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December 3, 1960

Our Obstetric Heritage: The Story of Safe Childbirth

JAMA. 1960;174(14):1889. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030140111043

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Dr. Thorns develops, with humility and great understanding, the fascinating story of mankind's journey along the highway of knowledge about our most important function—childbirth. He traces, with perspicacity, the past, present, and future of obstetrics. He tells us of the ever-redoubtable Chamberlens and their family secret of the hidden forceps. He tells of the slow but steady progress in obstetrical anesthesia, and of the final recognition of cesarean operations as desirable, prophylactic surgery when so indicated and not necessarily surgery of desperation. He leads us into an awareness that childbirth is one of nature's glories, not just a time of pain and travail. He leaves us with a wholesome, comfortable feeling that we are beyond the mysticism of the past and well along the highway toward acceptance and understanding of our place as human beings in the world about us.

Dr. Thomas has made many contributions to the science and

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