Having endeavored to show that the employment of male instead of female
assistants, is injurious to the physical well-being of individuals and the
community, we now come to a still more important consideration -- domestic
and social happiness, and the moral welfare of society.
Some thoughts and facts have incidentally been given upon
this point in the preceding pages, and from them the manner, in which
this practice wears away delicacy, and consequently virtue, will appear
evident; but something more directly upon this topic will now be presented.
Dr. Beach, of New York, in his excellent work on 'Midwifery,'
in speaking of the employent of men, says, "The practice has an immoral
tendency. The great intimacy and confidence which exist between the physician
and the patient give the most unboudned libertries and temptations to the
unprincipled and licentious."
ASTOUNDING ACKNOWLEDGMENT, by an advocate of man-midwifery.
-- In the Boston pamphlet, "Remarks on the Employment of Females as
Practictioners in Midwifery, by a Physician," so frequently alluded
to in the preceding pages, is the following startling testimony: --
"I know nothing," says this medical author,
"which conduces so much to the security of the patient, and the satisfaction
and happiness of the physician, as the existence of a mutual confidence,
let me say affection, between them"! [Some women are attended by a
half a dozen different doctors -- how much 'affection' is left for the poor
husband?] "To the existence of these mutual feelings nothing contributes
more than attendance of physicians in cases of midwifery. [Precisely so.]
Women seldom forget a practitioner who has conducted them tenderly and safely
through parturition. [What wonder that they seldom forget to argue
for the doctor, and discard midwives, and train their daughters in the same
sentiments, and for the same satisfactory custom!] They feel a familiarity
with him, [nearly as much so as with their husbands,] a reliance upon him,
[more than on husband or Heaven,] which are of the most essential mutural
advantage in all their subsequent intercourse as physician and patient.
[Who have not heard their mothers speak kindly of the doctor?]
On the other hand, the physican takes a deeper interest, [even an affectionate
one,] and feels a more intimate personal connection [!] with those whom
he has attended in this sense of suffering and danger, than with patients
of any other description. [Some two or three years since, Dr. B., of Manchester,
N.H., took such a deep interest in a lady patient and she in him that
they mutually forgot, she her husband, and he his wife, and jointly
eloped. Other ladies have more cruelly remained at home, after having
sent away their hearts with the dear doctor.] It is principally on this
account that the practice of midwifery becomes desirable to physicians.
[!] It is this which ensures to them the permanency and security of all
their other business."!!
This is an honest 'Physician;' unaccountably so. Had
he been put under oath and dissected by a lawyer, he could not more correctly
have divulged the secret motives of this whole business! Midwifery creates
"a mutual confidence, let me say affection, between physician and
patient." This results in "essential mutual advantage."
"It is this that insures to them the permanency and security of all
their other business." "It is principally on this account
that the practice of midwifery becomes desirable to physicians."
This is frank as it is true, and true as frank. Who ever believed that
a regard for the safety of women and the good of the public brought into
existence, and now continues, this absurd and immoral custom? Dr. Beach
says, "The physician takes it for granted, and even boasts, that,
if he can attend one single case of midwifery in a family he has ever
after secured their patronage."
It is in this way that man-midwifery has created the
fashion of having a 'family physician,' so prevalent at the present
day. Probably half or three fourths of the families in the community would
never have occasion to employ a doctor at all, if physicians were to give
up the business properly belonging to midwives and nurses. But now, people
having introduced the doctor into the family in the capacity of midwife,
they think it incumbent on them to be unwell occasionally, so as to extend
patronage and keep up the