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" For all women in the perils of childbirth."... " We beseech Thee to hear us, Good Lord." So runs the liturgy of the Church of England and the Episcopal Church of North America, copied from that of the mother church of Rome; an echo from the Dark Ages, when the midwife was the only one who ministered to the wants of the suffering parturient, long before the practice of obstetrics became a science, and when the patient, if she survived the actual labor, had to face the risks of puerperal fever literally brought to her by the hands of those who meant to help her.
It will long be the boast of the nineteenth century that antiseptic methods in surgery and obstetrics first became settled truths in medical practice. Yet, in an editorial which appears in the Charlotte Medical Journal for January, 1894, we note the following passage: "It has appeared
ANTISEPSIS IN OBSTETRICS.. JAMA. 1894;XXII(6):193–194. doi:10.1001/jama.1894.02420850021003