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The Press has recently published an account of an inquest upon a young New Zealand mother who died in childbirth, being treated with chloroform by a midwife. When will young married men and women of this country demand that efficient modern methods of childbirth be made universal practice throughout New Zealand? That there are such methods, that they reduce mortality and morbidity in childbirth, and are safe to mother and child, is surely, by now, widely known. A very few deaths do occur which have no connection with the technique adopted, but, in face of the practice and publications of Dr. G. M. Smith, of Rawene, and the similar practice of a minority of medical practitioners, it is futile for any doctors or feymen to speak of danger to mothers or children from modern painless childbirth technique. Such dangers did, indeed, exist in the early days of what was called "twilight sleep," but those days are long past. It is not only a matter of the ethical propriety of using, at all times, methods available for prevention of pain, important as that is; it is a matter of protection of life, of prevention of immediate morbidity, and deferred long lasting ill-health among women; and, indeed, of some bearing upon birthrate. Insistent demand on the part of husbands and wives—prospective parents—public demand to British Medical Association, to individual doctors and, if necessary to the Minister of Health and his Department, must surely bring results. Do those concerned know and care enough to organise and act? AGNES F. R. McINTOSH.

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MATERNAL MORTALITY, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 188, 10 August 1945

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MATERNAL MORTALITY Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 188, 10 August 1945

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