On Tuesday, the statue of J. Marion Sims also known as the ‘Father of Modern Gynecology’ was removed from NYC’s Central Park following numerous complaints about his legacy.
Surgeon Sims reportedly experimented cures that would benefit white on black slaves, his critics claim. On Monday, authorities voted on his statue to be removed from the park and taken to the graveyard where the doctor is buried.
Sims’ critics do not challenge his medical research, but the controversial way he accomplished the medical achievements. The doctor is the founder of the first women’s hospital in the state of New York. He is also behind many life-saving surgical methods.
However, the achievements were not possible without the experiments he conducted on enslaved black women, which is what irks civil rights advocates. Sims became known as the “father of modern gynecology” after discovering a technique to close potentially fatal openings between the vagina and bladder following delivery.
Father of Modern Gynecology’ Controversial Experiments
Sims, though, was able to innovate surgery by testing his theories on black slaves that had been bought by him. Some of the women’s lives were saved via the technique at the cost of an extremely painful process, since modern-day anesthesia wasn’t around.
Historians argue that Sims is not the only health professional who experimented on black slaves. Even after slavery was outlawed, African Americans were still looked upon as second-class citizens. Some blacks agreed to be used as guinea pigs because they lacked the financial means to pay for their medical treatments.
The public started focusing on Sims’ case after the nationwide debate over Confederate statues, but his dubious legacy has been contested for decades. The debate started in the late 1950s, when the book Obstetric and Gynecologic Milestones by Harold Speert brought to light the surgeon’s experiments.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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