Sunday, 7 February 2010

White Coat Crime

An interesting article in the Observer today about William Hunter and William Smellie the founding fathers of obstetrics suggesting their ground breaking research on the later stages of pregnacy were carried out on the corpses of women in late pregnacy who murdered to order.

Their work, illustrate below, was a major advance in medical understandings of pregnacy but historian Don Shelton writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (subscription only) has claimed that the two doctors, who researched independently, commissioned around 35-40 murders of women in late stage pregnacy.

Shelton's claim is based on his claim that the number of corpses that came their way could not have happened naturally and can only be explained by murdering to order or "Burking".

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