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Dr. Silas F. Starley deplores what he considered errors generally taught and accepted in the late 19th century in Two Obstetrical Heresies . “The first is the part that membranes containing the amniotic fluid and the foetus play in effecting dilation of the os uteri in the first stage of labor.The second is the supposed necessity for waiting for their rupture and the escape of the waters before applying the forceps, in every case, without exception.”

Silas F. Starley (1823-1887) was born in Alabama and moved to Texas with his family in 1837. He graduated from the University of Louisville School of Medicine in 1854 and spent his professional career in Texas, ending his career in Corsicana. He was President of the State Medical Association of Texas (Texas Medical Association) in 1883 and wrote articles in Texas medical journals on various topics including obstetrics, vascular tumor, and pneumonia.

Texas State Historical Association, , accessed 10/16/2012.

Texas Physicians Historical Biographical Database, , accessed 10/16/12.

Publication Date



R.H. Small, Book and Job Printer


Jacksonville, Texas


Obstetrics, Labor Stage Third, Obstetrical Forceps, Fetus, Amniotic Fluid, Medical History 19th Century, Texas


Health and Medical Administration | Medicine and Health Sciences


Read before the State Medical Association at Dallas, Texas, April 30th, 1886.