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Admission ticket to medical lectures on midwifery, Boston, United States, 1830-1837

Walter Channing (1786-1876) was an American physician and the first professor of midwifery and medical jurisprudence at Harvard University, from 1818 onwards. Up until this time, women were more likely to approach each other for help and physicians were only consulted during difficult births. During the 1880s, physical examination of women by men was seen as improper. A male physician did not talk or maintain eye contact with his female patient. A woman’s husband or male relation had to give consent for a physical examination.

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Glossary: medical jurisprudence

the study or practice of the legal aspects of medicine, now known as forensic medicine

Glossary: obstetrics

A branch of medicine dealing with the care of women. This care occurs during pregnancy, childbirth, and the period of recovery from childbirth.

Glossary: admission ticket

A voucher that entitles entry to an event or establishment, often prepaid.