Black Public Scholars

December 10, 2010

World Famous Gynecologist Once Operated on Slaves

Filed under: Uncategorized — Staff @ 8:46 pm

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

University of Illinois Professor Deborah McGregor has helped to shed an important piece of history to the American public. Dr. McGregor has noted that Dr. James Marion Sims, considered the father of modern gynecology, developed many of his techniques by operating on slaves, many of whom were not given anesthesia.
Professor McGregor, the author of ‘From Midwives to Medicine: The Birth of American Gynecology," said "There is no doubt that he carried out experiments on women, and that he was only able to do so because they were slaves."

Part of the controversy regarding Sims centers around a statue placed near Fifth Avenue and 103rd Street in New York City. The statue is located next to the New York Academy of Medicine, in a neighborhood that is majority Black and Puerto-Rican. EastHarlemPreservation.org put a poll on it’s website that asks: "Should the NYC Parks Department remove the statue of Dr. Marion Sims from its East Harlem location considering his experiments on female and infant slaves?"

 

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