Periodic Reporting for period 2 - OBSTETRICVIOLENCE (Obstetric violence.The new goal for research, policies and human rights on childbirth)
Reporting period: 2017-10-01 to 2018-09-30
Sometimes women can be coerced into accepting medical interventions or these interventions are performed without their consent. In some cases, this coercion can be not explicit, i.e. related to the authoritativeness of biomedical knowledge and power issues in the doctor-patient relationship.
In Latin America, over the past decade, the term “obstetric violence” (OV) has become part of the legal framework. The concept refers to acts in the context of labour and birth categorised as physically or psychologically violent due to unjustified use of medical interventions. Specific laws against OV– a type of gender-based violence and violation of human rights – exist in Venezuela, Argentina, several States of Mexico and the State of S. Catarina in Brazil and Uruguay.
In Europe, the issue is raised by human rights organisations and social movements, but no country has passed legislation on the matter yet. The concept is far from receiving sufficient critical examination within biomedical practice and public policy, and it is not seen as a potential tool for rethinking and improving birth care policies and practices.
The project objective is transferring Latin American experiences on recognising and preventing OV to the European context in order to provide decision makers with an innovative tool for rethinking the quality of birth care services and providing society with new ways to discuss childbirth issues.
Specific objectives are:
1) Analysing the historical, social and political processes that led to the legal recognition of OV in some Latin American countries, focusing on Argentina.
2) Analysing the impact that this recognition has had on birth care services and on the training of the next generation of health providers.
3) Identifying and transferring good practice and tools from the Argentinian and Latin American experience and supporting a process of social and political recognition of OV in the European context, especially in countries where medical intervention in child labour and childbirth is common, as in Italy and Spain.
4) Designing and implementing a Platform on Obstetric Violence, as an innovative point of reference on the matter for decision makers and training managers in health issues.
Objective 3. Strategies, tools and best practices implemented in Argentina and in other Latin American countries were identified and transferred in the European context. Research topic were disseminated in 20 events. 12 researcher's training activities were carried out.
Objective 4. A Platform on Obstetric Violence was designed and implemented. The Platform consists of an online portal, in which decision makers, researchers and training managers are be able to find information on laws, research data, training proposals and other materials on OV. The portal is available on the project website.
- The historical, social and political processes that led to the legal recognition of OV in several Latin American countries were analysed. The role of social movements fighting for more respectful births is highlighted.
- The process that led to the implementation of the legal framework regarding the care of pregnancy and childbirth in Argentina was analysed. The experiences of people who played a key role in the writing of the Law 25929 ""Ley de Parto Humanizado"" and the Law 26.485 (defining OV in article no. 6) were collected, in addition to those of people who are now working for the recognition, prevention, and reporting of OV.
- The role of the Obstetric Violence Observatory (OVO) founded in Argentina in 2015 was analysed. As a social, cultural, political, transcultural, and transdisciplinary mechanism it represents an effective instrument for preventing and recognizing obstetric violence in the country. In addition, the OVO has become an inspiring tool for other experiences recently implemented in others countries.
- The impact that the legal recognition has had on birth care services and on the training of the next generation of health providers were analysed.
- Good practice and tools were identified and transferred in the European context.
- An educational proposal and a recommendation draft were drafted.
- The Platform on Obstetric Violence was designed and implemented on the project website page.
Latin American countries experiences can support a process of social and political recognition of OV in Europe. The Platform on Observatory Violence – an innovative tool at the European level – will become a point of reference on the matter for decision makers and training managers in health issues. Dissemination activities will increase general public’s awareness on the topic.
The researcher will reinforce her position as an expert on reproductive health and obstetric violence at European and international level.