Reproductive Loss in the Medicalised Post-Socialist Context

Monday, 16 July 2018: 20:00
Oral Presentation
Iva SMIDOVA, Masaryk University, Faculty of Social Studies, Sociology Dpt., Brno, Czech Republic
Advancements in assisted technologies do not necessarily bring critical reflection of the practices and their impact on everyday lives of actors involved. Based on a research project analysing very specific liminal events of reproductive loss in the Czech Republic, particularly perinatal loss, the presentation targets the gaps and clashes in competing sets of knowledge claiming their perspectives as overall truths in dealing with death at birth.

The paper reflects the Post-Socialist context of the Czech Republic with its advancement as well as negligence in various spheres of human life, and paternalist approach to dealing with death and practices at birth. The ongoing study (2017 – 2019) is based on document analysis and in-depth interviews with bereaved families as well as with health professionals, social workers, policy makers and NGO representatives involved in providing assistance in case of the “empty cradle” contraposing the glorification of the progress in reproductive biomedicine, biomedicalisation and commercialization of heath and illness. Gender perspective is stressed in the analysis of power relations, symbolic violence and lack of institutionalized social responsibility of the health care and social service systems.