Exorcising the Midwives- Ehrenreich.doc

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Women and Gender Studies

Exorcising the Midwives Barbara Ehrenreich and Diedre EnglishthDescribes how in the United States at the turn of the 20 century Western medicine took away power authority and a livelihood from midwives and women healers in favour of mostly male physicians1900 50 of babies born still being delivered by midwivesMiddle and upper class women had long since accepted medical idea of childbirth as a pathological event requiring intervention and supervision of a physicianlower half of society which clung to the midwife rural poor and the immigrant working class in citiesthEarly 20 century midwife was an integral part of her community and cultureThe problem according to medical leaders was that the midwife was in the way of development of modern institutional medicineOne of the reforms advanced by medicines scientific elite was that students should be exposed somewhere along the line to live patients oOnly choice was the people who had no choice the poor
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