At the Back Stage of Prenatal Care: Japanese Ob-Gyns Negotiating Prenatal Diagnosis
Medical Anthropology Quarterly Volume 20, Issue 4, pages 441–468, December 2006
28 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2012 Last revised: 29 Aug 2012
Date Written: January 8, 2008
In this article, I explore the reluctance of Japanese ob-gyns to discuss prenatal diagnosis (PND) tests with pregnant women. The analysis focuses on the culturally specific ways in which ob-gyns formulate their cautiousness and criticism toward PND while invoking a local moral economy. Analyzing ob-gyns' accounts, I show how the ambiguities of PND are constituted in a specific moment in Japanese culture, history, disability politics, and national reproductive policies and are formulated through local paradigms of thinking about pregnant women, their fetuses, and the process of becoming a person in Japanese society. Finally, I show how PND in Japan is pushed to a “back-stage” realm in which the diagnosis for fetal anomalies is practiced in secrecy.
Keywords: prenatal diagnosis, ob-gyns, reproductive politics, disability, Japanese society
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation