Friday, February 05, 2010

I guess you learn a new thing every day: Just found out yesterday from an (online NPR interview with Randi Hutter Epstein, author of Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth...) about the dark secret about Dr. J. Marion Sims - commonly referred to as the 'father of gynecology' - who is credited with figuring out how to cure vaginal fistulas, or tears in the vaginal walls. He perfected this by practicing on slave women that he bought and stitching them up over and over and over again. This rather graphic paper from the University of Alabama describes the ethics behind Dr. J. Marion Sims ‘Joseph Mengele type experimentation’ on the usage of powerless black women as experimental subjects. He perfected this in the South where slaves were plentiful and then he migrates to the North and ‘popularizes’ this technique as a life saving procedure. Wily, very wily!!

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