Normality, sex, relationality and ethics in medical practice

How do norms – for example about sex, gender and kinship – shape bodies, the ways in which we understand bodies, and our knowledge about bodies, as well as medical treatments of bodies? 

In my research I explore how such norms are shaped, expressed, enacted, and negotiated, for example in relation to uterus transplantation, “diverse sex development” (DSD), and infertility. In particular I am interested in individuals’ narratives about their own (and others’) bodies, about health care encounters and about relationships. By exploring such narratives I examine how individuals make sense of and negotiate their situation in relation to societal and cultural expectations and assumptions.

In previous research I have, for example, shown how young women talk about and make sense of their experiences of not having physical characteristics that are considered “typical” for the female sex, such as two x-chromosomes, ovaries, a uterus and/or a vagina. I have also been involved in a study which explored how parents describe and make sense of their decision to donate a kidney to their ill child. In two current projects I am studying the uterus transplantation trial undertaken at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden. The common core of these projects is my interest in trying to understand how assumptions and norms are enacted and thus come to shape medical practices, treatments and innovations, but also how assumptions and norms at the same time are shaped through medical practice, treatments and innovations. Such knowledge, I believe, contributes to health care by making visible other dimensions of medical practices and treatments apart from the medical ones, and also contributes to enriching societal and ethical discussions of medical innovations.

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Networks

  • Bioethics, Sexuality, and Gender Identity
  • European Society for the Philosophy of Medicine and Health Care (ESPMH)
  • Nordic Network for the Philosophy of Medicine and Medical Ethics
  • Forum för medicinsk etik
  • European Network for Psychosocial Studies in Intersex/DSD
  • P6: Body, Knowledge, Subjectivity


Review assignments

  • Social Science and Medicine
  • Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy
  • Culture, Health and Sexuality


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