Neonaticides and Prevention Strategies in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2015.0038-0042

german translation / full article

Paula Krüger

Keywords: Neonaticide Denial of Pregnancy Concealment of Pregnancy Prevention Strategies Save Haven Laws

Summary: The efficacy of “baby hatches” and “anonymous delivery” in preventing neonatal homicide (neonaticides) has been the object of controversial debate not only in German-speaking countries. Due to the introduction of the “confidential birth” in May 2014, women in Germany have now the opportunity to give birth to their child anonymously without facing legal consequences. In Austria, an anonymous delivery law was implemented in 2001; in Switzerland, legislation is still pending. However, studies show that due to the concealment and/or denial of the pregnancy as well as the passivity of the women’s social environment the mentioned prevention strategies seem to be unsuitable in these cases. A more promising approach seems to be the education of the public and of professionals about the phenomenology of neonaticides and especially about the phenomenon of concealment of pregnancy. This paper is intended as a contribution to this approach.

(State: 16.01.2015)

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