Norms, sex, relations and ethics in medical practice

What may uterus transplantation mean to involved actors? How can different actors’ experiences and attitudes shape the care of second degree perineal injuries? As an interdisciplinary grounded in medical humanities, I’m interested in questions such as these.

In my research, I study individuals’ stories about their body, their experiences of health care and their relations. Taking my vantage point in such stories and with theoretical tools from medical humanities, medical sociology and gender studies I examine how individuals make sense of their situation. The common core in my work is my interest in trying to understand how assumptions and norms are enacted in medical practices and as such come to the same, but also how assumptions and norms at the same time are shaped in medical practices. By unpacking and problematizing these dimensions of health care my research shows how different actors’ perspectives can come to matter in medical practices and ultimately improve care.

I’m currently working on these issues in three different research projects. In the project “A Gift for Life?” I explore the perspectives of actors involved in the Swedish attempts at uterus transplantation. Specifically, I examine how different actors make sense of uterus transplantation in relation to norms and imaginaries about female embodiment, in/fertility and relations. Taking my vantage point in research on assisted reproductive technologies and on organ donation in gender studies, social sciences and medical humanities want to contribute to nuance discussions on reproductive technologies in general on uterus transplantation in particular.

In the project ”The Many Meanings of Perineal Injuries” Lisa Lindén Gothenburg Uni and I explore care seekers’ and care providers’ experiences of and attitudes towards second-degree perineal injuries and how they shape and are shaped by, information, treatment, and care encounters. The project demonstrates how such attitudes and experiences can be unpacked and problematized to improve care. As such, it also furnishes discussions of the role of social sciences and humanities in the making of equal care.

In the project “What are you complaining about?” led by my colleague Jelmer Brüggemann we analyse patients’ and care professionals’ experiences of and expectations on how critique is to be expressed; what they complain about; and how patients’ social position matters. The project aims to study what patients’ verbal critique means in Swedish care encounters, and how it can improve care quality and equity.

Communication and collaborations

In all of my projects, I try to find new ways of communicating my research to a wider audience. For example, I have worked with blogs, Wikipedia and in ongoing projects with short video productions. It provides new angles on my scientific production and contributes to widen my networks and develop contacts with different stakeholders. I have, for example, been hired as a lecturer by Svenska Turnerföreningen, Kvinnokliniken vid Linköpings universitetssjukhus, RFSL Linköping, Forskartorget Bokmässan, and Landstinget Örebro.

Communication and networking are also central tasks of my role as coordinator for the Centre for Medical Humanities and Bioethics. At CMHB, we want to gather, strengthen, and develop research, teaching, and collaboration with the society around us, within the areas of medical humanities and bioethics. We work on several levels: locally at LiU, and on regional, national and international scales.

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