Should the NYC Parks Department remove the statue of Dr. Marion Sims from its East Harlem location considering his experiments on female and infant slaves?

Posted 11 years.

15 Comments

  • Kathy Barker - 1 year ago

    Remove the statue. Statues glorify and celebrate someone or something. Remove the statue and put a plaque in its place that explains why the statue was removed.

  • Cecilia Cholst - 1 year ago

    My Grandfather was a member of the New York Academy of Medicine. I think he would shudder knowing that the statue he routinely passed by was erected in honor of such a horrendous person. Either take the statue down or erect a monument to his test subjects next to it. We must acknowledge Betsey, Lucy, Anarcha, and the other women Sims never bothered to name's sacrifice for modern medicine, and the Academy should have a reminder to never abuse research subjects.

  • Brianna - 7 years ago

    He cared about advancing his career, not women! He only used anesthetics on rich, powerful, white women who paid for it. He should not be honored. A memorial for his victims should be put up in that statues place! Should we honor Joseph Mengele with a statue too?

  • ST - 7 years ago

    Anaesthesia had just been developed when Dr. Sims started performing the experiments, and as most doctors of the time, he did not trust anesthetics since little work had been done to determine appropriate usage and dosage. The women that were sent to him were basically made dysfunctional because of their conditions: urine constantly leaked from their vaginas, permeating their clothing etc. While it is unfortunate society accepted slavery in those times, I do not believe the work Dr. Sims did was completely and utterly unethical, although I do deem it morally questionable. I agree that the slaves should be acknowledged in a greater way for their bravery and contribution to the surgical developments. I also think that everyone should read a variety of sources before blindly accepting a notion of 'monster' when it comes to Dr. Sims. His autobiography is really interesting and easily accessible online. Only after you do thorough research, will I be able to fully respect your judgement of Dr. Sims, whatever it may turn out to be.

  • A.T. - 8 years ago

    For historical purposes the statue should remain, to share the knowledge of what happened to our people, good and bad....

  • nlee - 8 years ago

    absolutely this statue shoukd be removed. This just goes to show that they may be a lot history like this that should be addressed. This man thought that being a slave made you insensitive to pain then experimented on these poor souls without administering anesthesia. Now, if he thought that experiementing on slaves would maybe give him a cure for whites, he evidently knew they were both anatomically alike. Take this statue of him down and replace it with a dog. Or replace it with a likeness of the unknown blacks that suffered as a result of his barbaric experiments.

  • Paul Navarro - 8 years ago

    There are many tributes to the aforementioned Betances, Campos, and De Burgos but, you hear very little about Valero De Bernabe, a towering figure in latin american history. He was born in Fajardo, P.R. and fought along side Simon Bolivar for the liberation of South America. His dream that Cuba and Puerto Rico would be free of Spanish rule and that P.R. would be an indepedent country called Borinquen were not realized in his lifetime but he is recognized throughout South America as a great liberator. Lets erect a statue for this great Puerto Rican who is known not just in P.R. but throughout Latin America.

  • Anna Morales - 9 years ago

    Addemdum: Even today there exist no sound established system to review people who we honor. Usually, what I see in East Harlem is associates giving each other awards.

  • Anna Morales - 9 years ago

    Eliminate the statue and replace with the names of those who were sacrificed. I am totally dismayed by how often recognition is given to individuals who did not have the best interest of it's people.

  • A. Delgado - 9 years ago

    Statues are built in honor of persons who deserve to be placed on a pedestal for their contribution to society. But if such contribution came at the expense of human dignity, and if we fail to recognize the ignominy of such price, what does that say about ourselves? What we shouldn't forget about history is that Dr. Sims operated on slave women without using anesthesia when developing his technique to treat vaginal fistula. His statue should be replaced with three statues honoring Sims' patients: Anarcha, Betsy, and Lucy.

  • K. Whittaker - 10 years ago

    I grew up on 110th street and used to pass the statue all the time.It is however unfortunate that the writings in stone on the statue base don't reveal more of the truth.The base should contain information and commemoration to the counless women of African decendancy who were mistreated.Even if there mistreatment was in the interest of science.Those women were people whose suffering made it all possible.

  • Angel L. Torrado - 10 years ago

    I grew up in East Harlem on 107 St between Madison & 5th Avenues and do remember the statue as a kid. I didn't realize the significance of it at the time, but thought he was a very important man. I agree with the previuos comments that it should remain because sometimes history repeats it self. And there should be mention of the sacrifices of slaves and others affected by these expriments and procedures.

  • Mark Johnson - 10 years ago

    I totally agree with Sonia!
    We will not be able to move on as a society and/or neighborhood without understanding our history!! If we erase the negative aspect of our history we will repeat what we have erased!!
    East Harlem NEEDS AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE EDUCATED!!

  • david muller - 10 years ago

    the statue should be left there but there should be a plaque commemorating the sacrifices made by the slaves who were treated/experimented on by him.

  • sonia Ortiz - 10 years ago

    this is history part of the richness of East Harlem. Continue with the new but leave the old. Can't know where you're going if you don't know where you came from. randalls Island has become rich with programs for the children of East harlem. But these children need to know it's history don't wipe it out

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