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During the 20th century when medicine rose to dominate childbirth in the United States, it brought with it a denial of infant pain based on ancient prejudices and scientific dogmas no longer supportable. The painful collision of babies with doctors is seen in neonatal intensive care, infant surgery without anesthesia, painful obstetric routines, and genital mutilation of newborn males. This presentation includes a historical review of experiments on infant reactions to pain, the persistence of medical practices causing pain, and speculation about the reasons for professional indifference. (110 citations)
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