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TitleThe diagnosis of infertility: patients’ classification processes and feelings
Author(s)Silva, Susana
Machado, Helena
Medical diagnosis
Issue dateApr-2008
Citation"Medical Sociology Online". 3:1 (Apr. 2008) 4-14.
Abstract(s)This paper is about patients’ accounts of the processes through which a medical diagnosis of infertility is made, in particular of the medico-technical procedures and practices of the definition of, and clinical intervention in, the ‘fertility problem’. It uses data drawn from interviews with couples who were medically diagnosed with infertility and had achieved a non medically assisted conception after at least one IVF treatment. By examining the place of the physician’s expertise in helping lay people make sense of the diagnosis of infertility, we aim to understand the heterogeneities and complexities that shape the relationships between infertility patients’ agency and feelings, medical knowledge production and the design of technical practices. Linking phenomenological and constructivist approaches, we suggest that these connections often take singular and uncertain forms that challenge traditional notions of passive subjects being objectivised in order to be medically known. We explore some of the processes involved in patients’ translation of the medical diagnosis of infertility and of the expert’s authority, to argue that this phenomenon is constructed within existing social relations, in particular gender relations, and that fertility investigation technologies are re-invented within everyday contexts.
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:CECS - Artigos em revistas internacionais / Articles in international journals
DS/CICS - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais/Articles in International Journals

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