What a Blessing She Had Chloroform: The Medical and Social Response to the Pain of Childbirth from 1800 to the Present

What a Blessing She Had Chloroform: The Medical and Social Response to the Pain of Childbirth from 1800 to the Present

by Donald Caton, Caton
     
 

ISBN-10: 0300075979

ISBN-13: 9780300075977

Pub. Date: 06/10/1999

Publisher: Yale University Press

This book describes in fascinating detail the history of the use of anesthesia in childbirth and in so doing offers a unique perspective on the interaction between medical science and social values. Dr. Donald Caton traces the responses of physicians and their patients to the pain of childbirth from the popularization of anesthesia to the natural childbirth movement

Overview

This book describes in fascinating detail the history of the use of anesthesia in childbirth and in so doing offers a unique perspective on the interaction between medical science and social values. Dr. Donald Caton traces the responses of physicians and their patients to the pain of childbirth from the popularization of anesthesia to the natural childbirth movement and beyond. He finds that physicians discovered what could be done to manage pain, and patients decided what would be done.
Dr. Caton discusses how nineteenth-century physicians began to think and act like scientists; how people learned to reject the belief that pain and suffering are inevitable components of life; and how a later generation came to think that pain may have important functions for the individual and society. Finally he shows the extent to which cultural and social values have influenced "scientific" medical decisions.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300075977
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
06/10/1999
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Prefaceix
Acknowledgmentsxv
Part I Physicians and the Pain of Childbirth
1 "The Head of Jove and the Body of Bacchus" James Young
Simpson and the Beginning of Obstetric Anesthesia2
2 "A Cup of Circe" The Opposition to Obstetric Anesthesia20
3 "Bled, Leeched, Salivated" The Transformation of
Medical Practice by Science38
4 "The Queen in Her Confinement" John Snow's Approach to
Anesthesia54
5 "The Tender Organization of the Newborn" Balancing the
Risks of Pain and Anesthesia70
Part II Women and the Pain of Childbirth
6 "The Sin of Our First Parents" The Social Connotations
of Pain90
7 "This Blessed Chloroform" Pain as Biological and
Anesthesia as Necessary108
8 "There Ought to Be No Pain" The American Women's
Campaign for Twilight Sleep130
9 "Labor Is Pathogenic" The National Birthday Trust Fund
Campaign in Great Britain152
10 "As God Intended" Grantly Dick Read and the Natural
Childbirth Movement172
Part III in the Delivery Room: Physicians and Women Together
11 "Pain Makes Things Valuable" The Danger of Drugs and
the Social Value ofPain198
12 "The Greatest Misery of Sickness Is Solitude" Current
Controversy220
Notes235
Index279

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