A Brief History of the Relationship between Obstetrics and the Mental Health Professions

  • Richard L. Cohen


There is probably no subject that has fascinated mankind more during the course of history and across all cultures than that of pregnancy and childbirth.1 Perhaps the only subject that rivals it for sustained level of interest is that of death itself. Parenthetically, it is noteworthy that these two human experiences, having been the provinces of the medical profession and of hospitals for the past 50 years, are now becoming increasing concerns for alternative health care systems. It is perhaps no coincidence that with the appearance of alternative birthing centers, one sees the simultaneous appearance of hospices in which dying is becoming more focused as a human experience and a family concern rather than as a professionalized medical “event” (see Chapter 16).


Mental Health Profession Mental Health Worker Mental Hygiene Pelvic Disease Spirit Possession 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard L. Cohen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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