A reappraisal of Simpson's introduction of chloroform
Department of Nursing Studies,
University of Edinburgh, UK.
Midwifery. 1998 Sep;14(3):181-9.
ABSTRACTOBJECTIVE: To examine the introduction of the use of chloroform in childbirth, assessing the role of Sir James Young Simpson, the various motives for the innovation, and the health and sociological consequences for those involved in childbirth. DESIGN: A review of the attitudes of mothers, midwives, obstetricians and family practitioners, based on contemporary publications and subsequent historical analyses. FINDINGS: The context in which chloroform was introduced was fundamentally important to its widespread acceptance in the UK. The use of this drug carried serious implications for the childbearing woman, as well as the practice and status of those who provided her care. KEY CONCLUSIONS: The implications of the introduction of chloroform in childbirth were short, medium and long term. The changes associated with the acceptance of this drug may bear comparison with those relating to certain, current, pain-control methods.People
'My beloved chloroform'
'Agog with the chloroform'
Delayed chloroform poisoning
Obstetric anaesthesia/John Snow
Early religious/military opposition to anaesthetics
and further reading
The Good Drug Guide
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World