Amid calls for to take away Accomplice statues throughout the nation, cries have grown louder to dismantle monuments to J. Marion Sims, the “father of gynecology,” a white nineteenth-century physician who carried out surgical experiments on enslaved black ladies with out anesthesia.
Over the weekend, a Sims statue in New York Metropolis, the place he established the primary hospital for ladies in 1855, was vandalized. “RACIST” was spray-painted on the Central Park monument, and splotches of pink paint have been used to deface the statue’s eyes and neck.
The town is contemplating whether or not to take away the statue, the location of an Aug. nineteenth protest, as a part of a ninety-day assessment of “symbols of hate” on metropolis property, New York Mayor Invoice de Blasio introduced final week. The memorial was denounced by New York Metropolis Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who described Sims’s work as “repugnant and reprehensible” and a “stain on our nation’s historical past.” The New York Academy of Drugs reissued its assertion calling for the statue’s removing.
Sims, who practiced drugs in Alabama from 1835 to 1849 earlier than shifting to New York, invented the speculum and different devices nonetheless in use at present. He pioneered surgical procedure for fistula, a situation that left ladies incontinent after giving delivery; historians say the remedy revolutionized the sector of gynecology. He additionally carried out the primary profitable gallbladder surgical procedure and the primary profitable synthetic insemination.
However to make these advances, Sims carried out experimental surgical procedures on enslaved ladies, elevating disturbing moral questions. His legacy has lengthy been questioned by those that consider he used black ladies as medical guinea pigs with out their consent.
Protesters have demanded removing of a monument to Sims on the capitol grounds in Columbia, South Carolina, the state the place Sims was born. Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin (D), the town’s first African American chief, informed Chris Matthews throughout an interview on MSNBC that he’s extra offended by the statue of Sims on the capitol grounds than any Accomplice memorial. The state well being division constructing can also be named in his honor.
A statue of Sims additionally stands on the capitol grounds in Montgomery, Alabama. In 2005, a portray entitled “Medical Giants of Alabama” that depicted Sims and different white males standing over a partially clothed black affected person was faraway from the College of Alabama at Birmingham’s Middle for Superior Medical Research due to complaints from individuals offended by it.