Ebooka przeczytasz w aplikacjach Legimi na:
Odsłuch ebooka (TTS) dostępny w abonamencie „ebooki+audiobooki bez limitu” w aplikacji Legimi na:
This page copyright © 2009 Olympia Press.
The practice of medicine, the art of the healer, is so old its beginnings are steeped in tradition. Hippocrates, reputedly the author of the oath by which even today physicians are bound, lived over four hundred years before the birth of Christ. And while the man who can heal the sick has always been deemed a benefactor, the incredible advances of recent years, from “miracle drugs” to heart transplants, have made him an almost God-like figure — the man in white, the man with the power of life and death in his skilled fingers and his trained mind.
That is only half the picture. For the doctor — particularly the specialist in woman's ailments — has a warrant to violate the privacy of his patients which is otherwise granted only to husbands or lovers. Most children “play doctor” as an excuse for infantile sex play. How, after all, does the female patient on the examination table really tell if she is being exposed and probed for legitimate medical reasons?
She must trust the doctor's ethics. And, time out of mind, the human race has suspected those who knew too much. Wisely or unwisely, we all have a lurking suspicion in the back of our minds of the “mad scientist.” In medieval times, too lively an interest in either the physical workings of the universe or the physical workings of the human body could bring a man under suspicion as a heretic or even a witch.
Both these attitudes — the respect, even awe of the miracle-working man in white, and the suspicion of the possessor of arcane knowledge — are fused powerfully in Gordon Cervantes' vivid novel Hard Doctor. This book is particularly timely in view of recent dramatic advances in the field of organ transplants, which throw a new light on the whole question of medical ethics.
Cervantes adds another timely dimension to his work by considering the question of medical ethics from the particular angle of gynecology, that medical specialty concerned with the treatment of women. All physicians, but the gynecologist more than most, have an unusual access to human beings in their unbuttoned moments, to much that is normally hidden and covert, for instance, to the secret places and practices of their patients' sexual lives.
In recent years, the whole thrust of sexuality in this country has been questioned. We have seen very rapid social change. Women are pushing into new careers, behaving with a new boldness, even using a language their mothers would have regarded as improper and unladylike. The double standard of sexual morality is fading. The unisex look — long hair and beads for men, pantsuits and boots for women — has swept the fashion industry. All of these changes have been met with agonized outcries. Modern men, we are told, are being emasculated, modern women masculinized. Sometimes accusations are leveled at the fashion industry, accusations of a deliberate homosexual plot to force women into unfeminine, ridiculous clothing, to promote what has been called “the tubercular little boy look.”
It may seriously be doubted whether a real woman sheds her essential femininity when she puts on pants, or whether there is any real relation between virility and length of hair. The long-haired English Elizabethans and Cavaliers included many notorious sexual athletes. But the question of the extent to which homosexuality may be coming to dominate certain aspects of our culture is a perfectly valid one. Whether or not there is any more real homosexuality than there once was, the whole subject is certainly more discussable — and discussed — than it was twenty or even ten years ago. Whether or not this is judged to be a good thing depends on the moral bias of the judge. To the extent that he feels homosexuality is innately immoral and repulsive, an individual will probably be repulsed by the emphasis on it, though he may, rather reluctantly, agree that you cannot set out to prevent, or cure, a phenomenon unless you study it with a sufficiently open mind to learn how it begins and how it grows and spreads. To the extent that he regards homosexuality as simply another form of sexual expression, different from heterosexual love but not necessarily evil, he will probably approve the new openness.
Of course, any human relationship may be either positive or negative. Even sex within marriage can be destructive if it is an outlet for vengeful feelings, or meant to humiliate, or is dangled as a bribe. (“Get me that mink and I'll show you what a nice wife I can be.”) There are four sets of lovers in Hard Doctor — two heterosexual, two uniting members of the same sex. And three out of the four are presented as positive. Only one pair is destructive. But that destructiveness is of a particularly vicious kind, and a kind which only the special knowledge and privileges of the physician can make possible.
So Hard Doctor, in addition to being an arresting picture of the medical profession and a love story whose ardors will involve the reader deeply, is also an expose, a suspense novel, a story of revenge, and a probe of an acute societal problem. It is recommended for those readers who want both a good story, and a taste of the unusual.
Karl Otto Pappenfus, Ph.D.
DR. STEPHEN KANE, by an accident of birth and his choice of medical specialty, was obstetrician and gynecologist to King City's Four Hundred — a distinction he shared with Dr. Harry Coleman. Since setting up his practice in fashionable Lakeview Heights three years ago, he had explored many aristocratic cunts, examined several blue blood breasts, and massaged innumerable upper class abdomens — to say nothing of thrusting a professional finger up a number of arses needing fingering more than medical service.
All — or for the most part, all — professionally, of course.
And as a gynecological surgeon he had removed a number of high-born ovaries, patrician uteri and genteel fallopian tubes — now and then depositing a load of semen in an aching cunt as part of his vow to relieve mankind's suffering.
As one of the two obstetricians serving Lakeview Heights, he had delivered many of tomorrow's wealthiest men and women; and he had been approached several times — unsuccessfully, of course — to procure the early expulsion of the embryonic forms of tomorrow's wealthiest men and women. He had also distributed thousands of pills to repress society's hormones and to discourage the fertilization of exalted ova.
Dr. Stephen Kane's income, for one who had, only three years earlier, become Lakeview Heights' second obstetrician and gynecologist, was, comme il faut, prodigious. As a product of the fashionable district, he knew that its wealthy residents expected to pay handsomely for his services: indeed, he would have been accused of inattention and indifference to the welfare of his patients had his fees been nominal.
The casual observer of the Lakeview Heights scene would have said: “Dr. Stephen Kane has it made!” And, with one exception, he would be right.
Stephen was handsome, virile, well-established professionally, privately wealthy, played an excellent game of tennis, rode well, had a respectable capacity for liquor, was a master at the bon-mot, and, naturally, had a more than passing knowledge of the female anatomy and its capabilities for expression — a knowledge he was constantly widening through practice — medical and personal. At thirty-three, Dr. Stephen Kane was Lakeview Heights' most eligible bachelor and, consequently, in constant demand at social events.
And he was the district's most envied male. It was the consensus of society's other bachelors that Kane was a son-of-a-bitch: following a visit to his office and a session on his examination table, Lakeview Heights' women — single and married — were often immune to the amateurish efforts of the ardent but untrained gynecophiles. A large number of the married men of the Four Hundred set shared that opinion.
Dr. Stephen Kane would be the first to admit that his professional endeavors frequently alleviated pent-up physical desires; relieved frigidity, at least temporarily; opened the dammed sluices of sexual repression; and stirred up the banked fires of passion in many a smoldering cunt that only needed fanning to reproduce the dying flame. But with that admission he would also ask for an understanding of the gynecologist's role: in addition to the treatment of morbid conditions of the reproductive organs of the female, was it not his responsibility to attempt to solve the emotional problems associated with those organs?
Stephen approached these problems professionally, tried to deal with them professionally, and submitted substantial professional accounts. If, sometimes — and the 'sometimes' were chosen with utmost professional caution — if sometimes his own physical satisfaction were not professional in nature, this was a matter of concern only to the patient and himself.
Yes, to echo the casual observer: “Dr. Stephen Kane has it made!” With one exception. Stephen was devoted to the practice of medicine. It was more than a lucrative profession: it was a way of life. To him it was a goddess, a sacred trust granted only to the fortunate few. He devoutly believed that medicine was charged with unchallengable responsibility of alleviating human suffering, and that that responsibility demanded inflexible adherence to established norms of practice, acceptance of a body of binding ethics, and the preservation of well-founded safeguards for both the patient and the doctor.
And he believed, unquestioningly, that a medical practitioner was the keeper of the conscience of every other doctor.
In short, Dr. Stephen Kane, possessor of enviable material and physical attributes, was an idealist. And, sitting in his spacious, richly-furnished office, looking more like a bank president than a doctor, Stephen's idealism was plaguing him.
Something had to be done about Dr. Harry Coleman!
If it had been anyone else but Harry Coleman, Stephen's dilemma would not even exist. But Coleman! The brilliant, internationally known obstetrician and gynecologist, who was head of the Department of OB and GYN at King City General, who had been Stephen's chief when he was doing his residency, was also the other specialist serving Lakeview Heights. Stephen's competition. To denounce Dr. Coleman would be to bring accusations of character assassination, reputation destruction, advancement of self-interest, and, worst of all, ingratitude. For much of Stephen's success and professional standing stemmed directly from his association with Coleman during his residency at King City General.
Stephen found it difficult to think of the Coleman he now silently denounced as the same Coleman he had known a few years ago. It wasn't the same Coleman, Stephen told himself. The brilliant, humane physician who had taught him so much, who had given him confidence, who had firmly imbedded in Stephen the very qualities of idealism now torturing him, this man had changed so much in the past few months. Stephen suspected he was becoming a dangerous psychopath. Stephen was convinced he shouldn't be allowed to practice medicine, and, in particular, surgery on the cunts of the women of Lakeview Heights.
Stephen recalled the many happy hours he had spent at the feet of the Great Man, who gave so unselfishly of his time and knowledge to advance his disciples, to instill in them respect for the human body and its resilient spirit, to help them recognize that their innate talents were God-given and that they should always be used to glorify the Creator of frail man.
He smiled at remembered flashes of humor with which Dr. Coleman would lighten moments of tension in the eternal struggle to maintain life. He recalled the occasion he and Coleman had been called in to repair the damages wreaked by an inept medical butcher. The patient required a surgical technique of which Dr. Coleman was King City's sole possessor. As he worked swiftly, skillfully, he told Stephen of an experience he had had as a resident in obstetrics and gynecology at Guy's Hospital in London, England.
“I was assisting my chief, Dr. Stan-bury, in a vaginal repair,” Coleman said. “The perineum had ripped almost back to the anus. Stanbury was sewing along merrily when I observed that he had sewn up much more than he should—-Strange, I can remember the patient's name: Mrs. Thome.”
Coleman had gone on to describe how his chief had sutured up almost a third of the external opening of the women's sex canal.
“I pointed out to Stanbury was he had done. He just smiled and said: 'Love will find a way, Harry. Love will find a way.'
“Several weeks later, Stanbury and I were leaving the hospital when a little man in a peaked cap and a rumpled tweedy suit ran up to us.
“'Be ye Doctorrrr San-burrrry?' he burred, with a strong Yorkshire accent. 'Yes,' Stanbury replied, 'I'm Stanbury.' 'Be ye the Doctorrrr Stanburrrry who operrrated on Mrs. Thorrrne's prrrivate parrrts?'
“'Mrs. Thorne? Mrs. Thorne?' Stanbury was struggling to remember when I reminded him of the vaginal repair. 'Oh, yes,' he said. 'I did a vaginal repair on a Mrs. Thorne a few weeks ago.'
“'Aye,' the little man said mournfully. 'Well, Stan-burrrry, I be Mrrr. Thorrrne. An' I rrreporrrt t' ye, that them parrrts, as parrrts, be boogerrred.'”
Stephen chuckled quietly. He bought a fist down sharply on the tooled leather top of his large desk. What had happened to Coleman in three years? And what could he do about it?
His thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a knock on his office door. At his bidding, his nurse, Janice Waldon, entered. It was a pleasant interruption. Stephen looked at her appreciatingly. Strange, he thought, Isee the naked female body a dozen times a day — and still I can appreciate it clothed.
Janice Waldon's mode of dress left little to Stephen's imagination! She wore the traditional nurses' uniform, but it was apparent that she wore little else. Her full breasts were sufficiently firm that they required no auxiliary support. Thus exposed to the friction of the smooth fabric of the uniform the nipples were kept rigid and projecting disturbingly.
Her swelling hips were provocatively outlined, the buttocks mounding and firm. Their movement, when Janice walked, provided an exceptionally fine opportunity to study the living gluteal muscles.
Stephen tore his gaze back to Janice's lovely face.
“Cynthia Staines is here, Doctor. I've sent her into the examination room to get ready.” She placed a file card on Stephen's desk.
Oh God! he thought. She's here for her kicks again.
Well, he'd give her his usual examination. He knew she wanted more. But this was one he couldn't trust. In fact, Stephen decided, he was taking no chances at all.
“Janice, I'd like you present when I examine Miss Staines, please.”
She smiled, knowingly.
“Yes, Doctor. I'll go in now.”
Stephen picked up the file card. Cynthia Staines, twenty-nine, unmarried, daughter of one of Lakeview Heights' wealthiest families. Last visit: four days ago. Symptoms: vaginal itching. Diagnosis: sexual deprivation. Treatment: douching.
Cynthia was not the society's most attractive girl, and her personality was lacking in those certain qualities which might give her the opportunities for normal sexual expression. Now she had latched onto a practice common among many women who are denied such relationships: the gynecological examination.
Stephen slipped on his white jacket, sighed and opened the door leading to the examination room.
Cynthia was wrapped in a white gown, sitting apprehensively on the edge of one of the comfortable chairs provided for waiting patients. Janice busied herself with instruments at the foot of the examination table.
Stephen walked over to Cynthia, took her hand.
“Well, Cynthia, how are you today?”
The pathetically homely girl blushed.
“Dr. Kane.... Oh, I'm a little better. But I... I still have that awful itching.”
Itching. I bet, Stephen thought. And I know what for. Well, let's get on with it.
“All right, Cynthia, let's have a look. Janice, will you help Miss Staines up on the table, please.”
Janice took the girl's arm as she climbed the two-step stool, got her lying down and helped her into the stirrups so that her legs and thighs were parted with her hips down near the end of the table. Janice arranged the white gown over Cynthia modestly.
Stephen took a low stool at the foot of the examination table, moved the gown up to expose the genital zone of the patient. Cynthia's legs trembled.
That's not nervousness, Stephen thought. It's anticipation. And his first touch would prove it!
Janice, standing beside him, helped him into a rubber glove. He touched the inside of Cynthia's left thigh. Her body suddenly tensed, the pelvis raised slightly, expectantly. Stephen gently inserted the blades of the speculum with which to spread the walls of the passage for easier examination.
Cynthia's voice was sharp.
“I'm sorry. Did I hurt you?” Stephen's question was automatic. He knew he hadn't.
“Just a little.”
Her voice was harsh. He noticed that her abdomen rose and fell quickly with her rapid breathing.
He pressed the handles of the speculum slowly, widening the orifice so that he might examine her. Gently he inserted his gloved hand. He realized that he really hadn't needed the instrument: the involuntary exudation of moisture under the influence of desire had coated the walls of the passage so that her cunt was juicy. As his hand moved, Cynthia's hips pressed down against it. Inside he could feel the spasms as she fought the desperate urge to heave her pelvis.
Oh hell, he thought. Let the bitch enjoy life a little.
And he let his thumb press against the erectile clitoris, that nerve-packed trigger. She needed no more. With a violent thrust, she forced herself against the exotic pressure, gyrating her hips quickly. Then, with a gasp, a sharp cry, she stiffened, her body catatonic. Then she relaxed completely.
Stephen was aware of a secondary effect of Cynthia's excitation. He glanced up and noticed with a shock the look of ecstasy on Janice's face: the closed eyes, lips slightly apart, heavy breathing, the tenseness of her body. That was something new!
Stephen continued his examination as if nothing had happened. He was aware of the involuntary spasms within the canal, the excessive flow of mucous.
Afraid of re-awakening Cynthia's desire, he withdrew his hand, released the speculum. Drawing off his glove, he dropped it into a waste receptacle. He stood up.
“Well, Cynthia,” he said, avoiding the girl's flushed face, “I think there's considerable improvement in your condition. But I would suggest you continue the douche for a little while.”
As if I could stop you, he added to himself.
“You'll want me to come back, won't you, Dr. Kane?”
Her voice was anxious.
He wondered how he could discourage her.
“I'm not better yet, Doctor.” She sounded frantic. “Of course, if you can't fit me in, perhaps I could go to Dr. Coleman.”
God, no! Coleman will mutilate you. He'd put an end to your desires for good.
“Oh no, Cynthia,” he said quickly. “I can arrange it. Say in about three days.” He turned to Janice, who, though flushed, had regained control of herself. “Will you look after an appointment for Miss Staines, Janice?”
Stephen returned to his office, removed his jacket. Well, he had prevented Coleman from getting his hands on another one. But what about all the others? He'd have to find a way.