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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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the fashion should not go down in society till all classes had followed it, and had their practitioners of different degrees of respectability and merit. Something of this effect must at least be produced, and so far as it does extend it must have a most fatal tendency. I can concieve of no situation more horrible than that of a female, especially a young one, about to become a mother, placed under the care of an ignorant accoucheur. Ignorance under these circumstances always displays itself in the desire of doing too much; it is always officious and always presumptuous. The practitioner does not understand the nature, objects, or mechanism of labour; she imagines her office to be that of bringing forward the process in as rapid a manner as possible, and to this end directs all her efforts, unchecked by a regard to the powers or resources of nature, either in the mother or her child. Too confident to imagine herself wrong, she is, between conceit and ignorance, unable to determine when there is danger and when there is not. Her patient dies under her hands, or is reserved to linger out an existence of pain and disease; the infant expires under the grip of violence, or comes mutilated and disfigured into the world. These must be extraordinary cases no doubt, but they are cases which have happened and will happen, and it is in fact on these that the question turns.
  But suppose for a moment, that the practice is not to extend beyond a single individual. If there is any good reason for recommending the employment of a female at all, why restrict the practice? If there is

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