New York City Just Removed a Statue of Surgeon J. Marion Sims From Central Park. Here’s Why

Posted by on April 28, 2018 in Films & TV, Internet, Media & Arts with 0 Comments

A statue of J. Marion Sims, who was a prominent gynecologist, is loaded onto a New York City Department of Parks & Recreation truck after being taken down from its pedestal bordering Central Park on East 103rd Street on April 17, 2018.
2018 Getty Images

By Olivia B. Waxman | TIME

A statue of the surgeon J. Marion Sims was removed from its pedestal bordering New York City’s Central Park on Tuesday, after calls for its removal peaked in the summer of 2017. The city’s Public Design Commission voted Monday to remove the Sims statue, and on Tuesday the statue was taken down; the city plans to move it to the cemetery where Sims is buried.

In the last year or so, during a period of dialogue about what it means to continue to maintain monuments to figures whose lives no longer seem praiseworthy, Confederate monuments have been removed from many cities, and universities have begun to come to grips with their own and their benefactors’ connections to slavery. And, though the statue of Sims may have little to do with the Civil War on its face, its removal was nonetheless the latest part of that story.


With Sims, the controversy is not about the merits of his medical achievements, but how he accomplished them. Though Sims founded New York’s first women’s hospital and innovated new surgical techniques, his success came at the cost of unethical medical treatment of enslaved women in the antebellum era.

In the 1840s, to master the technique that earned him the title of “father of modern gynecology” — a cure for vesicovaginal fistula, which closed dangerous openings between the bladder and vagina, often caused by giving birth — he practiced on enslaved women whom he purchased. During the incredibly painful process, they were deprived of anesthesia, according to a recent NPR interview with Vanessa Northington Gamble, a physician and medical historian at George Washington University. Sometimes other physicians were invited to watch him in action.

His experiments were part of a longer history of doctors experimenting on African Americans and Native Americans to test out treatments that could benefit white people, Harriet A. Washington, the author of Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present, told TIME recently.

Even after slavery was abolished, that didn’t mean African Americans received the same treatment as white patients. Washington says there was a widespread belief that such experiments on patients from marginalized communities could be justified as payback of sorts, since those individuals often couldn’t afford to pay full-price for all of their medical care.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE………


Tags: , , , , ,

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

New Title

NOTE: Email is optional. Do NOT enter it if you do NOT want it displayed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use'...you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Top

Send this to friend