The Death of Isabella Della Volpe: Four Eyewitness Accounts of a Postmortem Caesarean Section in 1545

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The Death of Isabella Della Volpe: Four Eyewitness Accounts of a Postmortem Caesarean Section in 1545

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Title: The Death of Isabella Della Volpe: Four Eyewitness Accounts of a Postmortem Caesarean Section in 1545
Author: Park, Katharine
Citation: Park, Katherine. 2008. The death of Isabella Della Volpe: Four eyewitness accounts of a postmortem caesarean section in 1545. Bulletin of the History of Medicine 82(1): 169-187.
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Abstract: This article provides a transcription and translation of four notarized declarations describing the events surrounding a postmortem caesarean section performed in 1545 in Vercelli, a small city in the Duchy of Savoy. After her death in the late stages of pregnancy, Isabella della Volpe’s body was opened and her fetus excised by a local barber, aided by a surgeon and a midwife. The article argues that the postmortem caesarean section was a well-known and widely accepted procedure and that it might be motivated by financial and legal as well as religious concerns; not only was it important to baptize the child for its salvation, but the fate of the mother’s dowry, as in this case, might depend on whether she died with or without living issue.
Published Version: http://www.press.jhu.edu/journals/bulletin_of_the_history_of_medicine/
Other Sources: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/bulletin_of_the_history_of_medicine/v082/82.1park.pdf
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3221078

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [7456]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University
 
 

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