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The medical science, as to its proposed end, is the most noble and useful of all others, having nothing lefs for its object than the Prefervation and Recovery of health, which is the very bafis of human happiness; for fickness and diseases not only. rob us of all enjoyment, but, at laft, of life itself. If the means by which it ought to be effected have fometimes been abused, that is not a fault of the fcience, but of those who are unworthy to profefs it.
The useful part of medicine ftands in no need of a mask to cover its real form; the more it is unveil'd, the more its native excellence will be displayed; but where it has made ufe of meretricious arts to delude and feduce the unwary, let it be stripped of fuch tinfel ornaments, and ftand expofed to open view.
In the following Medical Inftructions, I have drawn into a narrow compass, all that appeared to me truly useful and interesting
in the prevention or cure of Female Difeafes; and, although I availed myself of whatever contributed moft to that defign; I have throughout the whole, principally depended on fuch experimental facts as occurr'd to me in practice. All nice and perplexing diftinctions relative to remote, morbid caufes, or quotations from authors which would have rendered this work tedious, have been omitted as foreign to my defign.
The fubject demanded a ftyle the moft fimple and plain to make it more univerfally understood, for, to write in a manner unintelligible, would, in effect, have been the fame as not writing at all. I have therefore been obliged to exclude many terms of art, and adopt others lefs elegant, which was a real difadvantage to the language; indeed, I often found myself not a little embarraffed between the extremes of indelicacy and obfcurity, both which I was most folicitous to avoid.
Notwithstanding this work was principally intended for the Female Sex, many of whom are too far. from proper advice, or unable to pay for it; I am inclined to think it will merit the perufal and attention of more competent judges, being part of such doctrines as I have advanced in my Public Lectures, and adopted with repeated fuccefs in the course of feveral years practice. It will afford ufeful and neceffary information to thofe engaged in the science of midwifery, or to fuch as defire a thorough knowledge of the female conftitution and the true nature of its various diseases; which being alternately the effect, as well as the caufe of obstruc ted or redundant menfes, are of all others, the most complicated and difficult to cure.
From this peculiarity in fuch maladies, they have often been imperfectly understood and injudiciously treated; confequent1y, without proper advice can be had, it would be better to let nature take her own course,
courfe, than intruft her to the conduct of those who are blind. This caution is more neceffary, as daily inftances occur in this great city where women, from falfe delicacy or culpable referve, commit themfelves to the care of those who have no adequate idea or real knowledge of fuch difeafes; As they fee no danger, they think none is to be feared, and therefore, often venture on the use of the most powerful medicines, which, although good in themfelves, become liable to the most fatal abufes, by their inconfiderate and improper application.
Much pains have been taken to cure difeafes, but very little to prevent them; although the last intention depends, as much upon rational and certain principles, and may be as properly reduced to an art as the former.
If the cure of difeafes is a thing of great importance to the general good; the art of
preferving health is matter of still greater moment; for, many diseases, especially thofe of long continuance, do not always admit of cure. They may not indeed prove fuddenly destructive, but the conftitution receives a fhock from every attack which weakens the springs of life, and takes fomething from its length of days.
Although it is not fo much the interest of the profeffion to prevent difeafes, as to cure them, it is equally their province and duty; and if attention was paid to this branch, by means proportioned to the end, they would probably be more fuccefsful in the first, than laft; yet fuch is the fatality of medical fcience in what concerns the Prophylaxis or prevention of difeafes,that many falutary rules and cautions, tending to the preservation of health, are either blindly overlooked, or neglected; and many pernicious customs still retained, to its manifeft injury. Ꭰ .