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June 1919


Author Affiliations

Adjunct Neurologist, Montefiore Hospital; Chief of Neurological Clinic, Mount Sinai Hospital; Attending Neurologist, Central Neurological Hospital, Blackwell's Island; Adjunct Neurologist and Associate Neuropathologist, Mount Sinai Hospital; Attending Neurologist, Montefiore and Brooklyn Jewish Hospitals NEW YORK

Arch NeurPsych. 1919;1(6):726-748. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1919.02180060063004

Castration was probably the first surgical operation. If that be correct, then the first surgical operation was not done to relieve human suffering but to satisfy one of the lower human instincts—jealousy. From the time of Semiramis to that of Abdul Hamid, eunuchs have been employed to guard the harems of the wealthy. Lipa Bey1 vividly describes the barbaric way in which they are castrated and the tortures they underogo as children during and for a long time after this operation. Suffice it to say that according to Hirschfeld,2 80 per cent, of these unfortunates die either immediately during the process of operation or soon after from exhaustion due to pain and infection. Even today some of the children of the Orient are not free from the horrors of castration. In those parts of the East which are under the control of England stringent laws against

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