Propaganda Campaign Against Midwives
Department of Dirty tricks

"What is the cause of all these miserable conditions? There is but one answer. The standard of obstetrical teaching and obstetrical practice in the United States is too low. The public has no respect for the obstetrician. He is looked down upon, not alone by the people but by the doctors themselves. The people will not pay the obstetrician properly for his arduous work. Obstetrics is the hardest branch of medicine to practice. It robs the doctor of his sleep, destroys his office hours, interferes with all his engagements and besides that, the actual work is exceedingly laborious. (W)e physicians have not had the opportunity to acquire the dexterity, because the schools ...did not have enough clinical material on which to teach them. The work is so meagerly paid for that a young physician of ability prefers to going to some more lucrative department of medicine, particularly gynecology and surgery.”[1911-B; DeLeeMD] ^71

"We have studied the causes and we have learned the effects. What is the remedy? It is not by educating the midwife to do better work, because we have seen that the mortality in the midwife’s practice is little, or no greater, or surely not as great as that in the hands of medical practitioners, and further, those of you who know the material [i.e. class of women] that would come up for the degree of midwife will appreciate the difficulties of ever getting competent service from such women." [1911-B; DeLeeMD]

"The one way to cure these evils is to educate the public to demand a high standard of obstetrics from physicians." [1911-B; DeLeeMD] ^73

"How can this be done? Let us begin with the Women’s Clubs in the United States. Let us tell them of the facts we have learned here today. The Woman’s Clubs in the US are an enormous power, and they are growing more powerful in the civil and social betterment of this country. If we can disseminate among the women of our land the facts regarding obstetrics, there will rise an undeniable clamor for good obstetrics. The public will be forced to furnish the materials, and the patients for the proper instruction of the doctors. They will build maternity hospitals the equal, if not the superior of any surgical hospital. [1911-B; DeLeeMD]

When public opinion has thus been raised and educated regarding obstetrics, the midwife question will solve itself. With an enlightened knowledge of the importance of obstetrical art, its high ideals, the midwife will disappear, she will have become intolerable and impossible.” [1911-B; DeLeeMD] ^74