2017-09-08 / On Second Thought

Dr. J. Marion Sims

I realize that Warren Hughes was answering a question from a reader about the situation over the suggested removal of the statue of Sims from the SC State House grounds and also giving some details of Sim’s life and accomplishments.

Maybe The Columbia Star should look at the medical ethics of Dr. Sims from the historical aspects. I just read an abstract from the Journal of Medical Ethics ( Volume 32, Issue 6). It was written by L.L. Wall, MD, DPhil, at the Washington School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO. I’m not sure of the date, but a number suggest 2005. I can't quote the information without asking for permission. But I think it would be valuable for the paper to do some research on this side of the question.

Another issue that upsets me more is the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment that took place in Alabama between 1932 and 1972 sponsored by the U.S. Public Health Service on untreated African- American males. When penicillin was available, some did not have the option to take it. Where were the ethics in this situation? That was definitely a sad day for the U.S.

From a personal standpoint, I think we have more important things to tackle than deciding how many statues we can remove. Yes, there are many sad things that happened in history, but it is our history. At best, we need to learn from them and improve our world and relationships.

Your reader, JoAnn Van Seters

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