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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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good reason for employing this one, there is good reason for employing another; therefore, why employ her at all? And besides, one cannot last forever, so that her patients must finally return to the employment of physicians, which must become doubly disagreeable from the idea which has been cherished, and will become more powerful, that their employment is indelicate and improper.
  And this in fact affords the only argument which can be adduced with any show of plausibility in favour of the employment of females. It is founded on a consideration of the natural delicacy of feeling which is violated by the employment of physicians as accoucheurs. There would certainly be some weight in this taken singly; but if what has been said is just, it is of little moment. Safety is the first circumstance to be regarded; every thing else must and will yield to this.
  But it is worth while to examine this point a little more closely. I respect as much as any man those nice feelings of delicacy in the sex, on which this argument is founded; it is upon their preservation that the honour, the dignity, the virtue of the sex depend. There can be no doubt that the attendance of a female must be more grateful to these feelings, and that they must be somewhat wounded at first by the presence of a physician. But is there really any less delicacy of character? If the indelicacy is not felt till it is suggested, it does not exist. Such have been the customs of society for several generations, that the employment of physicians has been considered as a matter of course. The propriety of

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