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Observations on the results of operative and spontaneous deliveries

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An increasing incidence of operative interference during pregnancy and labour is revealed in the publications from almost all maternity centres. The obstetrician of to-day, working in a wellequipped hospital as a member of a team, rejoices in the knowledge that he can show better statistics in his operative cases than were obtained when surgical intervention during parturition first became fashionable. Whether he has fewer fatalities to his discredit after a decade or two in practice, is more open to doubt; for in his enthusiasm for manual dexterity he is in danger of losing sight of the fact that he has yet to achieve results which will bear comparison with those of the spontaneous deliveries he so frequently cuts short. If we justify our operations by pleading that modern civilisation has produced women who cannot deliver their babies, it seems arrogant to assert that the same generation has begotten a race of obstetricians to make good the failures.

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Being the Presidential Address to the Section of Obstetrics of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, delivered October 12th, 1934.

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Healy, T.M. Observations on the results of operative and spontaneous deliveries. Ir J Med Sci 9, 543–550 (1934). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02968307

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