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>the Controversy< Martha and a Man-Midwife Who Was Dr. Ben Page? Summing Up
Smellie Treatise
>Smellie Collection<
William Smellie, A Collection of Cases and Observations, Vol. II

The most famous of the English man-midwives, William Smellie (1698-1763) also taught man-midwives. He became a target for those English writers who wished to moderate or reverse the trend toward using male rather than female midwives.
Quote from page V


1. According to Smellie, how often did he use the forceps in his own practice?

2. What cautions did Smellie urge in his description of the forceps?

Questions to ask the book:

1. What were the author's arguments against women in midwifery?
Find out in the Archive

2. How could the author's occupation have affected his arguments?
Find out in the Archive

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  Title Page   Page V  



Among the laborious cases, he will find a variety of examples, by which he will know it is absolutely necessary to use the forceps. In my private practice, I have very seldom occasion for the assistance of that or any other instrument; but I have often been called in by other practitioners, to cases in which I have had opportunities to use it with success.

The forceps and fullet were contrived with a view to save the childe, by helping along the head in extraordinary cases, when nature was exhausted, and to prevent , as much as possible, the use of sharp instruments, when the mother’s life was in danger. But if these expedients were used prematurely, when the nature of the case does not absolutely require such assistance, the mischief that may ensue will often overbalance the service for which they were intended; and this consideration is one of my principal motives for publishing this second volume.

In my first, among improvements and alterations that have been made in the forceps, I mentioned a long pair, curved

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