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Abort, fosterdiagnostik och människosyn: En politisk utredning i jakt på etiska ställningstaganden kring ny medicinteknik i 1980-talets Sverige
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2016 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Abortion, prenatal diagnosis and the view of human life : A governmental commission in pursuit of ethical standpoints regarding new medical technology in Sweden during the 1980s (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores the political and ethical response to the development of new medical technology in the 1980s through the governmental commission Utredningen om det ofödda barnet [the commission regarding the unborn child] and its final report Den gravida kvinnan och fostret – två individer: om fosterdiagnostik, om sena aborter: slutbetänkande av Utredningen om det ofödda barnet [The Pregnant Woman and the Foetus – two individuals. On prenatal diagnosis. On late abortions: final report on the commission on the unborn child]. This governmental commission, alongside the late 1980s more broadly, have been described as a conservative backlash and reaction to the feminist movement and the fight for women’s right to their bodies. However, a close reading of the report shows that though it draws controversial connections between abortion, prenatal diagnosis and ability variations, the governmental commission advocated an extension of the law, not a limitation of rights.

Through a biopolitical perspective this thesis shows how power was distributed between the state, the society and the individual. Unlike previous research’s polarisation, this thesis’s take on medicalisation shows that medicalisation is not something that necessarily opposes moralisation, but that they can be used to legitimate each other. Finally it discusses what this means for our understanding of the political climate in Sweden during the 1980s and how this changes our perception of what makes a human being.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 57 p.
Keyword [en]
prenatal diagnosis, abortion, medical technology, medicalisation, biopolitics
Keyword [sv]
fosterdiagnostik, abort, medicinteknik, medikalisering, biopolitik
National Category
History of Ideas
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-123283OAI: diva2:944507
Subject / course
History of ideas
Available from: 2016-06-29 Created: 2016-06-29

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