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Remarks on the Employment of Females as Practitioners in Midwifery. By a Physician.
Channing, Walter
Published by Cummings & Hilliard, Boston
Location of original: Countway Rare Books, Harvard University
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  But it is to be observed, I have hitherto argued upon the most disadvantageous ground, for I have admitted the competency of females to the management of the mechanical process of labour, when this is natural. I have so far gone upon the supposition, that they were regularly educated, and had had experience as accoucheurs. But a fairer, and for my purpose, a much stronger ground on which to discuss the question, is upon the bare general principle, of the common introduction of women to the practice of midwifery. I need take no trouble to show that this must be the final result, if the custom be once introduced among the higher circles of society; and if this is the case, is it not obvious that the greater proportion must be unintelligent and poorly educated, or rather not educated at all?
  Heretofore, where midwifery has been in the hands of women, they have only practised among the poorer and lower classes of people; the richer and better informed preferring to employ physicians, and this has been the reason why it has not become universal; but if it be again introduced among the rich and influential, it will become fashionable; it will be considered as indelicate and vulgar to employ a physician and the custom will become general.
  Now what man would be willing to confide the practice of midwifery wholly to women? who would be willing to entrust his wife or his daughter in their hands, if there were no possibility of calling for abler assistance in cases of emergency? I venture to say scarce an individual would do it. But we are to examine how the admission of female accou-

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