Medicine: Primitive Pain

In the hot & heavy debate over "natural" v. "painless" childbirth, the naturalist school has a pet argument: childbirth among primitive peoples, they contend, is easier than among women "degenerated by civilization." Not so, declare Drs. Duncan E. Reid-and Mandel E. Cohen of the Boston Lying-In Hospital in the current Journal of the American Medical Association

A few observations support the "naturalists'" claim, say the Boston doctors, but these few have been "made up . . .by hearsay, anecdotes and, in some cases, possibly by bias and prejudice." The fact is, say Reid and...

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