A professor at the University of Illinois, Deborah McGregor, is the author of a book entitled ‘From Midwives to Medicine: The Birth of American Gynecology’ speaks to the inhumane treatment of slaves by doctors like Dr. James Marion Sims. Dr. Sims is considered the “father of modern gynecology” and performed untested procedures on women without the use of anesthesia.
McGregor, author of ‘From Midwives to Medicine: The Birth of American Gynecology,’ said “There is no doubt that he carried out experiments on women, and that he was only able to do so because they were slaves.”
Part of the controversy regarding Sims centers around a statue placed near Fifth Avenue and 103rd Street in New York City. The statue is located next to the New York Academy of Medicine, in a neighborhood that is majority black and Puerto Rican. EastHarlemPreservation.org put a poll on its Website that asks: “Should the NYC Parks Department remove the statue of Dr. Marion Sims from its East Harlem location considering his experiments on female and infant slaves?”
Pretty ballsy thing to do in a neighborhood full of black folks. Why is it people aren’t sensitive to things like this when deciding where to place statues and other reminders of racial inequality.
One of the defenders of Sims’ efforts is Dr. L. Lewis Wall of Washington University in St. Louis. Wall has argued that Sims’ work was “not necessarily racist.”
“Acceptance [of anesthesia among doctors at the time] was not universal, and there was considerable opposition to its introduction from many different quarters, for many different reasons. …The evidence suggests that Sims’ original patients were willing participants in his surgical attempts to cure their affliction — a condition for which no other viable therapy existed at that time.”
C’mon son…you can’t possibly think that “test” procedures like these would be performed on white women, much less WITHOUT anesthesia!
How do you guys feel about the statue and the practices of Dr. Sims?