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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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dinary cases; --a man must be a universal practitioner in midwifery, before he is qualified for a practitioner in difficult cases. He must have acquired by habit that manual adroitness, that nicety of touch, which can alone give him success. Let a surgeon be called in to a difficult labour in consultation with a woman when he has not himself been in the practice of midwifery; let his skill and judgment as a professional man be what they will, let him have every qualification but those which are to be derived from experience in this particular department: --you might as well call in a child; he will neither be able to tell what the difficulty is, nor how it is to be obviated; and after all he could no more find his way in the performance of an operation, than if he were bIind.
  Now does not this very statement of the case determine the question at once? I ask any fair, impartial man, whether, if it be admitted that women cannot be qualified for the management of the extraordinary and dangerous cases, and that the only method of acquiring the power of managing such cases is by attendance of those of common occurrence, it can be safe or expedient to entrust the practice in their hands at all?
  It is in vain to say, that we have nothing to do with the general principle, that the present is a particular case, and will extend no further. It is impossible any man should believe, that when a female has offered herself for practice, has been believed to be competent to her office, and has been received as an attendant among the most respectable families, her example should not be followed, that others should not likewise offer themselves and be employed, that

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