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Channing/Ware, Remarks on the Employment of Females as Practitioners of Midwifery

The author of this article, variously attributed to William Channing or John Ware, was a U.S. physician who published his remarks anonymously. As one of the nineteenth century's newly-professionalized male doctors, the author argues that males, not females, should assist births.
Quote from page 19


Questions to ask these pages:

1. What advantages did the author see for a doctor who practices midwifery?

2. According to the author, what role did money play in the inclination of doctors to attend women during pregnancy and birth?

Questions to ask the book:

1. What were the author's arguments against women in midwifery?
Find out in the Archive

2. How could the author's occupation have affected his arguments?
Find out in the Archive

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  Title Page   page 19  



pass out again as indifferent as he entered. The profession has moral relations and moral duties. We should serve our patients with all our heart and soul; and they should know that we do it not merely because it is our business, or because we expect to be supported or to grow rich by the occupation, but because we feel for their welfare as friends, and as friends will strive for their advantage.
  To the existence of these mutual feelings, nothing contributes more than the attendance of physicians in cases of midwifery. The interest excited in these cases is strong. Women seldom forget a practitioner who has conducted them tenderly and safely through parturition -they feel a familiarity with him, a confidence and reliance upon him, which are of the most essential mutual advantage in all their subsequent intercourse as physician and patient. On the other hand, the physician takes a deeper interest and feels a more intimate and personal connexion with those, whom he has attended in this scene of suffering and danger, than with patients of any other description.
  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. There are few men in good practice, especially those who have any inclination for literary pursuits, who would not be glad to relinquish the pecuniary emoluments of this department of business, for the comparative leisure and tranquillity they would enjoy, provided they could at the same time retain all the other advantages derived from this source. Simply in a lucrative


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