Medicine: Safe, Painless Birth?

Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children. — Genesis 3:16.

Ever since the discovery of anesthesia, men have been trying to defy God's word to Eve. In 1941, Drs. Robert Hingson and Waldo Edwards of the U.S. Public Health Service started experimenting with continuous caudal analgesia—slow injection of a pain-killing drug into the nerve canal at the base of the spine—during labor. Among their first subjects: Coast-guardsmen's wives at Staten Island's Stapleton Marine Hospital.

Last week at the International Congress of Anesthetists in Manhattan, Dr. Hingson was ready to...

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