Resolution for Woman’s Health (2022)
The female body has been understudied and ignored in medical research since the beginning of science. Attitudes and education are changing for the better within the medical and scientific establishment, but much more needs to be done. When women’s bodies and conditions are understudied, and consequently undiagnosed and misdiagnosed, women’s health is seriously impaired. We deserve health care based on accurate information and protocols that promote healing.
Furthermore, women cannot make informed and intelligent decisions about their own bodies, nor can they control their own health-care choices and treatments, if they are unable to get complete and accurate information from doctors, scientists and pharmaceutical researchers. This is a denial of a basic human right. We must develop and use our voices to become fully equal in the eyes of medicine, as both biological and transgender females.1 The quest for women’s equality is our WLCJ inheritance and must be our legacy.
Whereas Jewish tradition cherishes the sanctity of life (B. Sanhedrin 74a), and Judaism tells us that physicians have an obligation to heal (Shulchan Arukh Yoreh De’ah 336:1); and
Whereas women’s symptoms are more likely (than men’s) to be dismissed as psychological, rather than viewed as medical conditions that may require testing; and
Whereas male physiology alone has historically been the basis for medical research (beginning at the cellular level), diagnostic tools, and treatments; and
Whereas diseases primarily affecting women are often understudied; and
Whereas, biologically, women metabolize drugs differently from men; and
Whereas women’s reproductive systems are more complex than men’s, and need lifelong medical attention;2 and
Whereas some populations of women (such as the elderly, the differently abled, those who are pregnant, women of color, and transgender women) are even less represented in all levels of medical research than women in general, resulting in quantifiably poorer outcomes; and
Whereas, as a result, women are at greater risk than men for misdiagnosis, improper treatments and medical complications.
Therefore, BE IT RESOLVED that Women’s League for Conservative Judaism:
1. We acknowledge the additional medical challenges faced by transgender women, a subject which warrants further research.
2. Reproductive rights have been addressed in five previous Women’s League resolutions: Abortion (1976), Amended Resolution on Abortion (1982), Health-Reproductive Rights (2012), Health-Reproductive Rights (2014), and Resolution for Woman’s Right to Choose (2020).