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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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and give the public an opportunity to judge impartially of the merits of the case.
  The question is, can the practice of midwifery be carried on with equal safety by female as by male Practitioners? This is the only question which ought fairly to be considered, for no one can deny that safety is the principal consideration; so important indeed that we can conceive of none that can come in competition with it. If this be decided in the affirmative, the controversy is settled; for every other consideration would lead us to the preference of females. But it appears to me that the objections to this are of a most serious nature. Both the character and education of women disqualify them for the office.
  I do not intend to imply any intellectual inferiority or incompetency in the sex. My objections are founded rather upon the nature of their moral qualities, than of the powers of their minds, and upon those very qualities, which render them, in their appropriate sphere, the pride, the ornament, and the blessing of mankind.
  Women are distinguished for passive fortitude, firmness, &c. to a much greater degree than men and this whether they are called to endure suffering themselves, or only witness it in others. They bear painful operations in surgery or witness them with a resolution at least equal to that of men. But this is all; their virtues of this kind are wholly passive. They have not that power of action, or that active power of mind, which is essential to the practice of the surgeon. They have less pow-

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