Epic obstetric fail

I am presently reading Douglas Starr’s The Killer of Little Shepherds, about the 19th-century serial killer Joseph Vacher and the evolution of modern forensic science and medicine. Starr describes forensic medicine’s failures as well as its successes, and this paragraph caught my eye:

In another case, a woman named Adele Bernard was imprisoned for having an abortion. After three months in jail, she gave birth to a child. The court released her.


4 thoughts on “Epic obstetric fail

  1. marycarney November 13, 2010 / 10:30 pm

    Only marginally related, but you’ll laugh. Years ago I worked in the ER. Lady came in with all the classic signs of a kidney stone, history of kidney stones but was allergic to the dye to find it on a scan. So we sent her for an ultrasound.
    Ultrasound tech calls back – cool as a cucumber – and says “Everything looks fine and she’s about ready” ????? She was having a baby! didn’t know she was pregnant. She has the baby VERY suddenly, and when it was all over, she looks at her mom and says “Boy, do WE need to go to WalMart”!!!!

    • Meaghan November 14, 2010 / 12:49 am

      A similar situation happened to my family’s dog. She was acting draggy and kept peeing on the floor even though she had been house-trained, so Mom took her to the vet, who diagnosed a urinary tract infection. We gave the dog pills for a week and she stopped peeing on the floor but continued to act really tired and grumpy, so Mom took her back to the vet, who did an ultrasound which revealed several smaller dogs inside our dog. It turned out she was very heavily pregnant and due to give birth, like, that very day. We had had no idea.

  2. Zoe November 14, 2010 / 12:50 am

    At least they did let her out!

  3. forthelost November 14, 2010 / 3:41 pm

    I remember in a book written by a surgeon, he explained why he didn’t want to be in general practice because when he had that one chance, when he was in the army, amongst other things he monitored a pregnancy for six months before he realized the woman had never been pregnant.

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