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May 23, 1885

THE ADDRESS IN OBSTETRICS.A BRIEF REVIEW OF THE GROWTH OF MC'DOWELL'S OPERATION DONE AT DANVILLE, KENTUCKY, IN 1809; ITS PRESENT STATUS.

JAMA. 1885;IV(21):561-564. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.02390960001001

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Abstract

Delivered April 29, 1885, in General Session of ths American Medical Association.

BY R. S. SUTTON, M.D., LL.D., OF PITTSBURGH, PA.

In the bleak cold of a December day, in 1809, a woman riding on horseback arrived in Danville, Kentucky. She had taken farewell, perhaps forever, of relatives and friends, and had just completed a journey of sixty miles, that she might be near a surgeon who had promised to open her abdomen, and attempt to remove the large ovarian cyst it contained. She was to be the subject of an experiment—an experiment at the hands of a surgeon living on the borders of civilization —an experiment which would involve her life, and to which she must submit without the blessing of chloroform or ether. This woman possessed of marvellous courage was Mrs. Crawford, McDowell's first patient in ovariotomy, and the first patient upon whom the operation was ever deliberately

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