Adapted from the In Practice blog on Boston.com.
SPOILER ALERT! If you have not yet seen the fourth episode of the third season of “Downton Abbey’’ and wish to be surprised by it, read no further. This is about medicine, then vs. now. First, to recap the relevant aspects of the story: Lady Sybil, 24, daughter of Lord and Lady Grantham, is about to deliver her first baby, a little prematurely. It’s assumed that she’ll have the baby at home, but there’s some controversy about who should attend her. Her mother favors the family doctor, Richard Clarkson. while her father wants Sir Phillip Tapsell, obstetrician to the aristocracy.