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An “epidemic” of adolescent pregnancy? Some historical and policy considerations

Medical History
Cambridge University Press
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  • Book Reviews
  • Medicine


Book Reviews women. Each has made crucial contributions. Dame Cicely Saunders, if anyone, is entitled to write about 'The evolution of hospices' because she is certainly the most important single figure in their recent evolution. Instead, she rambles on with a few not very well-chosen words which are a mockery of her powerful incisive writing on this subject elsewhere. Next, Jennifer Beinart, who has written brilliantly on obstetric pain, writes instead on the growth of treatment of intractable pain. Her after-dinner chapter appears to be based on after-dinner chats with John Lloyd. It is not explained why John Lloyd, who is in rude health and very interesting, should not write on the subject himself. Last of the three, Wendy Savage, an obstetrician of considerable importance, writes a chapter entitled 'The management of obstetric pain', instead of Dr Beinart. Needless to say, Mrs Savage writes that the idea of management by other people of a very personal experience is anathema to her. I completely agree with her, but her chapter is at the same time irrelevant and excellent. I can hardly bear to comment on the other chapters. There is a certain humour in Helen King's, enticingly titled 'The early anodynes: pain in the ancient world'. One has a feeling that she was press-ganged into writing about pains where we do not understand what the ancients were talking about, and nostrums whose contents are unknown, given in unknown dosages, and of unknown efficacy. There is no doubt that a serious and fascinating book could be written with this title and with these chapter headings. This is not that book. Even these authors could write such a book, but they didn't. P. D. Wall University College London MARIS A. VINOVSKIS, An "epidemic" of adolescent pregnancy? Some historical and policy considerations, New York and Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1988, 8vo, pp. xix, 284, £22.50. This book will be ofmore interest to those concerned with the process of formulating policy in the United States than to hi

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