Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pioneering OB's Murderers?

From Babble Australia:
Two doctors, mid-18th century London, are pioneering a brand new field of medicine and hiring henchman to kill their patients so they could conduct experiments on them.

It sounds like a Hollywood historical hit, but it’s not.

William Hunter and William Smellie really were pioneers in the field of obstetrics, and they laid the groundwork for many of today’s childbirth practices.

But a new study suggests that as brilliant as the two Williams were, they were also cold-blooded killers willing to sacrifice the lives of heavily pregnant women to further their research.

Historian Don Shelton published his work in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. He claims that while death and disease were common in a “near-anarchic” London, deaths among pregnant women in their last trimester were relatively rare. Yet between 1749 and 1755, and then again between 1764 and 1774, Hunter and Smellie seemed to have no problem finding deceased pregnant women for their experiments.

And the article from the Guardian: - Founders of British Obstetrics "Were Callous Murderers"

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