J. Marion Sims, the Father of Gynecology: Hero or Villain?

  title={J. Marion Sims, the Father of Gynecology: Hero or Villain?},
  author={Jeffrey S. Sartin},
  journal={Southern Medical Journal},
  • J. Sartin
  • Published 1 May 2004
  • Medicine
  • Southern Medical Journal
J. Marion Sims (1813–1884) has been called the “Father of Gynecology” for his revolutionary approach to treating the diseases of women. He rose from humble origins to become a successful surgeon, teacher, and writer. His innovations included the first successful treatment for vesicovaginal fistula, the first gallbladder surgery, and the introduction of antiseptic principles in all areas of surgical treatment. The “Sims position” and “Sims speculum” are eponymic tributes to his accomplishments… 
31 Citations
J. Marion Sims: a defense of the father of gynecology.
It is concluded that J. Marion Sims may have used the downtrodden, indigent, and slaves of the day for his own personal gain, especially with regard to the condition of vesicovaginal fistula.
J. Marion Sims and the Vesicovaginal Fistula: Historical Understanding, Medical Ethics, and Modern Political Sensibilities
  • L. Wall
  • Medicine
    Female pelvic medicine & reconstructive surgery
  • 2018
Sims' first fistula operations were legal, that they were carried out with express therapeutic intent for the purpose of repairing these women's injuries, and that they conformed to the ethical requirements of his time.
Vaginismus: A Franco-American Story
  • Peter Cryle
  • Medicine
    Journal of the history of medicine and allied sciences
  • 2012
Within French medical circles the Sims operation for vaginismus came to represent an "American" approach that was too rational, and too straightforwardly physical.
#SayHerName: Should Obstetrics and Gynecology Reckon with the Legacy of JM Sims?
Acknowledging the personal sacrifice of the enslaved women and addressing the truth behind the immoral practices of Sims, encourages reconciliation of the race-based medical atrocities of the past and sets the tone for moral, more equitable medical care moving forward.
James Marion Sims (1813-1883)
James Marion Sims [5] developed a surgical cure for ruptures of the wall separating the bladder from the vagina [6] during labor, ruptures called vesico-vaginal fistulas, and he developed techniques
Caring for Women Who Have Experienced Female Genital Cutting
  • Cindy M. Little
  • Medicine
    MCN. The American journal of maternal child nursing
  • 2015
Nurses are in a unique position to provide holistic, culturally competent care in a respectful, nonjudgmental atmosphere as education is necessary in the challenge to eradicate the practice of FGC/M.
A Dark History: Memories of Lobotomy in the New Era of Psychosurgery
This article suggests that a rhetorical perspective might be brought to bear on the frequent calls for dialogue with regard to psychosurgery, which are meaningless without attention to the persuasive dynamics such dialogue entails.
Racism, African American Women, and Their Sexual and Reproductive Health: A Review of Historical and Contemporary Evidence and Implications for Health Equity
The development of innovative models and strategies to improve the health of African American women may be informed by an understanding of the historical and enduring legacy of racism in the United States, as well as addressing sexual and reproductive health through a historical lens.


Reappraisals of J. Marion Sims.
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  • Medicine
    American journal of obstetrics and gynecology
  • 1978
The medical ethics of the 'Father of Gynaecology', Dr J Marion Sims
The controversy surrounding Dr Sims' use of powerless women as research subjects and whether his actions were acceptable during that historical period are discussed.
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From midwives to medicine: the birth of American gynecology
Ethical Theory and Bioethics
The moral problems discussed in this book have emerged from professional practice in the fields of clinical medicine, biomedical research, nursing, public health, and the social and behavioral sciences and a basis in language, norms, and theory is provided for reading and criticizing the selections in the later chapters.
Silver Sutures in Surgery. The Anniversary Discourse before the New York Academey of Medicine
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The Discovery of Anæsthesia