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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


MARTINS, Antilia Januária; CARDOSO, Maria Helena Cabral de Almeida; LLERENA JUNIOR, Juan Clinton  and  MOREIRA, Martha Cristina Nunes. Family and religious traditions present in medical discourses by medical professionals about children with genetic diseases. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.2, pp.545-553. ISSN 1678-4561.

This study explores the influences of cultural traditions rooted in the tone of medical discourse at the Instituto Fernandes Figueira/ Fundação Oswaldo Cruz by physicians regarding children with genetic diseases involving malformations and mental retardation, as well as reflections upon the professional care for these children. Data were collected using oral interviews (in the form of conversational narratives) and were submitted to semiotic analysis. The results pointed to four main cultural traditions present in medical discourse: the norm, the reason, the family and the Jewish-Christian religiosity. This article, however, focuses on the latter two, emphasizing how the notion of the family, mainly the mythification of the mother, can make the child with a genetic disease 'invisible,' in addition to contributing towards womanhood being underestimated when contrasted with motherhood. Such concepts overlap with those brought by the religious traditions and directly influence the medical perceptions towards patients and their families.

Keywords : Family; Religion; Culture; Disability; Child; Genetics.

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