Friday, October 16, 2020

Quotes From Ann Dally’s Women Under The Knife


“When people are desperate and their lives made intolerable, they will endure almost anything that offers even remote hope.” ~~ Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife)  


“We have realized that technological advances are not sufficient to ensure moral and social progress, that science is often distorted in order to support authoritarian attitudes or popular prejudices, and that both can be used for destruction purposes that counter their purposes.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“Even more misleading is the belief that the chief interest of the medical profession is in curing patients, preventing diseases or helping people to be healthy. These are the aims of some individual doctors, but the profession as a whole has always existed for itself and for the benefit of those who run it.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“Even the idea of the ‘dedicated’ doctor is largely nineteenth century invention. In the eighteenth century the idea that doctors were selflessly committed to their patients scarcely existed. On the whole doctors were regarded, often correctly, as ignorant objects of ridicule, out to benefit only themselves.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“The medical profession and its development is probably best understood if it is assumed that doctors are no better or worse than other people and act in their own interests and in accordance with their personal fantasies and satisfaction, although these are not always apparent.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“Doctors probably even more than most other people, like to seem to act from motives of which society approves. Success and status may depend on seeming to be ‘dedicated’ even if this is but a thin disguise.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“Trying to exclude ‘quacks’ was always popular in the medical profession and still is. Although, there has never been public demand for their suppression, their existence gas always been threatening to ‘regular’ doctors, especially those whose chief interest is gaining and exerting power, for these are the keenest to protect their privileges.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 



“Most doctors have always found diagnosis and treatment more interesting than prevention and this is still the case. To keep their patients and acquire more, they had to be seen to be doing something, so active treatment became the vogue. Once its main dangers had been overcome through anesthetics, asepsis and efficient homeostasis and even before those achievements, surgery seemed to be the most likely source of new treatment and women were becoming ready for it.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“Science tends to grow from the established ideas and institutions of its age. during the ninetieth century different professional and educational groups of men united to ‘prove’ the inferiority of women, thus preventing them from sharing education or occupation with men and from competing with them. The strongest powers of science were invoked to keep women in their ‘place’ and to prevent them from being educated or becoming doctors. Scientific support was needed to bolster old beliefs about the inherent inferiority and weakness of women and about their moral purity.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“Increasingly, medicine and the medical profession became powerful with an essentially male power that, as it grew, depended increasingly on women for its patients and its ‘clinical material,’ just as the domestic base that supported successful men was also provided by women.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“The idea that women are sick simply because they are women had a long history, but it became prominent only during the ninetieth century.” ~~ Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“New operations were invented and sought. As before, women were the first recipients of the new developments in the art or science of surgery. It was convenient that the submissive sex had organs inside the abdomen that were liable to give trouble – or were deemed to do so – and which now became relatively easy to reach, repair and remove.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“It is clear that the mutilation of women by surgery, carried out in the interest of conformity, was regarded by some as a fine thing to do.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“Amid the excitement of being able, at last, to operate on unconscious patients and to avoid most infections, many surgeons concentrated not so much on how women’s bodies or minds worked or even what satisfied or hurt their women patients, as on inventing new operations and learning how to perform them skill fully and safely. They showed no interest or concern in women’s health in general or in preventing the ‘diseases’ that they so eagerly sought to cure.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“What is outmoded tends to be omitted, regardless of whether it is disreputable or not.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“One of the most interesting mutilations in the early decades of anesthetics was clitoridectomy, the removal of the clitoris. The operation was an old one but now enjoyed a new vogue in both England and the United States.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“Modern gynecological textbooks do not mention clitoridectomy and many of them refer to the clitoris only in the anatomical descriptions. More surprisingly until one understands the process, many otherwise comprehensive history books do no mention it.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“Nevertheless, for many the clitoris was acquiring a new significance and was included, along with many minor gynecological conditions, in the increasing involvement of surgery in the idealization and control of women.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“Advances and improvements in medicine need critical appraisal but instead are often victims of enthusiasm and power struggles.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“Most histories describe the progress of gynecology like that of every other branch of medicine, as a steady march of progress for the benefit of patients and humanity. This is achieved by omitting to mention anything dubious in its history, such as the increase in the mutilating operations, the impressive extension of accepted indications for performing many other operations so that they conformed to the surgeons personal inclinations, and ‘orifical surgery.’” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“The medical establishment does not tolerate much critic of either its present or past. Evidence of undesirable aspects of the medical past are often difficult to find and read, but it is impossible to eradicate or delete them from the records altogether.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“Unlike other professions, medicine has a tradition of female healers.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“Women were and still are, convinced that many gynecologists are arrogant, sexist and controlling and these attitudes profoundly influence the way they treat their patients. The women accuse the doctors of managing childbirth for their own convenience rather than for their patients, of creating pathological conditions which they then proceed to cure and of using their patients as pawns in their games of power.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“Increasingly, individual women, especially the growing number of feminists, criticize gynecologists and object to the arrogance and authoritarian attitudes of some.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


“Technology supports authoritarianism and mechanistic medicine is concerned not with the health but with curing disease. Intervention is social intervention and control.” ~~Ann Dally (Book: Women Under The Knife) 


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Hope you enjoyed reading this collection of quotes.