An increasing number of Czech couples who cannot have a child of their own are seeking the help of surrogate mothers. However, there is currently no legislation in the Czech Republic recognising surrogacy. Experts are warning that the arrangements surrounding this controversial method of assisted reproduction are void and unenforceable.
Choirs across the Czech Republic are holding concerts on Wednesday as part
of a charity drive called “Sing for UNICEF”.
Proceeds will go towards helping implement a United Nation’s programme aimed at reducing the high infant mortality rate in underdeveloped countries.
At last count, 182 local choirs had joined the effort, with 64 concerts scheduled for Wednesday. It is the biggest project by the local UNICEF branch since its founding in 1991.
The newly-appointed Social and Labour Minister Jana Maláčová and Health
Minister Adam Vojtěch are against the idea of setting up birthing houses
in the Czech Republic, which would be staffed by midwives.
Maláčová said she had discussed the matter with the health minister and both were of the opinion that it would be better to improve conditions at maternity centres and hospitals, giving women greater privacy and more options in how they want to give birth.
The issue of home births or births assisted by midwives only has been a controversial issue in the Czech Republic for years with doctors vehemently against the idea, saying that in the event of complications it puts at risk both mother and child.
While the law allows the setting up of birthing houses, it has not been carried out in practice since the conditions stipulated are so strict that only hospitals and clinics are able to meet them.
The idea reportedly originated in Denmark where doctors observed health benefits such as improved breathing, regular heartbeat and strong oxygen levels among prematurely-born babies: knitted toy octopuses. Babies observed in neonatal intensive care play with the octopuses the way they would with the umbilical cord if they were still in the womb.
In today’s edition of our miniseries, marking the 300th anniversary of the birth of the Empress Maria Theresa, we look at one of the many novelties she introduced during her reign - the reform of health care. The empress herself initiated some significant changes in the health sector, including obstetrics.
The Czech lower house has rejected a proposed amendment to the law that would have enabled unmarried women to undergo artificial fertilization using the sperm of an anonymous donor. The proposal sparked heated debate on the discrimination of singles and the right of a child to know who its parents are.
Czech MPs have voted against a bill allowing unmarried women to undergo artificial fertilisation using the sperm of an anonymous donor, iDnes.cz reported. Only 40 of 153 deputies present for Wednesday’s vote supported the amendment put forward by František Adamek of the Social Democrats. The motion sparked impassioned debate, with TOP 09 deputy Jitka Chalánková saying the right to have a child did not rank among the basic human rights. Reacting to this statement, the Social Democrat minister for social affairs, Michaela Marksová, said Ms. Chalánková had completely lost her mind. Mr. Adamek said the bill would remove the current requirement for unmarried women to present a male “partner” at fertility clinics.
A Prague court has rejected a claim from midwife Ivana Königsmarková, who was demanding CZK 5 million in compensation for non-pecuniary damage resulting from her criminal prosecution. The court said her action fell under the statute of limitations. However, it will continue to consider her CZK 1 million claim for alleged loss of earnings. In 2014, Ms. Königsmarková, who is the head of the Czech Union of Midwives, was found innocent of charges stemming from a home birth in which the infant suffered brain damage.
The first ever Caesarean section in Europe, in which both mother and child survived, might have taken place in Prague at the court of Jan of Luxembourg already in the 14th century. Czech historians and doctors have come to the conclusion after examining various written accounts from the era. The results of their research have been published in the magazine Czech gynaecology.
Czech historians and doctors have concluded that the first caesarian birth in Europe in which both mother and child survived was carried out in Prague at the court of Jan of Luxembourg in the 14th century. They have examined accounts relating to the birth of a son to Jan’s second wife, Beastrix of Bourbon, and concluded that Václav was born as a result of such an operation in 1337. The evidence has been printed in the magazine Czech gynecology. Successful caesarians were rare even as late as in the 18th century with death likely in around 90 percent of cases.