Sunday, December 12, 2010

William Smellie

William SMellie
William Smellie (1697 - 1763) Scottish obstetrician, regarded as the father of British midwifery. He wrote a number of famous textbooks on obstetrics which were widely read. In many of his writings, he was helped by his friend and fellow physician-writer, the author Tobias Smollett. Smellie had a successful practice, and he designed new varieties of obstetric forceps, devised a maneuver to deliver the head first in case of breech presentation, and described in detail the mechanism of labor. Smellie was also a painter and musician, pursuits which he enjoyed in leisure after his retirement to the village of Lanark. Smellie and famous contemporary obstetrician William Hunter have recently been accused of conspiring in murdering young pregnant women to obtain bodies for further study of anatomical changes during pregnancy.


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