“He had consulted one of the most eminent members of the medical profession; and this gentleman evidently listened to his narration of his case with great impatience and indifference, and upon the conclusion of his history handed him a prescription, saying: ’There, take that for six weeks, and if it does not do you any good, I don’t know what will.’ The interpretation the patient put on his conduct and the remarks was, that he need not trouble himself to call again.
“Now, I have the pleasure of personally knowing the professional gentleman here referred to, and during the last twenty years have been in the constant habit of meeting him in consultation, and I am sure, from my knowledge of him, that his behavior resulted from no intentional unkindness on his part, but solely from the unfortunate feeling of reluctance to attend to such cases, which, both from my own observations and from information obtained from patients, I know to be entertained by too many members of the profession. * * * I am well aware that patients of this class are often most tedious in the narration of their cases; that the details they conceive themselves bound to enter upon are most painful, not to say disgusting, to hear; nevertheless we must, as in many other instances in the discharge of our duties, submit with patience, taking the rough and smooth with the same equanimity, and in the special cases in question, we should endeavor to forget the patient’s vices in his woes.”
Another distinguished physician writes:
“I cannot disregard the appeals of unhappy and humiliated people. Men have come to me who were ashamed to show their organs because of their diminutiveness, and who practiced masturbation and lived in celibacy rather than bear the humiliation of exposure of the parts. Nothing can be more pitiable than such a condition.”
If these very moral and dainty practitioners, who, as Dr. Courtnay says, affect to consider these cases “objectionable” and the sufferers “unworthy of the attention or sympathy of any one”—if these moralists could sit at our desk, and day after day, week after week, read the affecting stories of enforced celibacy, shattered health, broken family ties, the anguish of jealousy, despair, misanthropy, the consciousness of physical, mental and moral inferiority begotten by this sad condition—we think that then these gentlemen would agree with us that medical science and philanthropy can have no higher object than the saving of these wrecks.