Tolstoy on doctors in The Kreutzer Sonata

“My wife, who wanted to nurse, and did nurse the four later children herself, happened to be unwell after the birth of her first child. These doctors, who cynically undressed her and felt her all over – for which I had to thank them and pay them money – those dear doctors considered that she must not nurse the child; and that first time she was deprived of the only means which might have kept her from coquetry.” …

“I see you don’t like doctors,” I said, noticing a particularly malevolent tone in his voice whenever he alluded to them.

“It’s not a case of liking or disliking. They have ruined my life as they have ruined and are ruining the lives of thousands and hundred of thousands of human beings, and I cannot help connecting the effect with the cause. I understand that they want to earn money like lawyers and others, and I would willingly give them half my income, and all who realise what they are doing would willingly give them half their possessions, if only they would not interfere with our family life and would never come near us. I haven’t collected any evidence, but I know dozens of cases (there are any number of them!) where they have killed a child in its mother’s womb asserting that she could not have birth, though she’s had children quite safely later on; or they’ve killed the mother on the pretext of performing some operation. No one reckons these murders any more than they reckoned the murders of the Inquisition, because it’s supposed that it’s done for the good of mankind. It’s impossible to number all the crimes they commit. But, all those crimes are nothing compared to the moral corruption of materialism they introduce into the world, especially through women.”


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