The instances in which the surgeon who does not practice in the field of gynecology has to consider the indications for therapeutic abortion or other interference with the anatomic and physiologic components of pregnancy are few. So much is this the case that no one person is likely to accumulate an experience and knowledge in this subject at all comparable to that of the obstetrician and gynecologist. Nevertheless, the surgeon may at any time find himself in a situation where the well-being of the pregnant mother or the fetus or both are imperiled and a crucial decision must be made.
This may be the case with certain surgical diseases which are urgent or of an emergency nature and require immediate operative intervention in order that both mother and child not succumb, even though this may entail some risk of an abortion. Examples of these are intestinal obstruction, perforation of the