The Medical Ethics of the 'Father of Gynaecology,' Dr. J. Marion Sims
Journal of Medical Ethics. 1993 Mar; 19(1): 28-31.
Vesico-vaginal fistula (VVF) was a common ailment among American women in the 19th century. Prior to that time, no successful surgery had been developed for the cure of this condition until Dr. J. Marion Sims perfected a successful surgical technique in 1849. Dr. Sims used female slaves as research subjects over a four-year period of experimentation (1845-1849). This paper discusses the controversy surrounding his use of powerless women and whether his actions were acceptable during that historical period.
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