Although the development of germ theory in the 1880s shed light on the origins of childbed fever, which often killed women in the days after delivery, not much could be done to save lives until the advent of antibiotics in the 1940s. In the this talk, medical writer Randi Hutter Epstein will explore the approaches taken in the interim by doctors, medical charlatans, and feminist activists, which demonstrate what can happen when the origins of a condition are debated, and its cure unknown.
Following her lecture, Epstein will be joined in conversation by Peter Schafer, Acting Director of Family Health and Disparities at the New York Academy of Medicine.
This talk is the first in “Who Controls Women’s Health? A Century of Struggle,” a free, three-part talk series that examines key battles over women’s ability to control their bodies, health choices, and fertility. It is developed by The New York Academy of Medicine in collaboration with the Museum of the City of New York and supported by a grant from the Humanities New York.