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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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cheurs will operate in the end. We have now, it is true, men of ample experience and unquestioned skill on whom we can ultimately depend. But can this last forever? Can it be so with the next generation? It is obvious, if females are employed in the higher classes of society, that in future, those who fill the higher ranks of the profession, and of course practise among these classes, will be destitute of the qualifications on which this reliance ought to be founded. Our successors in the profession, even the younger part of those already on the stage, must be totally ignorant of practical midwifery, and especially of the management of extraordinary cases.
  To excellence as an accoucheur, practical tact is an essential requisite. It is impossible without it to be qualified for the management of any case in which there is any thing to do; it is impossible without it to distinguish those few cases in which any thing should be done. It is not enough to understand the anatomy of the parts, their structure, their functions, their relations, &c.; it is not enough to have clear ideas in the mind of all the steps, the changes and progress of the process of parturition, it is not enough even to understand most thoroughly all the various untoward circumstances which may occur during the labour; the unnatural positions of the infant, or the peculiar formations of the mother. All this is important, very important; but it is nothing to the purpose, without the power of applying it in practice; nothing without practical tact. And how is this tact to be acquired? Not by reading or reflection, but by actual personal acquaintance with or-

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