عنوان انگلیسی مقاله:
Gendered drug policy: Motherisk and the regulation of mothering in Canada
ترجمه فارسی عنوان مقاله:
سیاست مواد مخدر جنسیتی: Motherisk و تنظیم مادرانگی در کانادا
Sciencedirect - Elsevier - International Journal of Drug Policy, 68 (2019) 109-116: doi:10:1016/j:drugpo:2018:10:007
Background: Due to misinformation and enduring discourses about pregnant women and mothers suspected of
using drugs, these women continue to experience systemic discrimination. In 2014, this fact was once again
made public in Canada when the Ontario government established an independent review of hair testing practices
conducted by Motherisk Drug Testing Laboratory (MDTL) at Torontos Hospital for Sick Kids. Between 2005 and
2015, MDTL tested the hair of more than 16,000 individuals for drug consumption. The results were introduced
as evidence in court and resulted in both temporary and permanent loss of custody of children. Tragically, it was
later discovered that the hair testing results were unreliable. This paper provides an analysis of child protection
policies and practices directed at pregnant women and mothers suspected of using drugs, with a focus on the
Motherisk tragedy in Ontario.
Methods: Informed by feminist and critical drug perspectives, this study draws from findings in the 2015″Report
of the Motherisk Hair Analysis Independent Review," produced by Honourable Susan Lang, and provides a
Bacchi-informed critical analysis of Commissioner Beamans 2018 report of the Motherisk Commission, "Harmful
Impacts: The Reliance on Hair Testing in Child Protection" (HI).
Results: The HI report is quite sympathetic to the plight of families and it acknowledges systemic issues and
unequal power relations between families, social workers and the courts. Even though drug testing is an inadequate
measure of parenting capacity, the HI report does not recommend banning the practice. In the HI
report, the themes of harm reduction and drug prohibition are notably absent — while the use of gender-neutral
terms, such as "parent" and "families," render mothers invisible.
Conclusions: The Motherisk tragedy cannot be understood as an isolated event, rather it is part of a continuum of
state and gendered violence against poor, Indigenous, and Black women in Canada. The HI report fails to
consider how prohibitionist discourses about drugs, addiction, mothering, and risk lead to institutional practices
such as drug testing and child apprehension.
Keywords: Motherisk | Women | Race | Drug testing | Child apprehension