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I have been editing copy for the Journal for more than a year. In that time, I've edited case reports, poems, letters, book reviews, and editorials, by dozens of authors, practically all of them with one theme: wonder before the human body and the countless ways that it can malfunction. This, of course, reflects medicine's preoccupation with sickness. However, a recent event reminded me that a physician can be concerned with the preservation of health as well as with curing sickness, to help the patient through a difficult period with grace. This event was the birth of my daughter last April in an "alternative birthing center" in Chicago.
When my wife, Anne Ryan, learned in September 1978 that she was pregnant, she had already investigated the subject of childbirth both as it takes place in the hospital and the alternatives to hospital birth. One of my nieces had been delivered
Butzen F. The Alternative Birthing Center: One Family's Experience. Am J Dis Child. 1980;134(4):348–349. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1980.04490010006002
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