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Science repays humanity’s debt to mothers!

February 5, 2011

My wife Heidi is currently working on a period television series about midwives in London, and found this delightful Pathe newsreel while researching:-

http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=26497

It is about the passing of a U.K. law to give analgesia to all women in labour by right. It was 1949, in the early days of the then-new National Health Service. I love the part where they test it on a man, rather than risking those poor ladies’ constitutions 😉

It’s all wonderfully patronising and antique. But there is a touching idealism about it all, and a wonderful message. After countless centuries of history, British women – regardless of status –  could be liberated from terrible pain. It was science as compassion. Civilisation of the finest sort. Long may it last.

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