In no branch of the medical science has Chloroform been more extensively employed than in this, and in none has its value been more a matter of discussion. It has now, however, been administered in so many thousands of cases, and with so few deaths, or other ill consequences, resulting from its use, that few men will hesitate to employ it in any complicated cases, and many give it in natural labour, where it is the wish of the patient to have it administered. The immunity from death by Chloroform observed amongst parturient women is proved by the fact that of eighty-one fatal cases collected by Dr. Sansom three only were cases of natural labour.

Dr. Churchill observes that Chloroform has been now (1850) used exten-Isively in Great britain and America, and on the Continent; and we have an account of at least 3,000 cases, in which it has been employed. From this it appears -

1. That in Midwifery practice no death has occurred which can be fairly and directly attributed to the Chloroform. In those cases brought forward by Dr. Gream, there is no evidence to prove that the deaths did not result from the circumstances of the labour, and abundant proof of a disposition to attribute every accident to this new agent.

2. That some unpleasant circumstances have occurred in hysterical and nervous women, during the stage of excitement; but no instance of the alarming or even fatal collapse which has taken place in cases unconnected with pregnancy or parturition. These symptoms disappear in a few moments, if the Chloroform be discontinued, or, as is said, if the dose be increased.

* Med. Times, vol. xvii p. 390. Lancet, July 9, 1864.

On the Theory and Practice of Midwifery, 8vo, 1850, p. 251.

3. In a small proportion of cases, the uterine contractions are weakened, rendered less frequent, or even suspended so long as the inhalation is continued, but they return if the use of Chloroform be discontinued.

4. That in the great majority of cases it does not interfere with the labour pains, except by suspending all voluntary exertions, if the insensibility is complete. Where the dose given is milder, although great relief be afforded, the patient will not become insensible, and will be able to exert considerable force.

5. That Chloroform, in full doses, is capable of entirely removing the pain of obstetrical operations, and thereby increasing the facility of their performance; moreover, that the dose may be so graduated as to afford degrees of relief; so that, in natural labour, a certain amount of suffering may be spared, without producing insensibility or incurring the risk, whatever that be, of a full dose.

6. It neither prevents nor weakens the subsequent contractions of the uterus, and, consequent'y does not render the patient more liable to flooding.

7. That certain women seem more obnoxious to its injurious effects than others, and in some these effects are said to continue some time. Giving full force to these cases, they appear to form a small part of a large number whose recovery was not retarded, and whose subsequent health was uninjured.