William Smellie (obstetrician)
He practiced medicine before getting a license, but enrolled later at the University of Glasgow and received his M.D. degree in 1745. After training in obstetrics in London and Paris, he opened a practice in London and began teaching. He invented a "machine", an obstetrical manikin, for instructions. Smellie described the mechanism of labour, designed obstetrical forceps, devised a maneuver to deliver the head of a breech, and published his teachings. He is believed to have painted his own portrait.
The William Smellie Memorial Hospital which provided maternity services in Lanark closed in the early 1990s and was re-located to a unit at the Law Hospital in Carluke. This was also closed recently and maternity services moved to Wishaw General Hospital.
It has been alleged that Smellie was involved with either murdering or showing a callous disregard for where his corpses came from (as well as his former pupil William Hunter,and brother John Hunter). The supporting evidence for this theory includes the large number of pregnant corpses Hunter was able to obtain. However, this is widely contested by scholars, and so the debate continues.
The tomb in which William Smellie (and later his wife) was buried still stands in the St. Kentigerns section of the state run Lanark graveyard.
- The Emperor's New Clothes - JRSM, Shelton D. The Emperor's new clothes. J R Soc Med 2010;103:46–50. Retrieved Jan 2014
- Founders of British obstetrics 'were callous murderers', Denis Campbell, 7 February 1997, The Observer. Retrieved May 2010
- Speert, H. Obstetric and Gynecologic Milestones (New York: The MacMillan Company, 1958).
- Lanark Museum
- William Smellie: A sett of anatomical tables, with explanations, and an abridgment, of the practice of midwifery (London, 1749)]. Selected pages scanned from the original work. Historical Anatomies on the Web. US National Library of Medicine.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to William Smellie (obstetrician).|
|This Scottish biographical article related to medicine is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|