Chapter 7 Birth
NCERT Text Book Questions and Answers
Birth About the Author
Archibald Joseph Cronin (19 July 1896 – 6 January 1981) was a Scottish novelist and physician. During the First World War, Cronin served as a surgeon sub-lieutenant in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve before graduating from medical school. After the war, he trained at various hospitals, including Bellahouston and Lightburn Hospitals in Glasgow, and the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin. He undertook general practice in a small village on the Clyde, Garelochhead, as well as in Tredegar, a mining town in South Wales.
In 1930, his Haters Cast was an immediate and sensational success, launched Cronin’s career as a prolific author, and he never returned to practising medicine. Many of Cronin’s books were bestsellers in their day and have been translated into many languages. Some of his stories draw on his medical career, dramatically mixing realism, romance and social criticism. Cronin’s works examine moral conflicts between the individual and society, as his idealistic heroes pursue justice for the common man.
Birth Main Theme
This is a moving story of a young doctor’s battle with death. With supreme effort he brought back a newborn baby and its mother from the jaws of death to warm glowing life. Dr Andrew Manson had to assist a woman in childbirth. She had been married for twenty years. Andrew found her husband and mother tense. Mrs Morgan had to be given anaesthesia. The child was born apparently lifeless and the mother was sinking. Andrew gave the child to the nurse and turned to revive the mother. When she was stable, he asked for the child. He was horrified to see that the midwife had placed it under the bed, believing it to be dead.
Andrew fished out the child from amongst sodden newspapers. It was a boy, limp and apparently lifeless. Looking at his white face, Andrew realised that asphyxia was responsible for this condition. He immersed the child in steaming hot and icy water alternately, but there was no response. He felt almost defeated but did not give up. He rubbed the child with a rough towel and pumped his little chest with both hands.
Miraculously, the little chest gave a tiny heave. Andrew had succeeded in reviving the child. Andrew walked out and told Joe Morgan that all was well with the mother and child. He was filled with a great sense of achievement.
Birth Reading with Insight
“I have done something, Oh God ! I’ve done something real at last.” Why did Andrew make this statement?
Andrew was grateful to God. He felt satisfied and happy that he had done something. His heart was filled with the feeling of having achieved something great. He was able to save both, the mother and the child.
There lies a great difference between textbook medicine and the world of a practising physician. Discuss.
Textbook medicine is theoretical. It is something that has not been tested or applied. A practising physician uses textbook medicine as well as unconventional methods, e.g., Andrew immersed the newborn infant into basins of warm and iced water in order to revive him. In real life, a practicing doctor Jparns from experience.
Do you know of any incident when someone has been brought back to life from the brink of death through medical help? Discuss medical procedures such as organ transplant and organ regeneration that are used to save human life.
Organ transplants of lung, heart, kidney and the eye are possible. Liver transplant is being tried with limited success. Joint replacement is fairly common. Knee and hip joints have been replaced. Any replacement is painful, expensive, difficult and has uncertain results. Many a time the body rejects the transplanted organ. (Students may write about the miraculous recovery of a patient, if they know of any such case.)