Lecture: 250 Years Ago: Man-Midwifery, Manuscripts and Murder (Maybe)

Thursday, 25th April 2024 5:15 PM

Online or Barnett Lecture Theatre, 1st floor Dunedin Hospital

Presented by

Allan B MacLean.

Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College, London.

In 1774 William Hunter published “The Anatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus”. Along with William Smellie and his “Sett of Anatomical Tables” and a three volume “Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Midwifery”, these two “man-midwives” established British obstetrics in 18th century London. For millennia, the role of women in delivering babies had been unchallenged – what factors encouraged men to become involved? This talk will argue that these two “man-midwives” advanced obstetrics without resorting to irregular practices. Intrapartum care subsequently evolved to include the initiation and augmentation of uterine contractions, pain control and lowered risk of sepsis but later monitoring of the foetus. Obstetrics now needs to progress to address current challenges.


Zoom ID: 991 3636 0734     

Password: 902671


2024 History of Medicine and Science Lecture Series sponsored by The Otago Medical School Alumni Association.

All are welcome.

© Copyright Dunedin City of Literature