Politicized medicine

Duration of the project

01.07.2020. - 15.12.2020.

Countries and institutions involved in the project

Institute of the Historv of Medicine, Riga Stradins University
Institute of the History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine, University of Ulm
Institute of Public Health, Vilnius University
Department of Anatomy, University of Tartu

Project Manager

Prof. Dr. Juris Salaks

Project goals

The subject of the workshop is politicized medicine in Eastern European dictatorships. In this research, selected dictatorships are included in a comparative perspective: the Soviet Union, especially Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, the Polish People’s Republic, as well as Germany, especially the German Democratic Republic (GDR). The comparative approach makes it possible to describe similarities and differences between the praxis of politicized medicine in these countries and to make statements about its functions and exercise. The following question should be answered: What was the normative framework and what functions and consequences in praxis had politicized medicine in various Eastern European dictatorships?

This question will be examined on the basis of historical perspective on politicized medicine, which, so far, have scarcely been discussed in the historical reappraisal of dictatorships and which affected various social groups: “asocial” persons, homosexuals, sexually promiscuous persons, homeless, prostitutes. They were regarded as carriers of diseases and described in legal acts as a health and moral hazard for the population. As a result, they were often compulsory committed to closed facilities and somatically and psychologically traumatized.

Main activities and venues

  • Preparation of the program for workshop (Zoom conferences, mailings 6.-10. July 2020)
  • Development of an internet presence on the homepage of the Institute of the History of Medicine (Riga) (27.-31. July 2020)
  • Workshops in Riga, 12. – 14. August 2020, Institute of the History of Medicine
  • Preparation of a report on the workshop (14.-15. August 2020)
  • Development of a concept for public lectures on www.ishm2020.com platform and the publications (13.-14. August 2020)
  • Speakers write the contributions for the publication and prepare public lecture on www.ishm2020.com platform (17. August – 15. October 2020)
  • Translation and editing the content of the contributions for publication (16. October 2020 – 14. November 2020)

Public events

Workshops in Riga, 12. – 14. August 2020, Institute of the History of Medicine

Lectures on: www.ishm2020.com

Politicized medicine in Eastern European dictatorships. 15. September 2020, www.ishm2020.com Speakers: Ineta Lipše, Florian Steger, Marcin Orzechowski and experts

Direct and indirect target groups

Direct target group: scientific community, members of the International Society of History of Medicine (40-60 people)

Indirect target group: general public, video-records on e-study for RSU students (in long perspective – 1000 students)