The Stanley R Friesen Lecture in the History of Surgery - Birth at the Jaws of Death: Caesarean Section in the Nineteenth Century
Caesarean section is a ubiquitous presence in modern medicine. In the US they account for around 1 in 3 births. This lecture will trace the early development of the practice, drawing on sources from a range of national contexts. In the late nineteenth century, as doctors increasingly turned to the procedure in desperate cases of obstructed labour, a complex ethical dialogue emerged around its practice, at the heart of which was a question as to the relative value of the mother and child’s lives. This lecture will draw together the medical, cultural, and religious threads which underlay the operation’s use (and resistance to it) and elucidate the experiences of both patients and practitioners entangled within its early use.

Join here:
Meeting ID: 925 2465 9786
Passcode: 766579
Date: 16 December 2022, 12:00 (Friday, 10th week, Michaelmas 2022)
Venue: Online via Zoom
Speaker: Sally Frampton (University of Oxford)
Organiser contact email address:
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Members of the University only
Editors: Laura Spence, Belinda Clark