degree of excitement'? and whether he conducts his excellent journal,
in which he sometimes makes himself useful, by 'exposing the blunder of
the sisterhood,' and by taking care of the public morals---whether hti
sis all done from mere philanthroph? and once more'; whether he and his
brethren practise the obstetric art from pure benevolence, a disinterested
regard for the safety of the patient, and the good of the race? If so,
I do not read the Boston Fee Table rightly, which says,
'For a case of midwifery in the daytime, $15
'If any part of the attendance is in the night, ....... $20
'And in all cases of extraordinary detention or attendance, also in proportion
to the importance of the case and the responsibility attached to it and
to the service rendered, when these are extraordinary, the charges shall
be increased according to the judgment of the practitioner concerned.
If in any case of midwifery, a second physician is called in consultation,
both the attending and consulting physician shall charge at least the
usual fee for delivery; except that when the consulting physician in such
a case pays only a consultation visit, and is not detained in attendance
on the case, he may charge the fee for a consultation visit. [The accoucheur
is authorized to make a certain abatement from these established charges,
as a favor to those unable to pay the whole.]
'In cases of midwifery, when the child is born, but not the placenta,
before the arrival of the accoucheur, the whole fee is to be charged.
When both the child and placenta are born before the arrival of the accoucheur,
half or the whole fee is to be charged, according to the circumstances.
This rule is not to be applied to cases where the delay arises from the
'When the circumstances permit, every physician shall present his account
immediately after his attendance in a fit of sickness. This shall be particularly
attended to in cases of midwifery.'
'Exemption from charges. The clegymen of the city and all members
of the medical profession, within it, together with their families, should
be attended gratuitously.' (Query. Has this any thing to do with retaining
the clergy in favor of anti-criptural midwifery?) The above are some of
the 'Rules and Regulations of the Boston Medical Association,' adopted
some years since; but I am not aware that there have been essential alterations.
|Now, as to
this remuneration of the profession, I have not the least fault to find;
for it is a laborious life, that of a doctor, and only the more successful
portion of them get a tolerable compensation. That, however, is no fault
of the fee-paying public; but man-midwifery has introduced a doctor into
almost every family, and multiplied that useful profession altogether beyond
what the health of the community requires. So much so, that here
in Boston, according to the 'Directory,' we have over two hundred and
fifty professional gentlemen, engaged in seeing the citizens into and
out of the world. The practice and compensation being so minutely distributed,
they cannot, as a general thing get fees enough to keep themselves in comfort,
nor practical skill enough to perform the duties of midwives with a reasonable
degree of safety to mother and child---as will appear more fully in the
But the pecuniary expense of man-midwifery is a trifle compared with other
considerations. It would be well if the fee was fifty dollars instead of
fifteen; the evil would then work its own cure, since midwives can afford
to officiate for a much smaller fee than physicians can.
But it is necessary to return to the Journal, which speaks in a measure
for the profession. The editor does not apparently think the remunerating
excitement, in regard to the lectures, of so much consequence to
other matters, (though he remarks, 'a flourishing business is conducted,')
for he proceeds to lament the state of the times: 'We are wholly overstocked
in New England with anti-isms of every possible shade and texture, from
the advocates of bran pudding to the believers in anti-man-midwifery.'
Truly the times are out of joint; conservatism has reason to tremble; for
this last 'anti-ism' is the most radical of all, striking, as it
does, at the very foundations of morality, and even of society itself. 'O
tempora! O mores!'
'These reflections,' continues the Journal, 'were called up by the energetic
displaes of a man by the name of Gregory, who has been discoursnig in Boston
on the horrible depravity of employing physicians in obstetrical practice.'
As to the 'horrible depravity,' the reader can form his own opinion from
the few exposures in this work, bearing in mind, all the while, that not
a thousandth part has been told.
The censor then proceeds to give the opinion that 'the great irresponsible