No need for ‘yes’: Australian Pap Smear Registers, consent and the (re-)creation of gendered identities
In cervical cancer testing, law and medicine operate in gendered ways to create legislative regimes for population testing. Governments in several Australian jurisdictions have enacted legislation which creates cervical cancer registers under the National Cervical Screening Program. Unlike other legislation relating to several other types of health register, cervical cancer register legislation sets up oversight, reminder and information gathering regimes about all patients who undergo testing for cervical cancer. Women must opt out rather than opt in to use the system. Using a feminist theoretical model, the article will examine how the Program creates and reinforces gender identities based in both the embodied position of women as Pap smear patients and patriarchal assumptions about women's rationality and autonomy.
Women's Studies International Forum
Law and Society