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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dc.contributor.author Park, Katharine
dc.date.accessioned 2009-08-21T13:26:07Z
dc.date.issued 2008
dc.identifier.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. en
dc.identifier.issn 0002-5140 en
dc.identifier.issn 0007-5140 en
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3221078
dc.description.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. en
dc.description.sponsorship History of Science en
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.publisher Johns Hopkins University Press en
dc.relation.isversionof http://www.press.jhu.edu/journals/bulletin_of_the_history_of_medicine/ en
dc.relation.hasversion http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/bulletin_of_the_history_of_medicine/v082/82.1park.pdf en
dash.license OAP
dc.subject Vercelli en
dc.subject medicine and the law en
dc.subject dowry en
dc.subject baptism en
dc.subject childbirth en
dc.subject caesarean section en
dc.title The Death of Isabella Della Volpe: Four Eyewitness Accounts of a Postmortem Caesarean Section in 1545 en
dc.relation.journal Bulletin of the History of Medicine en
dash.depositing.author Park, Katharine

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [6948]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University

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