Fetal Diagnosis and Accountability

Marie Langebeck

Student thesis: Master thesis


This master theses shows Insight to the prenatal diagnostic in Norway, and how the discourse can be an expression of modern power. In Norway, the pregnant women who past 38 years, or in other reason has a higher risk for a child with developmental defects, got the offer to investigate the fetus. The investigate aims is to detect abnormal development, as typical Downs Syndrome. The women are selfdetermination. Her choice to carry out prenatal diagnosis or abortion (in case of a sick fetus), should be without influence. In 2004 the government decided to change the law, and the pregnant women are entitled more guidance and information from the health system, to make shore her choice is based on insight, and then also autonomous and independent. The theoretical basis use the philosophe Michal Foucault, and his understanding of discourse theory. Foucault’s archaeology is used to diagnose the regulative language of today, who are intended for the pregnant woman. The master theses questioning the normative language, who seems natural and obviously. The discourse analyse creates material for questioning how the discourse is a use of modern power. Foucault’s analytic perspective; the biopolitics, open the mind for a discourse who looks fear in the first place, but with a second look, there is possible to argue that a discourse of prenatal diagnostic can seems leading. The discourse of today put the woman in a specific position, and the regulative language may work educational to her. The master theses question how the discourse of prenatal diagnostic make the pregnant woman a responsible subject, in the use of bio power. It also discusses the issues of a discourse who idealizes a healthy and “normal” life.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages78
SupervisorsErik Caparros Højbjerg