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´╗┐Title: An Ethical Problem - Or, Sidelights upon Scientific Experimentation on Man and Animals
Author: Leffingwell, Albert, 1845-1916
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "An Ethical Problem - Or, Sidelights upon Scientific Experimentation on Man and Animals" ***

                           An Ethical Problem

                           By the Same Author








AMERICAN MEAT.  London and New York, 1910

                           AN ETHICAL PROBLEM



                        ALBERT LEFFINGWELL, M.D.


                        SECOND EDITION, REVISED

                         G. BELL AND SONS, LTD.

                                NEW YORK
                   C.P. FARREL, 117 EAST 21st STREET



The position taken by the writer of this volume should be clearly
understood.  It is not the view known as antivivisection, so far as
this means the condemnation without exception of all phases of
biological investigation.  There are methods of research which involve
no animal suffering, and which are of scientific utility.  Within
certain careful limitations, these would seem justifiable.  For nearly
forty years, the writer has occupied the position which half a century
ago was generally held by a majority of the medical profession in
England, and possibly in America, a position maintained in recent
years by such men as Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson of England, by
Professor William James and Dr. Henry J. Bigelow of Harvard
University.  With the present ideals of the modern physiological
laboratory, so far as they favour the practice of vivisection in
secrecy and without legal regulation, the writer has no sympathy

An ethical problem exists.  It concerns not the prevention of all
experimentation upon animals, but rather the abolition of its cruelty,
its secrecy, its abuse.

Written at various times during a period extending over several years,
a critic will undoubtedly discover instances of repetition and
re-statement.  Now and then, it has seemed advisable to include matter
from earlier writings, long out of print; and new light has been
thrown upon some phases of a perplexing problem.  Will it tend to
induce conviction of the need for reform?  Assuredly, this is not to
be expected where there is disagreement regarding certain basic
principles.  First of all, there must be some common ground.  No
agreement regarding vivisection can be anticipated or desired with any
man who holds that some vague and uncertain addition to the sum total
of knowledge would justify experiments made upon dying children in a
hospital, without regard to their personal benefit, or sanction the
infliction of any degree of agony upon animals in a laboratory.

A liking for the use of italics as a means of directing attention to
certain statements is confessed.  But wherever such italicized phrases
appear in quotations, the reader should ascribe the emphasis to the
writer, and not to the original authority.

The inculcation of scepticism regarding much that is put forth in
justification of unlimited research is admitted.  It seems to the
writer that anyone who has become interested in the question would
more wisely approach it with a tendency toward doubt than toward
implicit belief; to doubt, however, that leads one directly to
investigation.  We need to remember, however, that inaccuracy by no
means connotes inveracity.  There is here no imputation against the
honesty of any writer, even when carelessness, exaggeration and
inaccuracy are not only alleged, but demonstrated to exist.
                                                        A. L.
  Aurora, N.Y.,



Another edition of this work being called for, the opportunity for one
or two emendations is afforded.

In the first chapter of the present work, reference is made to the
antivivisection societies of England, and, relying upon evidence given
before the Royal Commission in 1906, one of them is mentioned as the
"principal organization." The relative standing or strength of the
different societies at the present time would appear not to be
determined or easily determinable, and, of course, what was fact in
1906 may not be at all true ten years later.  The matter would seem to
be of little importance as compared with the greater questions
pertaining to reform; but in the interest of accuracy the author would
now prefer to make no pronouncement concerning the relative rank of
the English societies, leaving decision as to precedence to those who
give them financial support.

Though the first edition of the present work was quite large, yet no
challenge of the accuracy of any of its statements concerning
experimentation upon human beings or animals has yet appeared.  To
hope for absolute accuracy in a work of this character may be
impossible; yet that ideal has been constantly before the writer.
Should any errors of the kind be discovered to exist in the present
edition, their indication is sincerely desired.

In the chapter "Unfair Methods of Controversy" some illustrative cases
were given without mention, now and then, of the persons criticized.
It seemed to the writer that in certain instances it should be quite
sufficient to point out and to condemn inaccuracies and errors
without bringing upon the record every individual name.  No
misunderstanding could possibly exist, since the references were ample
in every case.  But since this reticence, in at least one instance,
has been criticized by an unfriendly reviewer, it is perhaps better to
state that the repeated allusions to Lord Lister's journeyings to
France, and the article in Harper's Monthly for April, 1909, were from
the pen of the author of Animal Experimentation--a work which is
reviewed in the Appendix to the present edition.  To his advanced
age--now far beyond the allotted span--we may ascribe the inaccuracies
which, at an earlier period of his career, would doubtless have been

                                                        A. L.


CHAPTER                                                   PAGE
       INTRODUCTION     -       -       -       -       -   xi

    I. WHAT IS VIVISECTION?     -       -       -       -    1
   II. ON CERTAIN MISTAKES OF SCIENTISTS        -       -   12
   IV. MAGENDIE AND HIS CONTEMPORARIES  -       -       -   29
    V. A VIVISECTOR'S REMORSE   -       -       -       -   47
   VI. IS TORTURE JUSTIFIED BY UTILITY?         -       -   57
  VII. THE COMMENCEMENT OF AGITATION    -       -       -   66
   IX. A GREAT PROTESTANT       -       -       -       -  113
    X. THE VIVISECTION REPORT OF 1912   -       -       -  127
   XI. THE ANAESTHETIC DELUSION         -       -       -  149
  XII. THE VIVISECTION OF TO-DAY        -       -       -  162
 XIII. WHAT IS VIVISECTION REFORM?      -       -       -  196
  XIV. THE WORK OF REFORM SOCIETIES     -       -       -  216
   XV. UNFAIR METHODS OF CONTROVERSY    -       -       -  228
  XVI. RESEARCH WITHOUT VIVISECTION     -       -       -  254
 XVII. THE FUTURE OF VIVISECTION        -       -       -  276
  XIX. CONCLUSION       -       -       -       -       -  326

       APPENDIXES       -       -       -       -     333-364C
       INDEX            -       -       -       -      365-369
       PRESS NOTICES    -       -       -       -      371-374


It is now somewhat over a third of a century since my attention was
specially directed to the abuses of animal experimentation.  In
January, 1880, a paragraph appeared in a morning paper of New York
referring to the late Henry Bergh.  With his approval a Bill had come
before the legislature of the State of New York providing for the
abolition of all experiments upon living animals--whether in medical
colleges or elsewhere--on the ground that they were without benefit to
anybody, and demoralizing alike to the teacher and student.  As I
dropped the paper, it occurred to me that the chances of success would
have been far greater if less had been asked.  That certain
vivisections were atrocious was undoubtedly true; but, on the other
hand, there were some experiments that were absolutely painless.
Would it not be wiser to make some distinctions?

The attempt was made.  An article on the subject was at once begun,
and in July of the same year it was published in Scribner's Magazine,
the predecessor of the Century.  So far as known, it was the first
argument that ever found expression in the pages of any American
periodical favouring not the entire abolition of vivisection, but the
reform of its abuse.

My knowledge of vivisection had its beginning in personal
experience.  Nearly forty years ago, while teaching the elements of
physiology at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, it occurred to me
to illustrate the statements of textbooks by a repetition of such
simple experiments as had come before my own eyes.  Most of my
demonstrations were illustrative of commonplace physiological
phenomena: chloroform was freely used to secure unconsciousness of the
animal, and with the exception of one or two demonstrations, the
avoidance of pain or distress was almost certainly accomplished.

But what especially impressed me at the time was the extraordinary
interest which these experiments seemed to excite.  Students from
advanced classes in the institute were often spectators and voluntary
assistants.  Of the utility of such demonstrations as a means of
fixing facts in memory, I could not have the slightest doubt.  Nor as
regards the rightfulness of vivisection as a method either of study or
demonstration, was there at that period any question in my mind.
Whatever Science desired, it seemed to me only proper that Science
should have.  The fact that certain demonstrations or experiments upon
living animals had already been condemned as unjustifiable cruelty by
the leading men in the medical profession, and by some of the
principal medical journals of England, was then as utterly unknown to
me as the same facts are to-day unknown to the average graduate of
every medical school in the United States.  It was not long until
after this early experience, and following acquaintance with the
practice in Europe as well as at home, that doubts arose regarding the
doubts became convictions, and were stated in my first contribution to
the literature of the subject, the paper in Scribner's.  It is not the
position of what is called "antivivisection," for that implies
condemnation of every phase of animal experimentation.  In the third
of a century that has elapsed since this protest was made, the
practice of vivisection has taken vast strides: it appears in new
shapes and unanticipated environment.  But the old abuses have not
disappeared, and some of them, more urgently than ever before, demand
the attention of thinking men and women.

Of personal contributions to the literature of the subject, during the
past third of a century, nearly everything has been more or less
polemical, called forth by either exaggeration of utility, inaccuracy
of assertion, or misstatement of fact.  Now it has been protest
against the brilliant correspondent of a New York newspaper, who
telegraphed from London an account of a visit to a well-known
physiological laboratory, where he found animals all "fat, cheerful,
and jolly," yet "quite unaffected by the removal of a spinal cord"--as
sensible a statement as if he had referred to their jolly condition
"after removal of their heads." Now it has been the manifesto of
professors in a medical school declaring that in the institution to
which they belonged no painful experiments had been performed--an
assertion abundantly contradicted by their own publications.  Now it
is a Surgeon-General of the Army, defending one of the most cruel of
vivisections in which he was not in any way concerned, by an
exposition of ignorance regarding the elements of physiology; and,
again, it has been a President of a medical association, making a
speech, wherein hardly a sentence was not stamped with inaccuracy and
ignorance.  To some natures controversy is exhilarating; to  myself it
is beyond expression distasteful.  Yet, when confronted by false
affirmations, what is one's duty? To say nothing? To permit the
untruth to march triumphantly on its way? Or, in the interest of
Science herself, should not one attempt the exposure of inaccuracy,
and the demonstration of the truth?

Approaching the end of a long pilgrimage, it has seemed to me worth
while to make a final survey of the great question of our time.  How
was the cruelty of vivisection once regarded by the leading members of
the medical profession? Shall we say to-day that the utility of
torment, in the vivisection of animals, constitutes perfect
justification and defence? How far did Civilization once go in the
approval of torture because of its imagined deterrent effects?

What has been accomplished by the agitation concerning vivisection
which has persisted for the last forty years? Has the battlefield been
well selected? Have demands of reformers been wisely formulated? Is
public opinion to-day inclined to be any more favourable to the legal
abolition of all scientific experimentation upon animals than it was a
third of a century ago?

What has been the result of vivisection in America, unrestricted and
unrestrained? Has it accomplished anything for the human race that
might not have been accomplished under conditions whereby cruelty
should be impossible except as a crime? Has the death-rate been
reduced by new discoveries made in American laboratories? Is it
possible that utility is persistently exaggerated by those who are not
unwilling to use exaggeration as a means of defence? And of the
Future, what are the probabilities for which we may hope? What is
being done in our century in the way of submitting animals to
unlimited torture?

To throw somewhat of light on these questions is the object of this
volume.  I wish it had been in my power to write a more extended and
complete exposition of the problem, but limitations of strength, due
to advancing age, have made that hope impracticable.  But as one man
drops the torch, another hand will grasp it; and where now is darkness
and secrecy, there will one day be knowledge and light.

                        AN ETHICAL PROBLEM

                            CHAPTER I

                        WHAT IS VIVISECTION?

Upon no ethical problem of our generation is the public sentiment of
to-day more uncertain and confused than in its attitude toward
vivisection.  Why this uncertainty exists it is not very difficult to
discern.  In the first place, no definition of the word itself has
been suggested and adopted sufficiently concise and yet so
comprehensive as to include every phase of animal experimentation.  It
is a secret practice.  Formerly more or less public, it is now carried
on in closed laboratories, with every possible precaution against the
disclosure of anything liable to criticism.  Quite apart from any
questions of usefulness, it is a pursuit involving problems of the
utmost fascination for the investigating mind--questions pertaining to
Life and Death--the deepest mysteries which can engage the intellect
of mankind.  We find it made especially attractive to young men at
that period of life when their encouraged and cultivated enthusiasm
for experimentation is not liable to be adequately controlled by any
deep consideration for the "material" upon which they work.  Sometimes
animal experimentation is painless, and sometimes it involves
suffering which may vary in degree from distress which is slight to
torments which a great surgeon has compared to burning alive, "the
utmost degree of prolonged and excruciating agony." By some, its
utility to humanity is constantly asserted, and by others as earnestly
and emphatically and categorically denied.  Confronted by
contradictory assertions of antagonists and defenders, how is the
average man to make up his mind? Both opinions, he reasons, cannot
possibly be true, and he generally ranges himself under the banner of
the Laboratory or of its enemies, according to his degree of
confidence in their assertions, or his preference for the ideals which
they represent.

Now, the object of all controversy should be to enable us to see facts
as they are--to get at the truth.  That difference of opinion will
exist may be inevitable; for opinions largely depend upon our ideals,
and these of no two individuals are precisely the same.  But so far as
facts are concerned, we should be able to make some approach to
agreement, and especially as regards the ethical supremacy of certain

But first of all we need to define Vivisection.  What is it?

Originally implying merely the cutting of a living animal in way of
experiment, it has come by general consent to include all scientific
investigations upon animals whatsoever, even when such researches or
demonstrations involve no cutting operation of any kind.  It has been
authoritatively defined as "experiments upon animals calculated to
cause pain." But this would seem to exclude all experimentation of a
kind which is not calculated to cause pain; experiments regarding
which all the "calculation" is to avoid pain; as, for example, an
experiment made to determine the exact quantity of chloroform
necessary to produce death without return of consciousness.  The
British Royal Commission of 1875 defined it as "the practice of
subjecting live animals to experiments for scientific purposes,"
avoiding any reference to the infliction of pain; yet, so far as
pertains to the justification of vivisection, the whole controversy
may turn on that.  Any complete definition should at least contain
reference to those investigations to which little or no objection
would be raised, were they not part of the "system." It should not
omit reference, also, to those refinements of pain-infliction for
inadequate purposes--also a part of a "system," and which, to very
distinguished leaders in the medical profession, have seemed to be
inexcusable and wrong.

Suppose, then, we attempt a definition that shall be inclusive of all
phases of the practice.

"Vivisection is the exploitation of living animals for experiments
concerning the phenomena of life.  Such experiments are made, FIRST,
for the demonstration, before students, of facts already known and
established; or, SECOND, as a method of investigation of some theory
or problem, which may be with or without relation to the treatment of
human ailments.  Such experiments may range from procedures which are
practically painless, to those involving distress, exhaustion,
starvation, baking, burning, suffocation, poisoning, inoculation with
disease, every kind of mutilation, and long-protracted agony and

A definition of this kind will cover 99 per cent. of all experiments.
The extreme pro-vivisectionist may protest that the definition brings
into prominence the more painful operations; yet for the majority of
us the only ground for challenging the practice at all is the pain,
amounting to torment in some cases, which vivisection may involve.
They are rare, some one says.  But how do we know? The doors of the
laboratory are closed.  Of practices secretly carried on, what can we
know? That every form of imaginable torment has at some time been
practised in the name of Science, we may learn from the reports of
experimenters themselves, and from the writings of men who have
denounced them.  It was Dr. Henry J. Bigelow, of Harvard University,
the most eminent surgeon of his day, who declared that vivisection
sometimes meant the infliction of "the severest conceivable pain, of
indefinite duration," and that it was "a torture of helpless animals,
more terrible, by reason of its refinement, than burning at the
stake." Is the above definition of vivisection stronger than is
implied by this assertion of Dr. Bigelow?

We need constantly to remember that vivisection is by no means a
simple act.  It may indicate investigations that require no cutting
operation of any kind, and the infliction of no pain; or, on the other
hand, it may denote operations that involve complicated and severe
mutilations, and torments as prolonged and exquisite as human
imagination can conceive.  Experiments may be made, in course of
researches, of very great interest and importance to medical science;
and, on the contrary, they may be performed merely to demonstrate
phenomena about which there is no doubt, or to impress on the memory of
a student some well-known fact.  They may be performed by men like Sir
Charles Bell, who hesitated to confirm one of the greatest
physiological discoveries of the last century, merely because it would
imply a repetition of painful experiments; and they may be done by men
like Magendie, who declared of his mutilated and tormented victims,
that it was "DROLL to see them skip and jump about." It is because of
all these differences that the majority of men have an indefinite
conception of what they approve or condemn.  The advocate of
unrestricted vivisection sometimes tells us that experimentation
implies no more pain than the prick of a pin, and that its results are
of great utility to the human race; the antivivisectionist, on the
other hand, may insist that such experimentation means inconceivable
torment without the slightest conceivable benefit to mankind.  Both
are right in the occasional significance of the word.  Both are wrong
if one meaning is to answer for all varieties of experimentation upon
living things.

Some years ago the attempt was made to obtain the view of animal
experimentation held by certain classes of intelligent men and women.
One view of the practice is that which regards it merely as a method
of scientific research, with which morality has no more to do than it
would have in determining in what direction a telescope should be
pointed by an astronomer, or what rocks a geologist should not venture
to touch.  A statement embodying the views of those who favour
unrestricted vivisection included affirmations like these:

"Vivisection, or experimentation upon living creatures, must be looked
at simply as a method of studying the phenomena of life.  With it,
morality has nothing to do.  It should be subject neither to
criticism, supervision, nor restrictions of any kind.  It may be used
to any extent desired by any experimenter--no matter what degree of
extreme or prolonged pain it may involve--for demonstration before
students of the statements contained in their textbooks, as an aid to
memory,....or for any conceivable purpose of investigation into vital
phenomena.... While we claim many discoveries of value,....yet even
these we regard as of secondary importance to the freedom of unlimited

This is the meaning of free and unrestricted vivisection.  Its
plainness of speech did not deter very distinguished physiologists and
others from signing it as the expression of their views.  One can
hardly doubt that it represents the view of the physiological
laboratory at the present day.  Sixty years ago this view of
vivisection would have found but few adherents in England or America;
to-day it is probably the tacit opinion of a majority of the medical
profession in either land.  One may question whether any similar
change of sentiment in a direction contrary to reform has ever
appeared since Civilization began.  We shall endeavor to show,
hereafter, to what that change is due.

Absolutely opposed to this sentiment are the principles of what is
known as "antivivisection." According to this view, all vivisection is
an immoral infringement upon the rights of animals.  The cruelties
that accompany research will always accompany it, until all scientific
experimentation upon animals is made a criminal offence.  From a
statement of opinion giving expression to this view, the following
sentences are taken:

"All experimentation upon living animals we consider unnecessary,
unjustifiable, and morally wrong.... Even if utility could be proved,
man has no right to attempt to benefit himself at the cost of injury,
pain, or disease to the lower animals.  The injury which the practice
of vivisection causes to the moral sense of the individual and to
humanity far outweighs any possible benefit that could be derived from
it.  Dr. Henry J. Bigelow, Professor in the Medical School of Harvard
University, declared that `vivisection deadens the humanity of the
students.' Nothing which thus lowers morality can be a necessity to
progress.... Painless or painful, useless or useful, however severe or
however slight, vivisection is a practice so linked with cruelty and
so pernicious in tendency, THAT ANY REFORM IS IMPOSSIBLE, and it
should be absolutely prohibited by law for any purpose."

This is antivivisection.  It is a view of the practice which has
seemed reasonable to large numbers of earnest men and women whose
lives in various directions have been devoted to the prevention of all
kinds of cruelty, and to the promotion of the best interests of the
race.  When this view is maintained by men and women who oppose the
killing of animals for purposes of food or raiment or adornment, or
their exploitation in any way which demands extinction of life, it is
entirely consistent with high ideals.  It is against this view that
the arguments of those who contend for vivisection, without
restriction or restraint, are always directed.

But even among antivivisectionists there are, naturally, differences
of opinion.  For instance, the National Antivivisection Society, the
principal organization of England, desires to see vivisection totally
abolished by law; but, meanwhile, it will strive for and accept any
measures that have for their object the amelioration of the condition
of vivisected animals.  On the other hand, the British Union for the
Total Abolition of Vivisection will accept nothing less than the legal
condemnation of every phase of such experiments. "Vivisection," the
secretary of this society writes, "is a system, and not a number of
isolated acts to be considered separately.  Owing to its intricate and
interdependent character and the international competition involved,
USE CANNOT BE SEPARATED FROM ABUSE." In other words, every conceivable
phase of scientific experimentation upon living creatures, even if
absolutely painless, should be made a legal offence.

But we are not driven to accept one or the other of these definitions
of animal experimentation.  A third view of vivisection exists, which
differs widely from either of these opposing ideals.  Instead of
taking the position of the antivivisectionist that ALL scientific
investigations involving the use of animals, should be legally
prohibited, it maintains that distinctions may, and should, be drawn,
and that only the abuses of vivisection should be condemned by law.
It asks society neither to approve of everything, nor to condemn
everything, but to draw a line between experiments that, by reason of
utility and painlessness, are entirely permissible, and others which
ought assuredly to be condemned.  It makes no protest against
experimentation involving the death of an animal where it is certain
that consciousness of pain has been abolished by anaesthetics; but it
condemns absolutely the exhibition of agony as an easy method of
teaching well-known facts.  The utility of certain experiments it does
not question; but even increase of knowledge may sometimes be
purchased at too high a price.  From a statement of this position
regarding vivisection, drawn some years since, the following sentences
may be of interest:

"Vivisection is a practice of such variety and complexity, that, like
warfare between nations, one can neither condemn it nor approve it,
unless some careful distinctions be first laid down.... Within certain
limitations, we regard vivisection to be so justified by utility as to
be legitimate, expedient, and right.  Beyond these boundaries, it is
cruel, monstrous, and wrong.... We believe, therefore, that the common
interests of humanity and science demand that vivisection, like the
study of human anatomy in the dissecting-room, should be brought under
the direct supervision and control of the State.  The practice,
whether in public or in private, should be restricted by law to
certain definite objects, and surrounded by every possible safeguard
against license or abuse."

This is a statement of what is meant by vivisection reform.  Every
unprejudiced mind can see at once that it is not the same as
antivivisection.  Is it the enemy of science? The leading name affixed
to this declaration of principles was that of the late Herbert
Spencer, the chief apostle of modern science.  Is it against the
interests of education? It was signed by eleven presidents of American
universities and colleges, and by a large number of men closely
connected with institutions of learning.  Is it antagonistic to
medical science and art? The statement received the endorsement of
twice as many physicians and surgeons as were favourable to
experimentation upon animals without any restriction or restraint; and
among these physicians favourable to reform were men of national
reputation.  No one should expect that men whose sole profession is
experimentation of this character would approve of any limitations to
their activity in any direction; but they constitute only a small
fraction of human society.  Outside their ranks we may be confident
that there are very few, at all acquainted with the subject, who will
not concede that in the past many things have been done in this
exploitation of animal life which are greatly to be deplored.  Is
there, then, no method of prevention? Are we simply to fold our hands
and trust that the humaner instincts of the present-day vivisector,
working in the seclusion of his private laboratory, will keep him free
from all that we regret in the vivisection of the past? Or must we, on
the other hand, ask for the total condemnation of every experiment,
because some are cruel and atrocious?

This is the platform of the Restrictionist.  It cannot--except by
perversion of truth--be regarded as antivivisection, for there is not
a single society in England or America, devoted to the interests of
that cause, which would acknowledge these views as in any way
representative of its ideals; but it is the expression of sentiments
which formerly were almost universally held by the medical profession
of England.  Yet the advocates of unrestricted vivisection have never
been willing to consider this position, and, in controversy,
invariable fall back upon arguments applicable only to the views of
those who would abolish vivisection altogether.

There is yet another position to be taken; it is the attitude of
unconcern.  From vast numbers nothing better can be expected.  The man
who is utterly indifferent to the unnecessary agony accompanying the
slaughter of animals for food, or to the cruelties of sport, or the
woman whose vanity demands sacrifices of animals at the cost of
incalculable suffering, will take little or no interest in the
question of vivisections; nor is complicity with other phases of
torment and cruelty alone responsible for the indifference which so
generally exists.  In every age, from the twilight of earliest savagery
down to the present time, the vast majority of human beings have been
inclined, not to doubt, but to believe, and especially to believe
those who claimed superior knowledge in matters of Life and Death.
This tendency to unquestioning faith has been the support of every
phase of injustice, of cruelty, and of wrong.  It has led to
innumerable men and women of education and refinement to remit all
questions of animal experimentation to the vivisector and his friends,
precisely as they would have done had they lived three centuries ago,
and had it been theirs to decide on the morality of burning a witch.
On the other hand, the alliance between the laboratory and the medical
profession, their mutual endeavour to stifle criticism and to induce
approval of all vivisection whatever, has given rise to a new spirit
of inquiry.  A moral question is never absolutely decided until it is
decided aright.  If the problem of vivisection is ever settled, it
will be due, not to the influence of those who advocate unquestioning
faith in the humaneness of the average experimenter, who decline
inquiry, and who rest satisfied with their ignorance, but rather to
those who, having investigated the question for themselves, have given
all their influence for some measure of reform.  In questions of
humanity, even the unwisdom of enthusiasm that tends toward reform is
far better than indifference and unconcern.

The ignorance of history, shown often by the advocates of unlimited
vivisection, is a singular phenomenon.  The beginnings of this
controversy are not without interest.  Let us glance at them.

                           CHAPTER II


Every reflecting student of history is struck by the divergence of
opinions manifest among educated men in regard to the great problems
of life.  Why is it that so few of us are able to state the facts and
arguments which favour conclusions to which we are utterly opposed?
Take, for instance, the great question of religious belief.  Can one
refer to any Protestant writer of our time who has placed before his
readers the arguments which inclined men like Newman or Manning to the
Catholic faith? Has any Catholic writer of our time been able to
present fairly the arguments which seem so overwhelmingly convincing
to Protestant thinkers? In either case, is there not something of
distortion or exaggeration? Certainly it cannot be due to intentional
and perverse obliquity of mental vision.  As a rule reasonable men
endeavour to be just and fair.  Now and then, in the heat of
controversy, a tendency to overstatement or exaggeration may be
evident, especially where great issues appear to be involved; but
the purpose can be reconciled with honesty.  Is it not more than
probable that the principal reason for divergent views on the part of
honest opponents is IGNORANCE OF FACTS?

Take, for example, the opinion held to-day by the great majority of
young physicians concerning animal experimentation.  As a rule they
regard all criticism of vivisection with infinite contempt.  During
their medical studies they were continually imbued with the idea that
the opposition to laboratory freedom of experimentation was an
agitation of comparatively recent date, and confined to a small class
of unthinking sentimentalists.  Of that strong protest against cruel
experiments which made itself heard more during more than a century,
and of the atrocities which led to that protest, the average physician
of to-day knows nothing whatever.  Plunged into the practice of a
profession which may absorb every moment of time, he has perhaps
neither leisure to investigate nor disposition to doubt whatever he
has been told.

Now, if the average student of medicine is thus ignorant of history,
is it not because those who have taught him were equally devoid of
knowledge of the facts? Of the history of the vivisection controversy
previous to 1875, some of the most distinguished men in the medical
profession have proved themselves profoundly ignorant.  Illustrations
of this lack of information might be almost indefinitely adduced, but
I propose to bring forward only a few instances typical of their kind.

On June 10, 1896, Dr. Henry P. Bowditch, then professor of physiology
in Harvard Medical School, delivered an address on vivisection before
the Massachusetts Medical Society.  The character of his audience, and
the profession of the speaker, might be presumed to give assurance of
absolute accuracy concerning any question of historic fact.  A quarter
century before, Dr. Bowditch had studied physiology in German
laboratories  Returning to America in 1871, he had been given the
opportunity of reorganizing the teaching of physiology at Harvard
Medical School, so as to bring it into conformity with Continental
methods.  It is quite probable that to him, more than to any other
person, is due the introduction of Continental methods of
physiological instruction in the medical colleges of the United

According to Dr. Bowditch, the criticism of vivisection in England
began in 1864.  To his audience of physicians he made the following

"The first serious attack upon biological research in England seems to
have been made in an essay entitled `Vivisection: is it Necessary or
Justifiable?' published in London in 1864, by George Fleming, a
British veterinary surgeon.  This essay is an important one, for
although characterized at the time by a reviewer in the London
Athenaeum as `ignorant, fallacious, and altogether unworthy of
acceptance,' its blood-curdling stories, applied to all sorts of
institutions, have formed a large part of the stock-in-trade of
subsequent vivisection writers."

The sneering reference to "blood-curdling stories" is of itself
extremely significant.  It indicates unmistakably the utter contempt
which nearly every physiologist feels for the sentiment of humaneness
which underlies protest against experimental cruelty.  The speaker
omitted to tell his audience that this essay of Dr. Fleming received
the first prize offered by the "Royal Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals," and that the Committee which decided the merits
of the essay included some of the most eminent scientific men of
England, among them Sir Richard Owen and Professor Carpenter--the
latter one of the most distinguished of English physiologists of his
time.  He forgot to add that if the examples of atrocious vivisection
given in this essay were horrible--as they were--yet every instance
was substantiated by reference to the original authorities, and that
their accurate quotation could not be impugned.  Especially curious is
the fact that Professor Bowditch placed the beginning of criticism at
1864.  Of the arraignment of cruel vivisections by English physicians
and English medical journals before that time, Dr. Bowditch apparently
never heard, and all the infamous atrocities which they condemned he
dismissed with a sneer as "blood-curdling stories." Yet, in his day,
the speaker was one of the leading physiologists of the United
States.  We cannot believe that the suppression of material facts was
intentional; it was due rather to complete ignorance of the history of
that protest against physiological cruelty which England witnessed
during the first part of the nineteenth century, and of which some
account shall follow.

Take another instance.  In the International Journal of Ethics for
April, 1904, there appeared an article in defence of animal
experimentation by Professor Charles S. Myers of the University of
Cambridge, England.  Of any abuses of the practice, Dr. Myers gave his
readers no reason for believing that he had ever heard; and as an
indication, perhaps, of an animal's eagerness to be vivisected, he
tells us that "again and again dogs have been observed to wag the tail
and lick the hands of the operator even immediately before the
beginning of the operation." Commenting upon the singular conclusion
which this fact seemed to suggest to Dr. Myers, the present writer
quoted a sentence or two from an editorial which once appeared in the
columns of the London Lancet.[1] It would apparently seem that
Dr. Myers brought the quotation to the attention of someone in the
editorial office of the Lancet, on whose judgment he thought he might
safely rely; for, in a reply, he refers to it as a quotation
"attributed to the editor of the Lancet, which, AFTER SPECIAL INQUIRY,
I HAVE REASON FOR DOUBTING." Concerning a reference to some of
Dr. Sydney Ringer's experiments upon patients in a London hospital, he
is even more confident that they could never have occurred, and
indignantly rejoins, "I unhesitatingly declare SUCH ABOMINABLE

[1] See p. 73 for this Lancet editorial.

Now, all this indignant scepticism was rather creditable to the
writer's heart.  That an English medical journal like the Lancet
should denounce vivisection cruelties, or that a reputable London
physician should experiment on his patients with various poisons,
seemed to Dr. Myers beyond the bounds of belief.  But it is always a
serious thing positively to deny any historical reference simply
because of personal ignorance of its truth.  It was quite easy to
refer the sceptic not only to the editorial which he thought he "HAD
REASON FOR DOUBTING," but also to the experiments on human beings
concerning which his indignation rose so high.  To be ignorant of
Dr. Ringer's experiments on his patients is to be ignorant of the
history of modern medicine.  The Medical Times (London) in its issue
of November 10, 1883, thus editorially commented upon certain of these

"...In publishing, and, indeed, in instituting their reckless
experiments on the effect of nitrite of sodium on the human subject,
Professor Ringer and Dr. Murrill have made a deplorably false
move.... It is impossible to read the paper in last week's Lancet
without distress.  Of the EIGHTEEN adults to whom Drs Ringer and
Murrill administered the drug in 10-grain doses, all but one averred
that they would expect to drop down dead if they ever took another
dose.... Whatever credit may be given to Drs. Ringer and Murrill for
scientific enthusiasm, it is impossible to acquit them of grave
indiscretion.  There will be a howl throughout the country IF IT COMES

[1] In all quotations, here and elsewhere throughout this volume, the
italics have been supplied.

What but ignorance of the history of medicine during the last fifty
years could lead any one to deny the occurrence of experiments, the
proofs of which rest on statements in medical journals, and in the
published works of the experimenters themselves?

One of the most singular statements concerning vivisection that ever
appeared in print was given out not many years ago by one of the
professors of physiology in Harvard Medical School.[2] The accuracy of
this manifesto--which purported to be "a plain statement of the whole
truth"--received the endorsement of five of the leading teachers of
science in the same institution, men whose scientific reputation would
naturally give great weight to their affirmations regarding any
question of fact.  So impressed was the editor of the Boston
Transcript with the apparent weight of this testimony, that he
declared in its columns that "the character and standing of the men
whose names are given as responsible for this explanation to the
is the value of authority in matters of science, if assertions so
fortified by illustrious names are to be received with doubt?

[2] See "The Vivisection Question," pp. 114-133 and 253.

The inaccuracy which characterized this "statement of the whole truth"
was demonstrated at the time it appeared; but to one paragraph
attention may be recalled.  The manifesto touches the question of past
cruelties in animal experimentation, not merely without the slightest
criticism or condemnation, but, on the contrary, with what would seem
to be a definite denial that anything reprehensible had ever
occurred.  It contemptuously referred to evidence of abuses, as "these
reiterated charges of cruelty, THESE LONG LISTS OF ATROCITIES THAT
NEVER EXISTED." What other meaning could the average reader obtain
than the suggestion that the cruelties of Spallanzani, of Magendie, of
Mantegazza, of Brown-Se'quard, of Brachet, and a host of others,
existed only in the imagination, AND HAD NO BASIS OF FACT? For this
astounding suggestion, what explanation is possible? That there was a
deliberate purpose to mislead the public by an affirmation that cruel
and unjustifiable experiments were a myth, the creation of
imagination, is an hypothesis we must reject.  But there must have
been a stupendous ignorance concerning the past history of animal
experimentation.  Simply because of their utter lack of knowledge
regarding history, distinguished scientists became responsible for
suggesting to the public that the story of the past cruelty of
vivisection was a myth, and unworthy of belief.

While illustrations of this singular ignorance of the past might be
almost indefinitely multiplied, another example must for the present
suffice.  It is afforded by the evidence given before the Royal
Commission of Vivisection in 1906, by Sir William Osler, M.D., Fellow
of the Royal Society, and Regius Professor of Medicine at the
University of Oxford.  In the course of his examination, the following
dialogue occurred:[1]

"Are you familiar with the writings of Dr. Leffingwell?"
"I think he points out that it was through the strong attacks that
appeared in the Lancet and the British Medical Journal that the
Vivisection Act was passed?"
"You do not know that?"

[1] Minutes of Evidence, Questions 16,780-16,782.

Perhaps the question asked may have implied somewhat more of influence
on the part of the medical journals named than actually belonged to
them; but these periodicals certainly initiated that exposure and
condemnation of cruelty in vivisection--which in England led to an
agitation for reform.  Sir William Osler's replies, however, suggest
something more than mere word-fencing; he was evidently surprised to
hear it intimated that medical journals like these could ever have
been found attacking vivisection in any way.  Of the strong attacks
which appeared in these organs of medical opinion less than forty
years before, he had apparently never heard.  Now, when men like
these, leaders in the formation of public opinion on medical matters,
are thus ignorant of history, ought one really to wonder at the lack
of knowledge on the same subject betrayed by the new generation of
physicians in active practice to-day--men not only of lesser
influence, but of more restricted opportunities for gaining
information? Ninety-nine out of every hundred of the physicians
engaged in medical instruction in England and America probably would
have replied to the questions asked Sir William Osler to the same
effect--"It is news to me." Sitting at their feet, how can pupils be
expected to do otherwise than to absorb both their prejudices and
their learning? How can any medical student distinguish between them?
We are all inclined to give implicit faith to men whose abilities in
any direction we admire and reverence.  It is only with the advance of
years and the test of experience that men come to learn the distrust
of authority, the wisdom of doubt, and the value of personal inquiry
concerning every great problem of life.

Suppose, then, that we look into this question.  Was Professor
Bowditch correct in assigning the beginnings of criticism concerning
vivisection to Dr. Fleming's essay published in 1864? Or was its
origin long before? Were the professors of the Medical School accurate
of statement when they practically denied that cruelty in vivisection
was a historic fact, and endorsed a reference to authenticated
instances as "long lists of atrocities THAT NEVER OCCURRED"? Is it a
fact--although Dr. Myers of Cambridge and Sir William Osler of Oxford
apparently never heard of it--that it was the MEDICAL journals of
England whose indignant condemnation of vivisection cruelties led up
to its attempted regulation by law? The public assumes that
authorities like these are not likely to err concerning methods of
medical instruction or research.  In the mind of the average man,
every prepossession is in their favour; he cannot easily bring himself
to believe that if cruelty ever existed, THEY should be so completely
ignorant of it.  It may, indeed, be questioned whether in the
literature of controversy on the subject there has been a single
defender of unrestricted freedom in vivisection, who has intelligently
referred to the horrible experiments of past vivisectors except either
to sneer or to condone.  Even Mr. Stephen Paget, in his recent work,
"Experiments upon Animals," never once condemned the cruelty that but
a generation ago excited indignation throughout the medical profession
of Great Britain.

The truth of this matter is not to be attained by unquestioning
acceptance of authority, but by a study of the history of the past.
It would be impossible, except in a volume, to write a complete
history of that protest against the unjustifiable cruelties of animal
experimentation, which gradually led to a demand for their legal
suppression.  All that may here be attempted is a demonstration that
the sentiment is not of recent origin; that more than a century ago
the cruelties, which to-day are so carefully ignored, were
unquestioned as facts, and that to medical journals of England is
principally due that weighty condemnation of cruel vivisection, which
probably more than any other influence was the foundation of the
agitation for vivisection reform.

                          CHAPTER III


English literature during the eighteenth century presents no more
distinguished name than that of Dr. Samuel Johnson, the lexicographer
and essayist.  His learning was immense; his judgments and criticisms
were everywhere regarded with respect; and, above other great men of
his time, he was fortunate in having as friend and companion one who
produced the best biography that the world has ever known.

Dr. Johnson's views of vivisection and vivisectors appeared as a
contribution to the Idler, on August 5, 1761, more than a hundred
years before the date given by Professor Bowditch as that of "THE
nevertheless, be doubted whether any attack more "serious" or protest
more weighty was ever made than was written by the most eminent
literary man of his time, a century and a half ago.

"Among the inferior professors of medical knowledge is a race of
wretches whose lives are only varied by varieties of cruelty; whose
favourite amusement is to nail dogs to tables and open them alive; to
try how long life may be continued in various degrees of mutilation,
or with the excision or laceration of vital parts; to examine whether
burning irons are felt more acutely by the bone or tendon; and whether
the more lasting agonies are produced by poison forced into the mouth
or injected into the veins.  It is not without reluctance that I
offend the sensibility of the tender mind with images like these.  If
such cruelties were not practised, it were to be desired that they
should not be conceived; but since they are published every day with
ostentation, let me be allowed once to mention them, since I mention
them with abhorrence.... The anatomical novice tears out the living
bowels of an animal, and styles himself a `physician'; prepares
himself by familiar cruelty for that profession which he is to
exercise upon the tender and helpless, upon feeble bodies and broken
minds, and by which he has opportunities to extend his arts and
tortures, and continue those experiments upon Infancy and Age which he
has hitherto tried upon cats and dogs.  What is alleged in defence of
these hateful practices, everyone knows; but the truth is that by
knives and fire knowledge is not always sought, and is very seldom
attained.  I know not that by living dissections any discovery has
been made by which a single malady is more easily cured.  And if the
knowledge of physiology has been somewhat increased, he surely buys
knowledge dear who learns the use of the lacteals at the expense of
THESE HORRID OPERATIONS SHOULD ARISE, which tend to harden the heart,
and make the physician more dreadful than the gout or the stone."

A more vigorous denunciation of the cruelty of vivisection never
appeared than these words of the first scholar of the English-
speaking world.  Of course the plea will be put forth that in
Dr. Johnson's time the use of anaesthetics was unknown.  Are we, then,
to conclude that the present-day defenders of absolute freedom in
animal research would join him in condemning the perpetrators of ALL
For the merit of Dr. Johnson's plea lies in this, THAT HE MAKES
PHYSIOLOGICAL FACTS. "If the knowledge of physiology has been somewhat
increased, he surely buys knowledge dear who learns the use of the
lacteals at the expense of his own humanity." Is there a physiological
defenders of vivisection-freedom living to-day who would accept
Dr. Johnson's conclusion, that one should forbear research which is
possible only by the infliction of animal torment? How unfair it is,
therefore, to suggest that the force of Dr. Johnson's argument is
invalidated because anaesthetics were unknown--when the disagreement
is infinitely deeper!

To what physiologists of his time did Dr. Johnson allude? Apparently
his denunciation was sweeping; he referred to "a race of wretches"
rather than to any particular individual, and to experiments then
carried on and "published every day with ostentation." Who were the
men thus stigmatized? We do not know.  The record of their useless
tormenting has sunk into the oblivion that hides their names; there
are but one or two whose identity may perhaps be guessed.  It is
possible that one of them was John Hunter; yet Hunter did not go up to
London until 1764, and Dr. Johnson's condemnation had appeared three
years earlier.  Still, this does not preclude the possibility that
Dr. Johnson had Hunter in his mind.

In some ways John Hunter was a remarkable man.  He made an anatomical
collection, which is still in existence and which bears his name.  At
Earl's Court, then a suburb of London, he established a sort of
zoological Inferno, that reminds one of the "Island of Dr. Moreau."
One of his biographers, Ottley, tells us that Hunger "TOOK SUPREME
DELIGHT" in his physiological experiments; and inasmuch as he
suggested in a letter to a friend the performance of the most
agonizing experiments as likely to "amuse" him, the statement was
undoubtedly true.  A man's occupation generally has an influence upon
his character, and Hunter's biographer rather hesitatingly admits that
"he was not always very nice in his choice of associates," and that
among his companions were certain abominable wretches known as
"resurrection men," who robbed graveyards for the benefit of students
of anatomy.  Under all circumstances, we can hardly be surprised that
his married life was anything but serene.

In the infliction of pain he seems to have been without any idea of
pity.  To a friend who asked for his experience in a certain matter,
he wrote:

"I thank you for your experiment on the hedgehog; but WHY DO YOU ASK
ME A QUESTION, by the way of solving it? I think your solution is
just, but why--WHY NOT TRY THE EXPERIMENT? Repeat all the experiments
upon a hedgehog as soon as you receive this, and they will give you
the solution.  TRY THE HEAT.  CUT OFF A LEG...and let me know the
result of the whole.
                                        "Ever yours,
                                             "JOHN HUNTER."

Even his own word, or the result of his own observations, he did not
wish to have accepted, when, merely at the cost of another tortured
animal, his friend could find the answer for himself.  Is not this the
physiological ideal of to-day?

Again he writes to his scientific friend:

"If you could make some experiments on the increased heat of
inflammation, I should be obliged to you.... I opened the thorax of a
dog between two ribs, and introduced the thermometer.  Then I put some
lint into the wound to keep it from healing by the first intention,
THAT THE THORAX MIGHT INFLAME; but before I had time to try it again,
my dog died on the fourth day.  A deep wound might be made into the
thick of a dog's thigh, then put in the thermometer and some
extraneous matter.... IF THESE EXPERIMENTS WILL AMUSE YOU, I should be
glad they were made; but take care you do not break your thermometer
in the dog's chest."[1]

[1] Barron's "Life of Jenner," i. 44.

"IF THESE EXPERIMENTS WILL AMUSE YOU"--what a suggestive confirmation
of Dr. Johnson's charge that the torture of vivisection was then
regarded as an "amusement"! A century after, an Italian physiologist,
Mantegazza, devoted a year to the infliction of extreme torment upon
animals, and confessed that his tortures were inflicted, not with
hesitation or repugnance, but "CON MULTO AMORE," with extreme

[2] "Fisiolgia del Dolore di Paulo Mantegazza," pp. 101-107.

Hunter does not seem to have regarded his own experiments other than
as an intellectual pastime.  Mr. Stephen Paget, in his work on "Animal
Experimentation," refers to "one great experiment...that puts him
[Hunter] on a line with Harvey"--an experiment upon a deer in Richmond
Park.  There is no reason for doubting that such an experiment may
have been made; but the curious thing is, that it rests only on verbal
tradition, for in his surgical lectures treating of aneurism Hunter
has not a word to say of the experiment which now, we are told, "links
his name with that of Harvey," who made known the circulation of the
blood.  His biographer, Ottley, referring to his surgical operation
for aneurism, tell us that "he was led to propose the improved method,
in consequence of the frequent failure of the operation by the old
mode." No reference whatever is made to the legendary experiment on
the stag in Richmond Park.[1]

[1] Ottley's "Life of Hunter," p. 97.

Of other experiments by Hunter we know more.  Sometimes his
observations were of a character that illustrates his environment.  In
his "Observations" Hunter tells us that at one time, on going to bed
at night, he "observed bugs, marching down the curtains and head of
the bed; of those killed, NONE had blood in them." In the morning "I
have observed them marching back, and all such were found FULL OF
BLOOD!"[2] A wonderful discovery for a philosopher to record, leaving
unmentioned the one experiment and observation by which his fame is to
be linked with that of Harvey!

[2] Letter to Ottley, "Life," p. 89.

Hunter had erroneous views on various matters of science.  He believed
that there was "no such thing as a primary colour, every colour being
a mixture of two, making a third." He tells us that he once formed a
theory that if a human being were completely frozen, "life might be
prolonged a thousand years, he might learn what had happened during
his frozen condition."[3] His biographer, Ottley, alludes to this
theory of Hunter's as "a project which, if realized, he expected would
make his fortune."[4] With this not altogether admirable object in
view, his experiments upon freezing animals were doubtless made.  A
dormouse, confined in a cold mixture, he tells us, "showed signs of
great uneasiness; sometimes it would curl itself into round form to
preserve its extremities and confine the heat, and finding that
ineffectual, would then endeavor to escape." Its feet were at last
frozen, but Hunter could not freeze the entire animal because of the
protection afforded by the hair.  How should the scientist overcome
this difficulty? He pondered over the problem; then made a dormouse
completely wet over, and placed it in the freezing-mixture.  The
wretched animal "made repeated attempts to escape," but without avail,
and finally became quote stiff.  Alas, for the grand "fortune"!
Hunter tells us that "on being thawed, it was found quite dead!"[1]

[3] "Lectures," i. 284.
[4] Ottley's "Life of Hunter," p. 57.
[1] Hunter's Works, vol. iv., p. 133.

The influence of Hunter upon English biology was undoubtedly very
great.  In a mean and sordid society, he was an enthusiast for the
acquisition of knowledge, and while his passion for physiology
induced--as it so often does--an indifference regarding the infliction
of pain, his pitiless vivisections were not more cruel than
experiments made in this twentieth century, and some of them by men of
national reputation.  He was the type of the class of experimenters
whom Dr. Johnson had in his mind, men whose long practice in the
infliction of torment creates an indifference to the ordinary emotions
of humanity, so that even in the causation of agony they find
something "to amuse," and in the performance of the most painful
vivisection an occasion for "supreme delight."

                        CHAPTER IV


It may be doubted whether any physiologist has ever lived whose
cruelty to animals exceeded that which, for a long period, was
exercised by Franc,ois Magendie.  Born at Bordeaux, France, in 1783,
just before the beginning of the French Revolution, he studied
medicine, receiving his medical degree in the year 1808.  Entering
with some zest upon the study of physiology, he published several
pamphlets regarding his investigations, and rapidly earned that
notoriety--which for some natures is the equivalent of fame--for the
peculiar and refined torments which, in public demonstrations, he took
frequent occasion to inflict.  In 1821 he was elected a member of the
Institute; in 1831 he had become a professor in the College de France,
a position he held for the remainder of his life.  He died in 1855.

One of the earliest exposures of Magendie's infamous vivisections was
made in the British Parliament.  On February 24, 1825, Mr. Richard
Martin of Galway, an Irish Member of the House of Commons, moved to
bring in a Bill for the repression of bear-baiting and other forms of
cruelty to animals.  His name is worth remembering, for to this
Richard Martin belongs the honour of being one of the first men in any
land who attempted to secure some repression of cruelty to animals
through the condemnation of the law.  During his speech on this
occasion Mr. Martin said:

"It was not merely bear-baiting and sports of a similar character that
he wished to abolish; there were other practices, equally cruel, with
which he thought the legislature ought to interfere.  There was a
Frenchman by the name of Magendie, whom he considered a disgrace to
Society.  In the course of the last year this man, at one of his
anatomical theatres, exhibited a series of experiments so atrocious as
almost to shock belief.  This M. Magendie got a lady's greyhound.
First of all he nailed its front, and then its hind, paws with the
bluntest spikes that he could find, giving as reason that the poor
beast, in its agony, might tear away from the spikes if they were at
all sharp or cutting.  He then doubled up its long ears, and nailed
them down with similar spikes.  (Cries of `Shame!')  He then made a
gash down the middle of the face, and proceeded to dissect all the
nerves on one side of it.... After he had finished these operations,
this surgical butcher then turned to the spectators, and said: `I
have now finished my operations on one side of this dog's head, and I
shall reserve the other side till to-morrow.  If the servant takes
care of him for the night, I am of the opinion that I shall be able to
continue my operations upon him to-morrow with as much satisfaction to
us all as I have done to-day; but if not, ALTHOUGH HE MAY HAVE LOST
THE VIVACITY HE HAS SHOWN TO-DAY, I shall have the opportunity of
cutting him up alive, and showing you the motion of the heart.'
Mr. Martin added that he held in his hands the written declarations of
Mr. Abernethy, of Sir Everard Home (and of other distinguished medical
men), all uniting in condemnation of such excessive and protracted
cruelty as had been practised by this Frenchman."[1]

[1] Hansard's Parliamentary Reports, February 24, 1825.

Within the past forty years has the cruelty of Magendie been condemned
by any English or American physiologist? I have never seen it.

The objection is sometimes raised that evidence like this of
Magendie's cruelty is only "hearsay." Is not this generally the case
where inhumanity is concerned? When Wilberforce described the
atrocities of the African slave trade, or Shaftesbury the conditions
pertaining to children in coal-mines and cotton mills, their
statements were equally questioned; yet, when reform had been
accomplished, nobody doubted that, although they had not personally
witnessed the cruelties, they had reported only the facts.  Now, one
peculiarity of Magendie's vivisections WAS THEIR PUBLICITY.  There was
no attempt at concealment, such as governs the practice in England and
America to-day.  Magendie's experiments were publicly made, seemingly
with a desire to parade his contempt for any sentiment of compassion
towards animals.  The evidence of Magendie's cruelty is supported by
an overwhelming amount of evidence, and to Mr. Martin's account of his
vivisections, none of Magendie's English friends or apologists ever
ventured to reply in the public journals of the day.

An English physician, Dr. John Anthony, a pupil of Sir Charles Bell
and a strong advocate of vivisection, has given us a little account of
his personal experience in 1838, while a student of medicine in
Paris.  The English members of his class, he says, "were indignant at
the CRUELTIES which we saw manifested IN THE DEMONSTRATION OF
EXPERIMENTS ON LIVING CREATURES.... What I saw in Paris pointed to
this: that very frequently men who are in the habit of making these
experiments are very careless of what becomes of the animal when it
has served its purpose; ... the animal is thrown (aside) to creep into
a corner and die.... I have carefully avoided seeing experiments in
vivisection after the awful dose which I had of it in Paris, in 1838.

[1] Vivisection Report, 1876, Questions 2,347, 2,447, 2,582.

Another witness of Magendie's cruelty was Dr. William Sharpey, LL.D.,
Fellow of the Royal Society, and for more than thirty years the
professor of physiology in University College, London.  It is a
curious fact that the "Handbook of the Physiological Laboratory,"
which, when published in 1871, increased the agitation against
vivisection, was dedicated to Professor Sharpey.  Before the Royal
Commission on Vivisection, in 1876, he gave the following account of
his personal experience:

"When I was a very young man, studying in Paris, I went to the first
of a series of lectures which Magendie gave upon experimental
physiology; and I was so utterly repelled by what I witnessed that I
never went again.  In the first place, they were painful (in those
days there were no anaesthetics), and sometimes they were severe; and
then THEY WERE WITHOUT SUFFICIENT OBJECT.  For example, Magendie made
incisions into the skin of rabbits and other creatures TO SHOW THAT
THE SKIN IS SENSITIVE! Surely all the world knows the skin is
sensitive; no experiment is wanted to prove that.  Several experiments
he made were of a similar character, AND HE PUT THE ANIMALS TO DEATH,
FINALLY, IN A VERY PAINFUL WAY.... Some of his experiments excited a
strong feeling of abhorrence, not in the public merely, but among
physiologists.  There was his--I was going to say `famous' experiment;
it might rather have been called `INFAMOUS' experiment upon vomiting
.... Besides its atrocity, it was really purposeless."[2]

[2] Evidence before Royal Commission, 1875, Questions 444, 474.

Of Magendie's cruelty we have thus the evidence of the best-known
English physiologist of his day.  Even by his own countrymen
Magendie's pitilessness was denounced.  Dr. Latour, the founder and
editor of the leading medical journal of France--L'Union Me'dicale--
has given us an incident which occurred in his presence, translations
of which appeared in the editorial columns of the London Lancet and
the British Medical Journal, August 22, 1863.

"I recall to mind a poor dog, the roots of whose vertebral nerves
Magendie desired to lay bare to demonstrate Bell's theory, which he
claimed as his own.  The dog, already mutilated and bleeding, twice
escaped from under the implacable knife, and threw his forepaws around
Magendie's neck, licking, as if to soften his murderer and ask for
mercy! Vivisectors may laugh, but I confess I was unable to endure
that heartrending spectacle."[1]

[1] The London Lancet, August 22, 1863.

The proof of Magendie's ferocious cruelty to his victims seems
overwhelming. "In France," says Dr. George Wilson, "some of the most
eminent physiologists have gained an unenviable notoriety as PITILESS
TORTURERS, ... experimenters who would not take the trouble to put out
of pain the wretched dogs on which they experimented, even after they
had served their purpose, but left them to perish of lingering torture
.... It is pleasing to contrast the merciless horrors enacted by
Magendie"--with the reluctance manifested by Sir Charles Bell.[2]
Dr. Elliotson, in his work on Human Physiology, states that "Magendie
cut living animals here and there, with no definite object BUT TO SEE
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN."[3] In a sermon on cruelty to animals, preached at
Edinburgh, March 5, 1826, by the Rev. Dr. Chalmers, the speaker
especially alludes to "THE ATROCITIES OF A MAGENDIE," then recently
made known in England.  The President of the Royal College of
Surgeons, Sir James Paget, once testified that Magendie "disgusted
great scientist, Charles Darwin, in a letter to the London Times, made
reference to Magendie as a physiologist "NOTORIOUS, half a century
ago, FOR HIS CRUEL EXPERIMENTS." "It is not to be denied that
inhumanity may be found in persons of very high position as
physiologists.  WE HAVE SEEN THAT IT WAS SO IN MAGENDIE." This is the
language of the final report of the Commission, to which was affixed
the name of Professor Thomas Henry Huxley, the most brilliant
scientific writer of the last century.

[2] Wilson's "Life of Reid," p. 165.
[3] "Human Physiology," p. 428.
[1] Evidence before Royal Commission, 1875, Question 371.

Magendie left us a singularly truthful estimate of his own character
and of his scientific accomplishments when he declared himself to be
simply "a street scavenger (un chiffonier) of science.  With my hook
in my hand and my basket on my back, I ramble about the streets of
science and gather up whatever I can find." The comparison was
singular, but it was apt; he was, indeed, the ragpicker of
physiology.  With a scavenger's sense of honour he endeavored to rob
Sir Charles Bell of the credit for his discovery concerning the
functions of the spinal nerves, by a prodigality of torment, from
which the nobler nature of the English scientist instinctively
recoiled.  When there came to him an opportunity of experimenting on
man, he embraced it with avidity, and again and again, while operating
for cataract, plunged his needle to the bottom of the patient's eye,
that he might learn the effect of mechanical irritation of the
delicate organ of sight.[1] Some rags and tatters of physiology he
bought--at the price of immeasurable torment--and held them up for the
admiration of his contemporaries; but in the great conflict with
disease and death it may be questioned whether he added a single fact
that has increased the potency of medical art, the length of human
life, or the sum of human happiness.

[1] Magendie naturally had no hesitancy in telling of these
experiments made upon his patients "at the clinique of my hospital."
See his "Elementary Treatise on Physiology" (translated by Dr. John
Revere). New York, 1844, p. 64.

Such was Franc,ois Magendie, physiologist and torturer, judged by
scientific men and physiologists of a higher race, to whom compassion
was not unknown.  For undisguised contempt of pity, for delight in
cruelty, for the infliction of refined and ingenious torment, he may
have been equally by some who followed and imitated him, but certainly
he was never surpassed.

Another distinguished French chiffonier in the slum-districts of
scientific exploration was Dr. L. J. Brachet, a contemporary of
Magendie.  In his day he was a man of extended reputation as a
vivisector of animals.  His principal work is entitled: "Recherches
Expe'rimentales de Syste`me Nerveux...par J. L. Brachet, Membre de
l'Acade'mie Royale de Me'decine" and member of similar academies at
Berlin, Copenhagen, and elsewhere; member of various medical societies
of Paris, Lyons, Bordeaux, and Marseilles--the title-page of his book
records his fame.  It will be of interest to study the character of
the experimentation, recorded by himself, upon which rests his
eminence as a scientific man.

His first great "discovery" unfortunately has not yet been accorded
scientific acceptance. "It is little," he says, "to have proven the
existence of sensibility in animals; I have proven that sensation
pertains not merely to animals, but that it also is the property of
vegetables--in a word, OF EVERYTHING THAT LIVES.  Everywhere it acts
in the same manner, through the nerves.  The entire vegetable kingdom
possesses the sense of feeling" (tous les vegetaux possedent la
faculte de sentier).[1]

[1] "Recherches," etc., p. 13.

Had Brachet confined himself solely to experiments on the sensibility
of plants, we should have little to criticize.  Unfortunately,
however, his scientific tastes led him in another direction.  He
belonged to a class of men who cannot permit the most apparent fact to
be taken for granted, when, at the cost of torment, it may be
demonstrated--men like Magendie, who insisted on proving to his
students that an animal could really feel pain by stabbing it with his
knife before commencing his experiment.  Brachet's problem was a
simple one.  We all know, for instance, that an animal--a dog--may
feel an intense dislike to some particular person.  Why? Because of
impressions conveyed to the brain of the animal by the senses of sight
and hearing.  Outside an asylum for idiots, it is probable that no one
ever questioned the fact.  Brachet, however, would not permit his
readers to accept any statement merely upon the general experience of
mankind, when it might be proven scientifically, and he has described
in his book the experiments by which he claims to have demonstrated
his theory.

"EXPERIMENT 162.--I inspired a dog with the strongest possible hatred
for me by teasing it and inflicting upon it some pain every time I saw
it.  When this feeling had reached its height, so that the animal
became furious whenever it saw or heard me, I put out its eyes [je
lui fis crever les yeux].  I could then appear before it without its
manifesting any aversion.  I spoke, and immediately its barkings and
furious movements permitted no doubt of the rage which animated it.

"I then destroyed the drum of the ears, and disorganized as much as I
could of the inner ear.  When the intense inflammation thus excited
had rendered it almost deaf, I filled its ears with wax, and it could
hear me no longer.  Then I could stand by its side, speak to it in a
loud voice, and even caress it, without awakening its anger; indeed,
it appeared sensible of my caresses! There is no need to describe
another experiment of the same kind, made upon another dog, since the
results were the same."

By this great experiment, what valuable knowledge was conveyed? Simply
that a dog, deprived of sight and hearing, will not manifest antipathy
to a man it can neither see nor hear!

A true vivisector is never at a loss to invent excuse or occasion for
an experiment.  Dr. Brachet had made it clear that a dog will not
manifest antipathy toward an enemy whose presence it cannot perceive;
but suppose such a mutilated creature, in its darkness and silence,
were subjected to some sharp and continuous physical pain, what then
would happen? He proceeded to ascertain:

"EXPERIMENT 163.--I began the experiment on another dog by putting out
its eyes [par crever les yeux], and breaking up the internal ears.
after assuring myself that it could no longer see nor hear, I made a
sore in the middle of its back.  EVERY MOMENT I IRRITATED THIS WOULD
BY PICKING IT WITH A NEEDLE [a chaque instant j'irritai sa plaie en la
piquant avec un aiguillon].  At first the dog did nothing but yelp and
try to escape, but the impossibility of this FORCED HIM UNCEASINGLY TO
RECEIVE EXCRUCIATING PAIN; and finally the dog passed into a state of
frenzy so violent, that at last it could be induced by touching any
part of its body.... The dog had no reason of hatred against any
individual; ... both sight and hearing had been destroyed; and many
persons the animal had never seen, provoked its rage by irritating the

Of such an abominable experiment, however scientific it may appear, it
is difficult to speak with restraint.  To the average man or woman it
will probably seem that nothing more fiendish or cruel can be found
anywhere in the dark records of animal experimentation.  Dr. Brachet
was no obscure or unexperienced vivisector.  At one time he was the
professor of physiology in a medical school; he was a member of many
learned societies at home and abroad.  But think of an educated man
procuring a little dog and deliberately putting out its eyes; then
breaking up the internal ear, so that for many days the animal must
have endured excruciating anguish from the inflammation thus induced;
next, when the pain had somewhat subsided, creating a sore on the back
by removal of the skin; and then, after comfortably seating himself in
his physiological laboratory by the side of his victim, scientifically
picking, and piercing, and pricking the wound, without respite--
constantly, without ceasing--until the blinded and deafened and
tortured creature is driven into frenzy by torments which it felt
continually, which it could not comprehend, and from which, by no
exertion, it was able to defend itself! Think of the scientist asking
many other learned men to join him from time to time in the
experiment, and to take part in picking at the wound, in tormenting
the mutilated and blinded victim, and in driving it again and again to
the madness of despair! Does anyone say that such an experiment could
not be made to-day? In one of the largest laboratories of America, and
within ten years, an experiment equally cruel, equally useless, has
been performed.  The modern defender of unrestricted vivisection
distinctly insists that no legal impediment should hinder the
performance of any investigation desired by any experimenter.  It was
the editor of the British Medical Journal who once declared that
"whoever has not seen an animal under experiment CANNOT FORM AN IDEA
the statement of Dr. Henry J. Bigelow, for forty years connected with
Harvard Medical School, that, aside from motives, painful vivisection
differed mainly from other phases of cruelty "in being practised by an
educated class, who, having once become callous to its objectionable
features, find the pursuit an interesting occupation, under the name
of Science."

[1] British Medical Journal, September 19, 1863 (leading editorial)

And this was the case of Brachet.  HE HAD BECOME CALLOUS.  He found
torment "an interesting occupation, under the name of Science." May
there not be others in our day to whom the same criticism is only too

One of the English critics of the abuses of vivisection a century ago
was Dr. John Abernethy of London, a Lecturer on Physiology at the
Royal College of Surgeons, the founder of the medical school attached
to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and the most distinguished surgeon in
Great Britain during the first quarter of the nineteenth century.
Abernethy was by no means an antivivisectionist; he insisted upon the
utility of certain demonstrations, but he was profoundly opposed to
those cruelties of research which, in our day, by the modern school of
physiologists, are either forgotten or condoned.  curiously enough,
one of his strongest utterances against such cruelty was made in one
of his lectures on physiology.  Therein he said:

"There is one point I feel it a duty to advert to.  Mr. Hunter, whom I
should not have believed to have been very scrupulous about inflicting
suffering upon animals, nevertheless censures Spallanzani for the
unmeaning repetition of similar experiments.  Having resolved publicly
to express my own opinions with regard to the subject, I choose the
perceive that in the two principal subjects which he has sought to
elucidate he has added any important fact to our stock of knowledge;
and, besides, some of his experiments are of a nature that a good man
would blush to think of, and a wise man would have been ashamed to

[1] "Physiological Lectures," London, 1817, p. 164.

This is a unique expression.  One may be absolutely certain that no
professor of physiology during the past forty years has thus openly
condemned in a physiology lecture any of his contemporaries for the
cruelty of their experiments.

In his Life of Abernethy, his biographer, Dr. Macilwain, refers to
experiments upon living animals, "WHICH ARE SO REVOLTING FROM THEIR
CRUELTY, that the mind recoils from the contemplation of them." This,
too, is a noteworthy utterance, coming from one who was a
distinguished London surgeon and a Fellow of the Royal Society.  In a
subsequent work entitled "Remarks on Vivisection," published some
seventeen years before the date ascribed by Professor Bowditch as that
marking the beginning of criticism, he refers again to the views of

"As for experiments on living animals involving suffering,
Mr. Abernethy disapproved of them, and seldom alluded to them but in
terms of distrust, derision, or disgust."

That the criticism of experimental cruelty did not begin in 1864, as
imagined by Professor Bowditch, the quotations here given sufficiently

Beyond this demonstration, does the history of these savage tormentors
have any lesson for us to-day? They belonged to another century.
Should they not be forgiven, and their experiments condoned? Why not
confine attention solely to the laboratory of to-day? Why blame
Brachet and Magendie and Spallanzani, to whom anaesthesia was unknown?

There is a false suggestion in this protest, which, in one form or
another, we hear often to-day.  It is the gratuitous assumption put
forth in defence, that if anaesthetics had only been known to
physiologists before 1846, they would invariably have been used.  Any
such suggestion is manifestly false.  If these experiments of Brachet
and of others to be mentioned were to be made at all, it was necessary
that the animal should be conscious of the agony it experienced.  In
the most complete laboratory for vivisection of the present time--in
the Rockefeller Institute, for example--no scientist could drive a dog
INTO A FRENZY while it lies absolutely unconscious under the influence
of chloroform! We may say this of the experiments of Magendie on the
nervous system, for aside from the preliminary cutting operation, such
experiments demanded the consciousness of the victim.  That which
humanity has a right to censure in these physiologists is the spirit
of absolute indifference to animal suffering, the willingness to
subject a living creature to agony without adequate reason for the
infliction of pain.  The discovery of chloroform or ether made no
change in human nature.  Some of the worst of vivisections have been
made, not merely since anaesthetics were discovered, but within the
present century.  Over twenty-five years after the properties of ether
had been discovered, the most prominent vivisector in England told the
Royal Commission that, except for teaching purposes, "I never use
anaesthetics where it is not necessary for convenience, " and that an

[1] Evidence before Royal Commission, 1875, Questions 3,538, 3540.

Unrestricted vivisection is the same to-day as a century ago.  In many
cases its operations involve little or no pain; in many cases there
seems to be the same absolute indifference to the agony inflicted that
was manifested by the vivisectors of a hundred years since.  Where the
law does not interfere, EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE.  Whether there is
cruelty or consideration depends on the spirit of the vivisector.  It
was no ignorant layman, but the president of the American Academy of
Medicine, who, in his annual address, declared that there were
American vivisectors who "seem, seeking useless knowledge, to be blind
to the writhing agony and deaf to the cry of pain of their victims,
denunciation of the public and the profession that their wickedness
deserves."[1] And that vivisector of to-day, who suggests that if
anaesthetics had been known to Magendie or Brachet, they would
invariably have been used, is either ignorant or insincere.  Surely he
must know that the very nature of their experiments precluded the use
of ether, and that in their time, as to-day, if the experiment were to
be tried at all, it was necessary that the pain be felt.

[1] Address before American Academy of Medicine at Washington, D.C.,
May 4, 1891, by Theophilus Parvin, M.D., LL.D., professor in Jefferson
Medical College of Philadelphia, Pa.

There are other reasons why we should not permit the past to be
forgotten.  We are confronted by the challenge of the laboratory.
Behind the locked and barred doors of the vivisection chamber, to
which no man can gain admission unless known to be friendly to its
practices, the vivisector of to-day challenges society to prove the
existence of cruelty or abuse.  The vivisector demands absolute
freedom of action, he demands the most complete privacy, he demands
total independence of all legal supervision--and then challenges the
production of proof that any criticism is justified! Within the sacred
precincts of the laboratory a Brachet, a Magendie, a Claude Be'rnard
may be experimenting to-day with a profusion of victims, protected by
their seclusion from every possibility of complaint.  For in what
respect does the spirit that animates research to-day differ from that
manifested by experimenters of the past? In all the literature of
advocacy for unrestricted vivisection can one point out a word of
criticism of Magendie or Brachet or Be'rnard, or anything but
expressions of exculpation, of admiration, and of praise? An English
writer on animal experimentation, Mr. Stephen Paget, had occasion, in
a recent work, to refer to the experimentation of both Magendie and
Sir Charles Bell.  Does he criticize or condemn Magendie's cruelty?
No.  He tells us, incidentally, that Bell always had "a great dislike
to the school of Magendie," adding, with indifference, "LET ALL THAT
PASS." These words aptly express the sentiment and the wish.  Gladly,
indeed, would the physiological laboratory hide the past from the
memory of mankind; I do not believe in acceding to that desire.  When
the leading physiologist of his day, addressing an audience of
physicians, refers to an early criticism of physiological cruelty as a
collection of "blood-curdling stories," there is desire not to
investigate, but to ridicule and discredit historic facts.  When men
of science put forth what they claim to be, "a plain statement of the
whole truth," without one word of reference to the abuses of the past,
they practically throw dust in the air to hide the truth from the
public eye.  That it may have been done ignorantly and without any
wish to deceive is not sufficient to earn exculpation, for in either
case the evil is accomplished.

Of one English physiologist of that period, Sir Charles Bell, it is
impossible to speak except in terms of admiration and esteem.  Born in
1774, his long and useful life terminated in 1842, four years before
the discovery of anaesthesia.  No one can read his correspondence with
his brother, published many years after his death, without recognizing
the innate beauty and nobility of his character.  When news of the
Battle of Waterloo reached England, he--the leading surgeon of his
day--started for the battlefield.  The story of his experience is one
of the most graphic pictures of the effects of war to be found in
modern literature.  It was Sir Charles Bell who made to physiology the
greatest contribution which had come to it since the discovery by
Harvey of the circulation of the blood, and yet this discovery was
made by reasoning upon the facts of anatomy rather than by
experimenting upon animals.  An English physiologist, Sir Michael
Foster, admits this:

"To Charles Bell is due the merit of having made the fundamental
discovery of the distinction between motor and sensory fibres.  Led to
this view by reflecting on the distribution of the nerves, he
experimentally verified his conclusions...."

In his lectures on the nervous system Bell himself states that his
discoveries, so far from being the result of vivisections, were, "on
the contrary, deductions from anatomy; and I have had recourse to
experiments, not to form my own opinions, but to impress them upon

That which determines the judgment of the world upon human actions is
the spirit that animates them.  Sir Charles Bell was not an
antivivisectionist.  When experiments on animals seemed to him
absolutely indispensable, he had recourse to them, but always with
repugnance, and with desire to avoid giving of pain.  In his lectures
on the nervous system he speaks thus of some of his work:

"After delaying long on account of the unpleasant nature of the
operation, I opened the spinal canal.... I was deterred from repeating
the experiment by the protracted cruelty of the dissection.  I
reflected that the experiment would be satisfactory if done on an
animal recently knocked down and insensible."

And on another occasion, writing to his brother, he says:

"I should be writing a third paper on the nerves; but I cannot proceed
without making some experiments, which are so unpleasant to make that
I defer them.  You may think me silly, but I cannot perfectly convince
myself that I am authorized in Nature or Religion to do these
cruelties .... And yet what are my experiments in comparison with
those which are daily done, and are done daily for nothing?"

Such extreme sensibility, such sympathetic hesitancy to inflict great
suffering in an attempt to discover some fact, would be ridiculed at
the present day in every laboratory in Europe or America.  It is
typical, however, of a sentiment that once prevailed.  Are we any
better because it has so largely disappeared?

For great cruelty was there ever great remorse? The cases are not
many; before the self-condemnation of a dying man and the final scene,
friendship may feel it best to draw the veil.  Yet one case of this
poignant regret is worthy consideration, and shall have relation.

                          CHAPTER V

                   A VIVISECTOR'S REMORSE

About the middle of the last century there died in Scotland in the
prime of life a physiologist, now almost forgotten, whose fate excited
at the time an unusual degree of compassionate interest.  Born in
1809, John Reid received his medical degree when but twenty-one years
of age.  A part of the two years following he spent in Paris, where
Magendie was at the height of his notoriety for the ruthless cruelty
of his vivisections.  What attracted the young man we do not know, but
Reid seems to have become greatly interested in physiological
problems.  Returning to Scotland, he pursued his investigations with
all the zeal of youth, and apparently with little or no regard for the
animal suffering he caused.  For instance, of experiments which he
made to prove a certain theory, he tells us:

"I have exposed the trunk of the par vagum in the neck of at least
thirty animals, and in all of these the pinching, cutting, and even
SUFFERING.  It was frequently difficult to separate the nerve from the

[1] "Physiological Researches," by John Reid, p. 92. (In all
quotations the italics are the compiler's.)

Regarding the pain inflicted by him in certain other vivisections,
Reid is equally frank in his admissions:

"In repeated experiments upon the laryngeal nerves, we found in all
animals operated upon (except two dogs, which appeared CONSIDERABLY
EXHAUSTED BY GREAT PREVIOUS SUFFERING) ample ground for dissenting
from the statements of Dr. Alcock.... With the exceptions mentioned,

[1] "Physiological Researches," p. 73.

Some physiological observers have remarked that among the more highly
organized species of animals the creature struggles against the
ligatures previous to a second operation more than it did at its first
experience.  It is evident that in such cases, in animals as well as
among human beings, the memory of agony endured creates a mental
condition of terror and fear.  But what effect would the emotion of
terror have upon the heart's action if certain nerves were first
severed?  Brachet relates an experiment wherein he tortured a dog in
every conceivable way, yet the heart's action was not notably
quickened if such nerves were first divided.  Reid determined,
therefore, to experiment for himself upon this emotion of TERROR
induced by memory of previous pain, and six dogs were selected for his
purpose.  The nerves were first "cut in the middle of the neck, and  a
portion of each removed." He then tells us the results:

"After the operation, the pulsations of the heart were reckoned when
the animal was lying or standing on the ground, and AFTER IT HAD BEEN
the table, on which it had been tied, and operated upon; and after
having been spoken to HARSHLY, the pulsations were again reckoned."

In every case Reid noted that the heart's action increased from 20 to
40 beats per minute on lifting the animal to the vivisection table,
whereon it had previously suffered torment.  He adds:

"In those experiments it was particularly observed that the animals
made no struggles in carrying them to and from the table, and
consequently the increased excitation of the heart MUST HAVE ARISEN
FROM THE MENTAL EMOTION OF TERROR.  In a seventh dog this was
conjoined with violent struggles.  The pulsations, eight hours after
the operation, were 130; WHEN PLACED ON THE TABLE AND MADE TO
STRUGGLE, the pulsations were about 220; when he had been SUBJECTED TO
PAIN, and struggled more violently, they became so frequent that they
could not be accurately reckoned.  These experiments...prove that
after the section of the vagi the pulsations of the heart may not only
be quickened by muscular exertion, but also by MENTAL EMOTIONS."[1]

[1] Reid, "Physiological Researches," pp. 168-171.

Objection is often made to the citation of vivisections which occurred
before the discovery of ether or chloroform.  But in these experiments
of Reid--as in those of Brachet--the use of anaesthetics, even had
they been known to him, would have been a hindrance.  HOW CAN ANYONE
absurdity.  The biography of Reid thus refers to this very point:

"Allusion has been made to the infliction of suffering on living
animals.... This suffering was not merely incidental to dissections,
but in many of the experiments recorded WAS DELIBERATELY INFLICTED.
In many of the experiments, EVEN IF ANAESTHETICS HAD BEEN KNOWN at the
period of his observations, THEY COULD NOT HAVE BEEN EMPLOYED.... It
was essential to the settlement of the question that the animal should

[2] "Life of John Reid," by Geo. Wilson, M.D., 1852, p. 153.

And precisely the same apology is put forward to-day.  More than once,
by high scientific authority, the public has been comfortably assured
that nowadays "anaesthetics are always employed," in severely painful
experiments, EXCEPT "in those instances in which THE ANAESTHETIC WOULD
exception.  For all we know, it is the laboratory's excuse, even for
the present-day repetition of the experiments of Magendie, Brachet,
and Reid. "The anaesthetic would interfere." But what was the value of
all this experimentation upon mind and body, this "mental emotion of
terror" in a dog, and this calming of its fear by caresses, followed
by the torment of the operation? There was no value so far as the
treatment of human ailments is concerned.  Reid's experiments led to
no change whatever in medical practice.  Reading of certain
experiments, one is constantly reminded of the old peasant's reply to
his grandchild, who had found a skull on what once was a battlefield.
Holding it in his hand, the old man told the story of the Battle of
Blenheim, and the awful suffering it had caused:

          "`But what good came of it at last?'
              Said little Peterkin;
           `Why, that I cannot tell,' quoth he,
              `BUT `TWAS A FAMOUS VICTORY!'"

At the early age of thirty-eight the physiologist seemed to see before
him the bright prospect of a long and happy life.  He possessed
unusual physical strength, robust health, and a resolute and
courageous spirit.  His home was happy.  No one considered him a cruel
man; indeed, we are told, he was rather fond of animals.  "In his own
house he always had pet dogs and cats about him, and he was as ready
as Sir Walter Scott to rise from any occupation to humour their
whims." In his profession he had made somewhat of a reputation, yet
higher honours and wider renown and increased financial prosperity
seemed almost certain to await him in the not distant future.

But one day, in November, 1847, he noted in himself the symptom of a
disease that gave cause for alarm.  The pain at first was doubtless
insignificant, but the symptom occasioned anxiety because it would not
disappear.  Some of his friends were the best surgeons of Scotland,
and he asked their advice.  They were careful not to add to his
discouragement, and they suggested the old, old formula--"rest and a
change of scene." A year passed.  The disease made constant progress,
and there came a time when of its malignant character there could be
no possible doubt.  Finally, the vivisector recognized that it was not
merely death which confronted him, but death by the most mysterious
and agonizing of human ailments.  In June, 1848, he wrote to a friend:
"I have a strong conviction that my earthly career will soon come to a
close, and that I shall never lecture again."

And then, gradually, to the ever-increasing agony of the body, came
the anguish of REMORSE.  He remembered the trembling little creatures
which again and again he had lifted to their bed of torment, and "made
to struggle," that he might observe how the heart-beats of a mutilated
animal were quickened "from the emotion of terror"; and now, in the
gloom of horrible imaginings, TERROR held HIM with a grasp that would
never loosen or lessen while his consciousness remained.  He
remembered the the evidence of "severe suffering" he had so often
evoked by the "pinching and cutting and stretching" of nerves; the
creatures he had first "caressed to calm their fears"--and then
vivisected; the eyes that so often had appealed for respite from
agony--and appealed in vain; and now, NATURA MALIGNA, to whom pity is
unknown, was slowly torturing him to death.  He pointed to the seat of
his suffering as being "THE SAME NERVES on which he had made so many

[1] "Life of John Reid," by Dr. G. Wilson, p. 273.

More than once during the last months of his life he recurred to the
same subject.

His biographer says:

"He could not divest his mind of the feeling that there was a special
Providence in the way in which he had been afflicted.  He had devoted
peculiar attention to the functions of certain nerves, and had
inflicted suffering on many dumb creatures that he might discover the
office of those nerves; and HE COULD NOT BUT REGARD THE CANCER WHICH

[2] Ibid., p. 250.

Again and again he repeated the conviction to which his mind
continually reverted in the midst of his torment.  To him conscience
brought no message of Divine approbation, but only a sentence of
condemnation upon his past pursuits.  Nor was Reid alone in this
feeling of apprehension and questioning.  We are told by his medical
friend and biographer that many of his brother physicians were
startled by learning

"that Dr. Reid is doomed to die by a disease WHICH REPEATS UPON HIS
OWN BODY NOT IN ONE, BUT IN MANY WAYS, the pains which he had imposed
upon the lower animals."[1]

[1] Reid's "Life," p. 252.

Undoubtedly, friends of the tormented vivisector attempted to comfort
him with the assurance--so often repeated in our day--that his
experiments on living animals had been carried on "for the benefit of
sick and suffering humanity." But Reid was too honest a man to permit
himself to be thus deluded while under the very shadow of death.  For
him the time had come when the specious apologies for the infliction
of torture--so current in our day--could be of no avail in lessening
the poignant feeling of Remorse.  In the dying hour men speak the
truth about their actions.  It was so with Reid.

"He confessed to having thought much of Scientific FAME in his
SUFFERING was the motive always before him when he inflicted pain on
the lower animals."[2]

[2] Ibid., p. 65.

An operation seemed to hold out hope of relief from his terrible
agony.  It was deemed best to perform it--as Reid had experimented--
without anaesthetics, "that the sufferer, with every sensation and
faculty alive, might literally become an operator upon himself." In
the course of a second operation, Dr. Wilson tells us: "THE SAME
NERVES and bloodvessels which had been the subject of Dr. Reid's most
KNIFE." But all remedial measures were in vain.  The two years of
apprehension, suspense, recognition, despair, of slowly increasing
physical torment and the agony of remorse, came at last to an end.
In July, 1849, he found the long-wished-for peace.

Seventy years ago the religious sentiment of Scotland easily favoured
that doctrine of Divine displeasure which seemed probable to Reid and
his friends.  In our day, however, we are less certain of being able
to interpret the "judgments of God"; and if we regard it as a
remarkable coincidence, it is as far as we may safely go.
Coincidences of some kind are a universal experience.

That notorious vivisector, Dr. Brown-Se'quard, devoted many years of
his life to experiments on the seat of all that is concentrated and
exquisite in agony--the spinal cord.  It was a curious coincidence
certainly, that in his last days the vivisector was affected by a
disease of the spinal cord, which at one time compelled him to go on
all-fours like a beast.  Even the remorse of Reid finds a parallel,
for toward the end of his life, Haller, one of the greatest
physiologists that ever lived, is said to have expressed in letters
deep regret for the suffering he had inflicted upon living animals.

We cannot doubt, however, that the experience of excruciating agony
affecting the very nerves upon which he had so often experimented must
have brought to the dying man a deeper realization of the pain he had
caused than he could otherwise have known.  A noted surgeon, whose
finger was the seat of a felon, asked his hospital assistant to lance
it, at the same time cautioning him to be particularly careful to
cause as little pain as possible. "Why, I've often heard you tell
patients coming to the hospital not to mind the lancing--that the pain
to be felt was really nothing at all," replied the assistant.

"Ah, yes," rejoined the surgical sufferer, "but then, remember, I was
AT THE OTHER END OF THE KNIFE!" In watching the phenomena elicited by
experiments upon animals, there have been vivisectors who forget what
was felt "at the other end of the knife," and so became utterly
oblivious to the suffering they caused.  A leading physiologist of
England once declared that he "HAD NO REGARD AT ALL" for the pain of
an animal vivisected, and that "he had no time, so to speak, for
thinking what the animal would feel or suffer"; that he never used
anaesthetics, "except for convenience' sake." Can such a man realize
the meaning of the word "PAIN"? Without sharp personal experience, can
anyone, adequately comprehend what it signifies?

Remorse may be evidence, not so much of exceptional delinquency as of
exceptional sensitiveness to ethical considerations.  By the baser and
more degraded souls it is rarely experienced.  The greatest criminals
usually meet their doom, untouched by any feeling of remorse.  Perhaps
it does not greatly matter how this infinite regret is occasioned.

                                "... pain in man
        Has the high purpose of the flail and fan."

It separates and purifies.  To one whose great suffering from disease
is long continued, there must come a clearer vision of the infinite
littleness of all transitory ambitions.  Such supreme regret as that
which came to Reid has great value.  The poor soul once so longed for
"fame"--which means only a little wider recognition to-day, and a
little more enduring remembrance by posterity than that which is
gained by the generality of mankind.  Of that horde of torturers, avid
also for "fame," whose causation of unreckonable anguish brings into
their ignoble natures no thought of pity, no emotion of regret,
everyone comes at last to rest in that deep forgetfulness which he
deserves.  Here, however, is the story of one whose penitence gives
reason for longer remembrance, who greatly erred and greatly
suffered, whose contrition atoned, whose example admonishes--JOHN
REID, physiologist.

                        CHAPTER VI


At every point in the discussion of vivisection we are confronted by
the plea of utility.  If, to some extent, we may admit the
reasonableness of the argument, yet such admission must be with
certain definite reservations.  The infliction of extreme pain either
upon human beings or on animals for objects other than their own
benefit--how far is it to be justified if some useful end is thereby
achieved? The subject is worth of study.

The utility of judicial torture as a method of securing the confession
of criminals does not seem to have been questioned for hundreds of
years.  The Romans often put all their slaves to torture as soon as
any crime occurred, of which some of their servants could have been
aware.  That sometimes the innocent suffered beyond endurance and
falsely confessed seemed to our forefathers no reason whatever for
changing an ancient custom, so often productive of useful ends.
Mysterious crimes, which under our modern methods of investigation
escape detection, were frequently brought to light in earlier times
simply by the threat of torment and the sight of the executioner.
There can be no question that in innumerable cases the torture of
accused criminals whose guilt was almost certain, yet not absolutely
proven, served to further the ends of Justice.  If modern civilization
condemns the torture of suspected lawbreakers, it is upon other
grounds than that Justice finds it useless in every case.

The public punishment of great offences against the state--punishment
accompanied with ignominy and extreme torment--seemed to our ancestors
equally justified by utility.  If an old woman were convicted of
witchcraft--and nobody questioned the actuality of the offence two
hundred and fifty years ago--her punishment by burning at the stake
certainly might be expected to deter others from entering into
compacts with the Evil One.  If heresy and unbelief lead not only the
sceptic himself, but all who follow his teaching, into eternal
darkness, there seemed to our forefathers no surer method of checking
the first tendencies toward intellectual revolt, and saving
innumerable souls, than by delivering the heretic to the flames, and
accompanying his execution by everything calculated to excite popular
derision and execration.  The public punishment of treason, and
particularly of attempted or achieved assassination of the sovereign
or head of the State, was made as excruciating and terrible as
possible, in order THAT THE EXAMPLE MIGHT DETER.

We speak somewhat vaguely to-day of such tortures and their
atrociously horrible accompaniments.  It may be worth while to see
just what they were.  two or three centuries ago civilized nations
three cases which stand out in history with especial distinctness, the
details of which are little known, and I propose to cite them simply
as evidence of the extent to which judicial torment was carried, but a
little while ago, among some of the most enlightened and progressive
nations of modern times.

If ever the assassination of a Prince deserved the severest
punishment, it was the murder in July, 1584, of William the Silent, the
leader of the Protestants of Holland in their struggle for
independence from Spanish dominion.  The sentence pronounced upon the
murderer, Balthazar Gerard, a mere hired assassin, was carried out
within ten days after commission of the crime.  A contemporary writer,
apparently an eyewitness of his execution, speaks of Gerard as one
"whose death was not of a sufficient sharpness for such a caitiff, and
yet too sore for any Christian."  His description of the murderer'
execution is as follows:

"The order of the torment was four days.  He had the first day the
strappado openly, in the market; the second day, whipped and salted,
and his right hand cut off; the third day, his breasts cut out, and
salt thrown in, and then his left hand cut off.  The last day of his
torment, which was the 10th of July, he was bound to two stakes,
standing upright, in such order that he could not shrink down nor stir
any way.  Thus standing, naked, there was a great fire placed some
small distance from him wherein heated pincers of iron, with which
pincers two men did pinch and pull his flesh in small pieces from his
bones throughout most parts of his body.  Then was he unbound from the
stakes and laid upon the earth, and again fastened to four posts; then
they ripped him up, at which time he had life and PERFECT MEMORY."[1]

[1] Harl. Misc., vol. iii., p. 200. "Printed at Middleborough, Anno
1584." The above account is taken from a rare publication, in the
British Museum Library.  Motley's account of Gerard's torment includes
elements of horror not mentioned by this writer.

Thus did Holland, a leading civilized nation, attempt to deter
assassins from assaulting her rulers.

Three centuries ago in May, 1610, Henry IV., King of France, was
struck down by the dagger of Francis Ravilliac; and France, the
leading civilized nation of Europe, determined that the punishment of
the crime should be so horrible that it might be expected for ever to
deter others from imitating his offence.  Standing in a tumbril, naked
in his shirt, with the knife wherewith he had stabbed the King chained
to his right hand, Ravilliac was carried to the doors of the Church of
Notre Dame, where he was made to descend, and to do penance for his

"After this was he carried to the Greve, where was builded a very
substantial scaffold of strong timber, whereupon he was to be
tormented to death.  By the executioners, he was bound to an engine of
wood and iron, made like to a St. Andrew's Cross; and then the hand,
with the knife chained to it, wherewith he slew the king, and half the
arm, was put into an artificial furnace, then flaming with fire and
brimstone...yet nothing at all would he confess, but yelled out with
such horrible cries, even as it had been a Divill or some tormented
soul in hell...and though he deserved ten times more, yet humane
nature might inforce us to pity his distress.  After this with tongs
and iron pincers made extreme hot in the same furnace, the
executioners pinched and seared his breasts, his arms, and thighs and
other fleshy parts of his body, cutting out collops of flesh and
burned them before his face; afterward into the same wounds thus made,
they poured scalding oil, rosen, pitch and brimstone...yet he would
reveal nothing but that he did it of himself...because the King
tolerated two religions in his kingdom...but cried out with most
horrible roars, even like the dying man tormented in the brazen bull
of Philaris."

Finally, his body was torn to pieces by four strong horses, the
remains gathered and burnt, and the ashes scattered to the winds.
"God in His justice," piously observes the narrator, "will, I hope, in
like manner reward all such as desperately attempt to lift their hands
against the Lord's Anointed."[1]

[1] Harl. Misc., vol. vi., p. 607. "The Terrible and deserved death of
Francis Ravilliac, showing the manner of his strange torments at his
execution, the 25th of May last past, for the murther of the late
French King, Henry IV."

Almost a century and a half passed before the Place de Greve, in
Paris, again witnessed the torment of a fanatic for an attack upon the
sacred person of a King.  On January 5, 1757, Louis XV. was slightly
wounded by a young Frenchman, Robert Franc,ois Damiens.  The injury
was not severe, and the King's recovery was soon complete.  Such an
attack, however, was a capital offence, and it was determined that the
criminal should not only lose his life, but that he should be made to
undergo every possible addition of torment and agony.  On the morning
of March 28, 1757, Damiens was subjected to torture, in order to
induce him to reveal the names of any accomplices.  In the extremity
of his agony he appeared at one time to lose consciousness; but the
surgeon and the physician--"qui font toujours pre'sent a` la
torture"--declared him still conscious, and the torment continued,
accompanied by "terrible cries." When he had been for two hours and a
quarter in the hands of the tormentors, the physician and surgeon gave
it as their opinion that to continue might lead to an "accident," and
the doomed wretch was taken to his dungeon, in order to recuperate.

Toward three o'clock of the afternoon the same day, Damiens was
notified that everything was in readiness for his execution.  Clothed
in but a single garment, he was made to mount a tumbril, and was
carried to the doors of the Cathedral of Notre Dame.  Descending from
the cart, holding a lighted candle in his hands, he knelt and made
"l'amende honorable," after the form prescribed.,  It is but a short
distance from the Church of Notre Dame to the Place de Greve.  Here a
vast crowd had gathered in order to witness the extremest agony of a
dying man.  Members of the French aristocracy were present; ladies of
quality paid vast sums for the occupancy of windows overlooking the
square, and played cards to pass the time until the spectacle of
torment should begin.  A scaffold about 9 feet square received the
executioners and their victim.  The tortures were of the same
character as those inflicted in the same place upon the assassin of
Henry IV.  There was the burning of the right hand, the mutilation of
the body and limbs, the pouring of melted lead and other substances
into bleeding wounds.  Terrible cries, "heard at a great distance,"
were induced; there were shrieks for pity; there were prayers to God
for strength to endure: "Mon Dieu, la force! la force! Seigneur mon
Dieu, ayez pitie de moi! Seigneur mon Dieu, donnez-moi la patience!"
Prayers for patience, for strength to suffer and endure--these his
only petitions in the supreme agony.

At last came the final act of the tragedy.  Four young and vigorous
horses were attached, each to a seared and lacerated limb, and the
attempt was made to rend asunder the still living body.  The horrible
spectacle lasted for more than an hour.  Finally the surgeon and the
physician in attendance gave it as their opinion that complete
dismemberment could not be effected except afer a partial severance of
the limbs.  The operation was performed, the horses were again
attached, and the fearful spectacle came to an end.  Damiens
apparently preserved consciousness even after both legs and an arm had
been torn from his body.  The remains were gathered and burnt on the
place of torment, and the noble lords and ladies who had gloated over
the scene returned to their homes.  It is not at all improbable that
among those who witnessed the torments of Damiens in 1757 for an
assault upon a King's sacred person there were some who lived to see
Louis XVI. mount the scaffold in 1793.[1]

[1] See "Pie`ces Originales des Process fait a Robert Franc,ois
Damiens, Paris," 1757, vol. iii., pp. 379-409; and Perkin's "France
under Louis XV.," vol. ii., p. 87.

I have quoted at length three cases of judicial torture, occurring
among Christian nations, which were then in the front rank of modern
civilization.  In Turkey and in Egypt, in India and in China, among
the savage Sioux and Iroquois of North America, the tragedies of
prolonged torment were more frequent, but not more horrible.  But in
what way do such records of torture concern the abuses of vivisection?

For two reasons they are suggestive.  Not infrequently it is intimated
that reports of cruelty by physiologists cannot be true: they are
merely "blood-curdling stories"; their horror makes the charge beyond
the possibility of belief.  A physiologist cannot have been so cruel,
and yet have seemed so gentle, so benevolent, so mild.  Here are
presented the records of torment inflicted upon human beings; torments
approved by the highest legal authorities; torments to the supervision
of which even medical science, in one case at least, lent its
representatives to assist the torturers, and if the facts were not so
well attested, they, too, would pass belief.  But we know they are not
fictions; they were actualities.  To push them out of recollection
into forgetfulness is to unlearn one of the chief lessons that History
can teach us--the lesson of warning.  The atrocities of biological
experimentation can no more be dismissed with a shrug of incredulity
than one can sneer at the agonies of Gerard or Damiens because they,
too, suggest a heartlessness in the men of that time which our finer
civilization can hardly conceive.

But the chief lesson of this black chapter of history concerns the
great question of utility.  That these atrocious torments were
inspired simply and solely by an intense passion for revenge is an
immeasurably dishonouring imputation.  For the statesmen not only, but
the religious leaders of that period, believed--and justly believed--in
the usefulness of public torture; they believed that the fear of an
ignominious and horrible death amid the jeering cries of the
surrounding populace would tend to hinder others from repeating the
offence.  The utility of Terror as a deterrent they knew--as France
knew it in '93, as the Spanish Inquisition knew it for nearly three
centuries, as every nation knew it in times of popular insurrection or
foreign wars.  What Civilization came at last to recognize was that
This principle in its application to the punishment of human beings
has been universally recognized by every civilized nation in the
world.  It only remains for the future Civilization to recognize it so
far as concerns beings inferior to ourselves.  The repetition by
students in a laboratory of an experiment upon the nervous system of a
dog, simply to demonstrate well-known facts, tends, perhaps, to fix
them in memory; but that degree of utility does not justify the
torture. "The time will come," said Dr. Bigelow of Harvard Medical
School, "when the world will look back to modern vivisection in the
name of Science as it now does to burning at the stake in the name of

                        CHAPTER VII


The student of history, attempting to trace the agitation for reform
of vivisection, is early confronted by a curious fact.  It is the
ignorance which generally prevails concerning the part borne by the
medical profession in exciting public attention to the cruelties of
experimentation.  The present generation of scientific teachers, of
medical students and physicians, are as a rule profoundly ignorant of
the beginning of the controversy, and would be as surprised as
Professor Osler of Oxford University seems to have been surprised, to
hear that medical journals first made known to the world the abuses of
vivisection.  Remembering how vigorously the physiological laboratory
of to-day resists and resents either investigation or criticism, one
is forced to confess that rarely, if ever, in the history of the world
has a transformation of ideals been more completely attained.  If the
followers of Wilberforce and Clarkson, to whom the world is indebted
for the great impulse against negro slavery, were to-day organized for
the exploitation of the negroes on the Congo, or the Indians on the
Amazon, or for carrying on the slave-trade secretly, without
restriction or supervision, the condition of affairs could hardly be
more singular than the dominance obtained by the physiological
laboratory upon the medical conscience of to-day.  The facts
constitute a remarkable chapter of human experience; and though once
before they have been stated by the present writer, it is evident, by
the evidence given before the Royal Commission, that a vast amount of
ignorance yet remains to be dispelled.

Up to a period considerably beyond the middle of the last century, the
sentiment of the medical profession in England was practically
unanimous in condemning the methods of vivisection which prevailed on
the Continent of Europe.  In 1855 the science of bacteriology was
unknown.  It is possible that not more than half a dozen English
physiologists at that time were making experiments on living animals.
It was not even regarded as an essential in the teaching of medical
schools.  In 1875 some of the most distinguished surgeons and
physicians of Great Britain testified before the Royal Commission that
as medical students they had never witnessed an experiment on a living

That the agitation against the cruelties of vivisectors which made
itself evident during the last half of the previous century had no
origin in ignorance is easily demonstrated.  It was the medical
journals of England which first made known to the world the atrocities
perpetrated in the name of Science in Continental laboratories.  In
our own day, when some of the leading teachers in medical schools have
only scorn for those who denounce cruelty in the laboratory, it is
worth while to study the sentiments of an earlier generation, when
sympathy for animal suffering was not a subject for mockery.

The Medical Times and Gazette of London was one of the earlier of
medical journals to denounce the cruelties perpetrated by vivisection
abroad.  In its issue of September 4, 1858, the editor says:

"In this country we are glad to think that experiments on animals are
never performed nowadays except upon some reasonable excuse for the
pain thus wilfully inflicted.  We are inclined to believe that the
question will some day be asked, whether any excuse can make them
justifiable? One cannot read without shuddering details like the
following.  It would appear from these that the practice of such
brutality is the everyday lesson taught in the veterinary schools of

"A small cow, very thin, and which had undergone numerous operations--
TORTURE--was placed upon the table, and killed by insufflation of air
into the jugular vein."[1]

This fact is related by M. Sanson, of the veterinary school of
Toulouse, merely incidentally, when describing an experiment of his
own upon the blood.  The wretched animal was actually cut to pieces by
the students! ... M. Sanson adds (merely wanting to prove that the
nervous system of the animals upon which he operated was properly
stirred up): `Those who have seen these wretched animals on their bed
of suffering--lit de douleur--know the degree of torture to which they
are subjected; torture, in fact, under which they for the most part

[1] In all extracts italics are the compiler's.

A little later the same medical journal again touched the subject of
vivisection in its editorial columns.  In its issue of October 20,
1860, the editor is even more emphatic in denunciation:

"Two years ago we called attention to the brutality practised at the
veterinary schools in France, and gave a specimen of the kind of
torture there inflicted upon animals.  WE ARE VERY GLAD TO SEE THAT
Profession at large will fully agree with us IN CONDEMNING EXPERIMENTS
CONTROVERSY.  We consider the question involved as one of extreme
interest to the Profession, and we shall gladly throw open our columns
to any of our brethren who may wish to assist in framing some code by
which we may decide under what circumstances experiments upon living
animals may be made with propriety."

The words italicized in the foregoing quotation are of special
significance to-day.  The editor is "very glad" to note the interest
taken in the subject by the general public--a sentiment quite foreign
to that of the present time.  One notes, too, the gratifying assurance
that the medical profession of England at that period would "fully
agree in condemning experiments," which nowadays are made not only in
medical schools but to some extent in every college of any standing in
the United States.  And this condemnation on the part of the medical
profession was voiced four years before the date assigned by Professor
Bowditch as that of "the first serious attack upon biological research
in England."

A few months later the same medical periodical outlined the principles
which it believed should govern the practice of animal
experimentation.  In the issue of this journal for March 2, 1861, the
editor makes the following pronouncement:

"VIVISECTION.--We have been requested to pronounce a condemnation of

"We believe that if anyone competent to the task desires to solve any
question affecting human life or health, or to acquire such a
knowledge of function as shall hereafter be available for the
preservation of human life or health, by the mutilation of a living
animal, he is justified in so doing.  But we do not hesitate to
condemn the practice of operating on living animals for the mere
purpose of acquiring coolness and dexterity, and WE THINK THAT THE

Again, on August 16, 1862, the Medical Times and Gazette gives an
expression of its views on the subject.  It condemns the cruelty of
Magendie, concerning which one will seek vainly to-day in medical
periodicals for any similar expression of reprobation.  Referring to
the subject, the editor says:

"No person whose moral nature is raised above that of the savage would
defend the practices which lately disgraced the veterinary schools of
France, or in past years the theatre of Magendie.[1] Professor
Sharpey, in his address to the British Medical Association, has
accurately drawn the required limits, fully obtained and confirmed,
ITS REPETITION IS INDEFENSIBLE; and `as the art of operating may be
learned equally on the dead as on the living body, operations on the
latter for the purpose of surgical instruction are reprehensible and

[1] The lecture-room in which vivisections were publicly performed.

To the London Lancet the cause of humaneness to animals is also
indebted, for its repeated condemnation of the cruelties of
vivisection.  As the exponent and representative of British surgery,
its words undoubtedly carried great weight among medical
practitioners.  In its issue of August 11, 1860, after pointing out
the utility of certain physiological inquiries, the Lancet's editor
thus defines what it regards as reprehensible cruelty:

"On the other hand, when at any moment the practice overpasses the
rigorous bounds of utility, when its object is no longer the pursuit
of new solutions of scientific problems, or the examination of
hypotheses requiring a test; when vivisection is elevated into an art,
and this art becomes a matter of public demonstration--then it is
degraded by the absence of a beneficent end, and becomes a cruelty.
FUNCTIONS ALREADY UNDERSTOOD, appear to us to rank among the excesses
which must be deplored, if not repressed.  The displays in these
amphitheatres are of the most painful kind, and it is to be deeply
regretted that curiosity should silence feeling, and draw spectators to
mortal suffering.... The Commission (of the Societies for Prevention
of Cruelty) asks for nothing which the most zealous devotees of
science cannot--and ought not--to grant.  It demands only the
cessation of experiments which are PURELY REPETITIVE DEMONSTRATIONS OF

This is a remarkable utterance.  It is quite probable that it voiced
an almost unanimous opinion among English physicians and surgeons of
half a century ago.  How far have we strayed since then! The Lancet of
to-day would doubtless earnestly oppose any legal prohibition of
experiments which it once ranked among the "excesses which must be
deplored, IF NOT REPRESSED."

Two or three months afterward the Lancet again expressed its
condemnation of experiments made for the demonstration of known
facts.  In its issue of October 20, 1860, the Lancet editor says:

"The moment that it [vivisection] overpasses the bounds of necessity;
when it ceases to aim at the solution of problems in which humanity is
interested, and becomes a new means of public demonstration, having no
benevolent end--then it is degraded to the level of A PURPOSELESS
CRUELTY.  The repetitive demonstration of known facts, by public or
private vivisections, is an abuse that we deplore, and have more than
once condemned."

On January 12, 1861, the Lancet opens its columns to a correspondent,
who invites attention of its readers to the views of Professor Owen,
afterward Sir Richard Owen, and the most distinguished anatomist of
his time:

"Professor Owen, one of the first physiological authorities of the
present day, observes: `That no teacher of physiology is justified in
repeating any vivisectional experiment, merely to show its known
results to his class or to others.  IT IS THE PRACTICE OF VIVISECTION,
in place of physiological induction, pursued for the same end, AGAINST

It is probable that no stronger denunciation of the cruelty of
vivisection ever appeared than that contained in the leading editorial
of the London Lancet of August 22, 1863.  The writer was certainly not
an opponent of all experiments upon animals; he admits that "if
pressed for a categoric answer whether such a practice as vivisection
were permissible under proper restrictions for the purpose of
advancing science and lessening human suffering, the answer would be
in the affirmative." But the practice is evidently spreading.  It is
asserted that experiments upon animals "are a common mode of lecture
illustration," and that such investigations "have spread from the hand
of the retired and sober man of matured science into those of everyday
lecturers and their pupils." Against such extension of vivisection the
editor of the Lancet enters an emphatic protest:

"If we were pressed simply for a categoric answer to the question
whether such a practice [as vivisection] were permissible under proper
restrictions and for the purpose of advancing science and lessening
human suffering, we need hardly say that the answer would be in the
affirmative.  It is asserted, however, that the practice of
vivisection and such investigations as are implied by this term, `have
spread from the hands of the retired and sober man of matured science
into those of everyday lecturers and their pupils,' and that such
experiments `are a common mode of lecture illustration....'

"We will state our belief that there is too much of it everywhere, and
that there are daily occurring practices in the schools of France
which cry aloud in the name both of honour and humanity for their
immediate cessation.  About two years ago, our Royal Society for
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals became possessed of the knowledge
that it was still the practice in the schools of Anatomy and
Physiology in France for lecturers and demonstrators to tie down cats,
dogs, rabbits, etc., before the class; to perform upon them operations
of great pain, and to pursue investigations accompanied by the most
for giving a sort of meretricious air to a popular series of lectures.
It learned, moreover, that at the veterinary schools of Lyons and
Alfort, live horses were periodically given up to a group of students
for anatomical and surgical purposes, often exercised with ... extra
refinements of cruelty...."

It appeared that at Paris the whole neighborhood adjoining the medical
school--including patients in a maternity hospital--"were constantly
disturbed, when the course of physiology was proceeding at the school,
by the howling and barking of the dogs, both night and day." The dogs
were silenced. "The fact was, the poor animals were now subjected to
the painful operation of dividing the laryngeal nerves as preliminary
to the performance of other mutilations! And what were these dogs for?
Simply for the vain repetition of clap-trap experiments, by way of
illustrations of lectures for first-year students! These facts
becoming known, the general public has at length interfered, and, we
think, with very great propriety.  THE ENTIRE PICTURE OF VIVISECTIONAL
EXTREME.  Look, for example, at the animal before us, stolen (to begin
with) from his master; the poor creature hungry, tied up for days and
nights, pining for his home, is at length brought into the theatre.
As his crouching and feeble form is strapped upon the table, HE
LICKS THE VERY HAND THAT TIES HIM! He struggles, but in vain, and
uselessly expresses his fear and suffering until a muzzle is buckled
on his jaws to stifle every sound.  The scalpel penetrates his
quivering flesh.  One effort only is now natural until his powers are
exhausted--a vain, instinctive resistance to the cruel form that
stands over him, the impersonation of Magendie and his class. `I
recall to mind,' says Dr. Latour, `a poor dog, the roots of whose
vertebral nerves Magendie desired to lay bare to demonstrate Bell's
theory, which he claimed for his own.  The dog, already mutilated and
bleeding, twice escaped from under the implacable knife, and threw his
front paws around Magendie's neck, licking, as if to soften his
murderer, and ask for mercy! Vivisectors may laugh, but I confess I
was unable to endure that heartrending spectacle.' But the whole thing
is too horrible to dwell upon.  Heaven forbid that any description of
students in this country should be witness to such deeds as these! We
repudiate the whole of this class of procedure.  Science will refuse
to recognize it as its offspring, and humanity shudders as it gazes on
its face."

In all the literature of what is known as "antivivisection" is it
possible to find a more emphatic condemnation of scientific cruelty
than this? The decadence of humane sentiment in the laboratory can
hardly be more strikingly illustrated than by a comparison of this
editorial utterance of the Lancet with some of the present-day
expressions of opinion in medical journals.  When a quotation from
this editorial was brought to the attention of a professor in
Cambridge University not long since, it seemed to him so incredible
that he made "a special inquiry," and then felt safe in publishing a
doubt of its authenticity.  If, as one may perhaps imagine without
undue violence to probability, this "special inquiry" was made in the
editorial rooms of the journal in question, the incredulity which even
there found expression only illustrates the gulf that lies between the
present and the past.  It is a marvel, indeed, that the human
sentiment of that earlier period, before the dominance of Continental
ideals became an accomplished fact in America and England, can be so
utterly forgotten by the medical journals and medical teachers of the
present time.

A week later the Lancet again discusses the subject always, it should
be remembered, as the advocate of vivisection, provided the practice
be carried on under humane restrictions.  A few sentences of the
editorial of August 29 are specially significant:

"... As a general rule, neither our [British] students nor teachers
are wont to carry on experiments upon living animals even in a private
way.  The utmost that can be said is that perhaps some two or three--
at the most six--scientific men in London are known to be pursuing
certain lines of investigation which require them occasionally during
the year to employ living animals.... Whilst the schools of medicine
in this country are as a rule not liable to the charge of
vivisectional abuses as regards the higher animals, we cannot
altogether acquit them from a rather reckless expenditure of the lives
and feelings of cold-blooded creatures.... The reckless way in which
we have sometimes seen this poor creature [the frog] cut, thrown and
kicked about, has been sometimes sickening.... We cannot help feeling
there is both A BAD MORAL DISCIPLINE FOR THE MAN, as well as an amount
of probable pain to the creature, in such a practice."

How strange such criticism as this appears to-day! Can one imagine a
medical journal in America or England expressing in our time any
sympathy for the suffering of frogs in a physiological laboratory? Can
one fancy on the part of its editor a suggestion of "bad moral
discipline" which the ruthless vivisection of animals of the highest
organization or grade of intelligence might induce? To-day such
criticism is unthinkable.  Yet the capacity of animal suffering has
not diminished.  The number of victims is vastly larger.  What change
has occurred which makes it impossible to conceive on the part of a
medical journal of the present time the expression of such a sentiment
of pity for one of the lower forms of animal life?

The Lancet was not alone in such condemnations.  No periodical of that
day, devoted entirely to the problems of medicine, occupied a position
of influence equal to that of the British Medical Journal.  One of its
earlier editorial utterances concerning vivisection appeared in its
issue of May 11, 1861, three years before the date given by
Dr. Bowditch as that of "the first serious attack."

"The Emperor of the French has received a deputation from the Royal
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  We sincerely trust
that this interview may be the means of putting an end to the
unjustifiable brutalities too often inflicted on the lower animals
under the guise of scientific experimentation.  IT HAS NEVER APPEARED
the means of removing sensation during experiments, the man who puts
an animal to torture ought, in our opinion, to be prosecuted."

Referring to the experiment upon a cow mentioned in
Dr. Brown-Se'quard's Journal of Physiology, and already described, the
editor adds:

"We are not disposed, in a question of this kind, in which some of the
highest considerations are concerned, to allow our opinion to be
swayed by the opinions or the proceedings of even the greatest
surgeons and the greatest physiologists.  That such authorities
performed vivisection is a fact; but it does not satisfy us that the
proceeding is justifiable.  Under any circumstances, this much, we
think, is evident enough: that IF VIVISECTIONS BE PERMISSIBLE, THEY
hardly add that these conditions have not yet been laid down.
Altogether, the subject is one well worthy of serious discussion, and
gladly would we see the interests of medical science in the matter
properly reconciled with the dictates of the moral sense."

Nothing could be more clearly stated.  One reads almost with a feeling
of amazement the sentences we have italicized in the foregoing
quotation.  Here, in the editorial columns of the principal medical
journal in the world, is expressed doubt of the justification of any
destruction of animals whatever, "for mere experimental research."
What magnificent independence of the opinions and experimentation "of
even the greatest surgeons and the greatest physiologists" is here

Five months later the British Medical Journal in its editorial columns
again refers to the peculiarly atrocious vivisection which it had once
before denounced; it is evident that the journal intends that such
actions shall not be forgotten.  In the issue of October 19, 1861, it

"The brutalities which have been so long inflicted upon horses, etc.,
in the veterinary schools of France under the name of Science are
perfectly horrible.  Some idea of what has been daily going on in
those schools during many past years may be obtained from such a
statement as the following, taken from a paper by M. Sanson, in the
Journal of Physiology [edited by Dr. C. E. Brown-Se'quard].  M. Sanson
is speaking incidentally of the condition of animals upon whose blood
he was himself experimenting: `A small cow,' he writes, `very thin,
and which had undergone numerous operations--that is to saw, WHICH HAD
table,' etc.  M. Sanson adds `...Those who have seen these wretched
animals on their bed of suffering--lit de douleur--know the degree of
torture to which they are subjected; torture, in fact, under which
they for the most part succumb!' THE POOR BRUTES ARE ACTUALLY SLICED
AND CHOPPED, PIECEMEAL, TO DEATH, in order that the e'le`ves
(students) may become skilful operators!"

Almost a year passes, and on September 6, 1862, we again find the
editor of the British Medical Journal discussing the ethics of animal
experimentation.  He admits that there is useless vivisection and
unnecessary infliction of pain.  Significant, indeed, it will seem to
the physician of to-day to find one of the leading exponents of
medical opinion condemning as "unjustifiable" demonstrations of
well-known facts, which are now considered as essential to medical
education.  After stating that some restrictions should be imposed,
the editor adds:

"We will venture to suggest that these restrictions should be well and
clearly defined; that some high authority like Dr. Sharpey himself
should lay down certain rules on the subject, and for the purpose of
preventing, if possible, any needless suffering from being inflicted
experimentally on the lower animals.  All of us must be well aware
that many needless experiments are actually performed, and until some
clearly defined rules on this head are laid down, we venture to think
such needless suffering will still continue to be inflicted on
animals.  If, for example, it were publicly stated by authorities in
the profession that experiments of this nature, made for the mere
purpose of demonstrating admitted physiological facts, are
unjustifiable, a great step would be gained, and a great ground of
complaint cut from under the feet of the enthusiastic antivivisection
societies.  The very fact of an authoritative sanction to the
legitimate performance of such experiments...."

The denunciations of cruel vivisection by the British Medical Journal
extend over a considerable period.  Occasionally the Journal quotes
the opinions of some of its medical contemporaries in Paris, admitting
the need for reform.  For instance, in its issue of May 2, 1863, in
its editorial columns, the Journal presents us with a quotation from
L'Union Me'dicale of Paris, suggesting distinctions that should be
made in the selection of vivisection material:

"Vivisection is often useful and sometimes necessary, and therefore
not to be absolutely proscribed; but I would gladly petition the
Senate to forbid its performance on every animal which is useful to,
and a friend of, man.  The mutilations and tortures inflicted upon
dogs are horrible.  The King of Dahomey is less barbarous than these
merciless vivisectors.  HE cuts his victims' throats, but without
torturing them; while THEY tear and cut to pieces these wretched dogs
in their most sensitive parts.  Let them operate on rats, foxes,
sharks, vipers, and reptiles.  But no; our vivisectors object to the
teeth, the claws, the beaks of these repulsive animals; they must have
gentle animals; and so, like cowards, they seize upon the dog--that
caressing animal, which licks the hand, armed with the scalpel!"

Think of a such quotation in the columns of the British Medical
Journal--a periodical which to-day rarely ventures to criticize any
phase of animal experimentation.

The following summer, on August 22, 1863, the Journal find space in
its editorial pages for yet other quotations from French medical
periodicals concerning the "enormous abuses" of vivisection.

"We are very glad to find that the French medical journals are
entering protests against the cruel abuse which is made of vivisection
in France.  L'Abeille Me'dicale says:

"`I am quite of you opinion as to the enormous abuses practised at the
present day in the matter of vivisection.... In the laboratories of
the College of France, in the E'cole de Me'decine, eminent professors,
placed at the head of instruction, are forced to the painful sacrifice
of destroying animals in order to widen the field of science.  In doing
so they act legitimately, and suffering humanity demands it of them.
Those experiments are performed in the silence of private study, and
the results obtained are then explained to the pupils, or treated of
in publications.... But to repeat the experiments before the public,
to descend from the professional chair in order to practise the part
of a butcher or of an executioner, is painful to the feelings and
disgusting to the sentiments of the student.... Such public
exhibitions are ignoble, and of a kind which pervert the generous
sentiments of youth.  An end should be put to them.  Ought we to allow
the e'lite of our French youths to feed their eyes with the sight of
the flowing blood of living animals, and to have their ears stunned
with their groans, at this time when society is calling for the doing
away of public executions? Let no one tell us that vivisections are
necessary for a knowledge of physiology.... If the present ways,
habits, and customs are continued, the future physician will become
marked by his cold and implacable insensibility.  Let there be no

"So writes L'Abeille Me'dicale.  But here L'Union Me'dicale takes up
and comments on the tale:

"`This is all excellently said; but we must correct a few errors.
Magendie, alas! performed experiments in public, and sadly too often
at the Colle`ge de France.  I remember once, among other instances,
the case of a poor dog, the roots of whose spinal nerves he was about
to expose.  Twice did the dog, all bloody and mutilated, escape from
his implacable knife, and twice did I see him put his forepaws around
Magendie's neck and lick his face! I confess--laugh, Messieurs les
Vivisecteurs, if you please--that I could not bear the sight.... It is
true that Dr. P. H. Be'rard, Professor of Physiology, never performed
a single vivisection in his lectures, which were brilliant, elegant,
and animated.  but Be'rard was an example of a singular psychological
phenomenon.  Toward the close of his life, so painful to him was the
sight of blood and the exhibition of pain, that he gave up the
practice of surgery, and would never allow his students to witness a
vivisection.  But Be'rard was attacked by cerebral haemorrhage, and
the whole tone of his character was thereby afterward changed.  The
benevolent man became aggressive; the tolerant man, irritable.... He
became an experimenter, and passed whole days in practising

The following week the Journal again refers to the subject, the
"ATROCITIES OF VIVISECTION." It is a noteworthy phrase, proceeding
from a medical journal, and should not be forgotten.  Concerning the
truth of the charges, the absolute heartlessness exhibited, there can
be no possible doubt, for the evidence is cumulative.  Has the phrase
"atrocities of vivisection" appeared in the editorial columns of any
medical journal during the past twenty years, unless in the way of
ridicule or contempt? It may be doubted.

"The atrocities of vivisection continue to occupy the attention of the
Paris papers.  The Opinion Nationale says: `The poor brutes' cries of
pain sadden the wards of the clinic, rendering the sojourn there
insupportable both to patients and nurses.  Only imagine that, when a
dog has not been killed at one sitting, and that enough life remains
in him to experiment upon him in the following one, they put him back
in the kennel, all throbbing and palpitating! There the unhappy
creatures, already torn by the scalpel, howl until the next day, in
tones rendered hoarse and faint by another operation intended to
deprive them of voice.'"

Again, only three weeks later, in its issue of September 19, 1863, the
British Medical Journal presents in an editorial an account of the
debate on Vivisection in the French Academy of Medicine.  It is of
interest, not only as an indication of English opinion at that day,
but also as evidence of what was being done by vivisectors over
fifteen years after the discovery of chloroform.

"Our readers are aware that the French Minister of Commerce submitted
to the Academy of Medicine documents supplied to him by a London
society.... A committee of the Academy examined these questions and
issued a report, but they did not answer the simple questions put to
it.  A discussion on the report has naturally taken place in the
Academy itself, and has given rise to some very interesting remarks.
M. Dubois ... refused to draw up the report because he differed
somewhat in opinion on the subject of vivisections from many of his
associates.  He therefore reserved the liberty of speaking his mind
freely on the subject before the Academy.  His conclusions are well
worthy serious attention.  They seem to us to contain all that can be
rightly said in favour of vivisection, and to put the matter on its
true and proper footing.  The greatest praise is due to M. Dubois for
having had the courage to express his opinion so boldly and openly....

"In the first part of his speech, M. Dubois demolished the work of the
report, showing that it did not answer the questions of the
Government, and left things exactly in their previous state.  He then
proceeded to give his opinion as to what reforms should be made in the
practice of vivisection.  The greatest physiologists, he remarked,
such as Harvey, Asselli, Haller, were parsimonious and discreet in
their use of vivisection.  To-day we have before our eyes a very
different spectacle.  Under pretence of experimentally demonstrating
physiology, the professor no longer ascends the rostrum; he places
himself before a vivisecting-table, has live animals brought to him,
and experiments.  The habitual spectators at the School of Medicine,
the College of France, and the Faculty of Sciences, know how
experiments are made on the living flesh, how muscles are divided and
cut, the nerves wrenched or dilacerated, the bones broken or
methodically opened with gouge, mallet, saw, and pincers.  Among other
tortures there is that horrible one of the opening of the vertebral
canal or of the spinal column to lay bare membranes and the substance
of the marrow; IT IS THE SUBLIME OF HORROR.  One needs to have
witnessed that sight thoroughly to comprehend the real sense of the
word `vivisection.' Whoever has not seen an animal under experiment
M. Dubois drew an eloquent picture of these practices, become usual in
the physiological amphitheatres in the midst of blood and of howls of
pain, and he showed that under the dominant influence of the
vivisectors, physiological instruction has gone out of its natural
road.  Himself an eminent pathologist, he treated without ceremony the
unjustifiable pretensions of those innovators, who, regardless at once
of the principles of physiology and those of pathology, try to
transport clinical surgery to the table of vivisection.

"M. Dubois, indeed, was so pungent in his censures that some of the
Academicians left the hall without awaiting the end of his discourse.
The veterinary part of his audience heard him to the end, and, it is
to be hoped, profited by the picture he drew of the sight that met his
eyes on his first visit to Alfort.  M. Renault, the director of the
establishment, took M. Dubois into a vast hall, where five or six
horses were thrown down, each one surrounded by a group of pupils,
either operating or waiting their turn to do so.  Each group was of
eight students, and matters were so arranged that each student could
perform eight operations, so well graduated that, although the sixty-
four operations lasted ten hours, a horse could endure them all before
being put to death.  Although unwilling to hurt the feelings of his
host, M. Dubois could not help letting slip the word `ATROCITY.'
`Atrocities, if you please,' replied M. Renault, `but they are
necessary.' `What!' exclaimed M. Dubois; `SIXTY-FOUR OPERATIONS, AND
TEN HOURS OF SUFFERING?' M. Renault explained to him that this was a
question of finance; that if more money were allowed, the horses might
be kept only three or four hours under the knife.  M. Dubois stated
that it was true fewer operations are now performed, and that horses
are kept less time under the hands of experimenting students.  But, he
declared, he should never forget the sight he witnessed at Alfort.
Some of the horses were just begun upon; others were already horribly
mutilated; they did not cry out, but gave utterance to hollow moans.
M. Dubois, supported by the authority of many veterinary surgeons,
demands that these practices should be discontinued.  Dr. Parchappe,
who spoke afterward, agreed with M. Dubois.  He said: `... Experiments
on animals are in no way indispensable to completely efficacious
instruction in physiology.'"

It could hardly be expected by anyone but the most sanguine of mortals
that the French Academy of Medicine would agree to censure or condemn
certain of its own members at the instance of English humanitarians,
even though supported by men of their own nationality.  When the
matter came to a vote, the opponents of change passed a resolution
declaring that complaints had no basis, and that the question of
performing experiments or surgical operations in the veterinary
precisely the position taken to-day both in England and America by
those who contend that the practice should not be restricted by law.
The Journal, however, adds:

"Everyone who has followed this debate must be aware that the
resolution is ... entirely opposed to the facts elicited in the
discussion.  Almost every speaker, except the veterinaries, put in a
protest more or less strong against the practice of surgical
operations in veterinary schools, and again and again was the word
ATROCIOUS applied to them.  We learn, moreover, that this mode of
instruction was adopted in 1761, so that for more than a century these
atrocious operations have been practiced on animals in French
veterinary schools.  Yet the Academy decides that complaints on this
score are without foundation, and that men of science in this matter
NEED NO INTERFERENCE! We may be sure that, however much the
Academicians may snub the affair, the discussion cannot fail to have
beneficial results."

Two or three weeks later, on October 10, the Journal again touches the
subject of physiological demonstrations, and denounces them--when
conducted as in Paris--as a scandal to humanity.  The Journal says:

"M. Dubois has published a discourse ... on the subject of vivisection
in answer to objections made to the amendments proposed by him.  It is
a brilliant summary of the whole subject, and utterly condemnative of
the amendments carried by the Academy.  M. Dubois showed to
demonstration that ... physiological demonstrations on living animals
in the public [Medical] schools ARE UTTERLY UNJUSTIFIABLE, AND A
He said:

"`If we are to carry out the wishes of certain savants, we shall make
everyone of our professional chairs a scene of blood.... Let us tell
the Minister that vivisections are necessary for the advancement of
science, and that to suppress them would be to arrest the progress of
physiology; but let us also say that THEY ARE UNNECESSARY IN THE

Under what restrictions would the British Medical Journal of that day
permit animal experimentation?

In two editorial utterances the Journal briefly defines its position.
In the issue of January 16, 1864, we have the following expression of
its views:

"The conditions under which--and under which alone--vivisections may
be justifiably performed seem to us to be clear and easily stated....
We would say, then, in the first place, that those experiments on
living animals, and those alone, are justifiable which are performed
for the purpose of elucidating obscure or unknown questions in
physiology or pathology; that whenever any physiological or
pathological fact has been distinctly and satisfactorily cleared up
and settled, all further repetition of the experiments which were
originally performed for its demonstration are unjustifiable; that
they are needless torture inflicted on animals, being, in fact,
performed not for the purpose of eliciting unknown facts, BUT TO

"And in the second place, we would say that only those persons are
justified in experimenting upon living animals who are capable
experimentalists.... All experiments made by inexperienced and
incapable observers are unjustifiable, and for an obvious reason.  The
pain in such case, suffered by the animal, is suffered in
vain.... Pain so inflicted is manifest CRUELTY."

If we compare this statement with any recent expression of the
Journal's views, we shall see how far this organ of medical opinion
has strayed in fifty years from the conservatism of Sir Charles Bell
toward the unrestricted freedom demanded by the apologists of Magendie
and Brachet.  Six months later, another pronouncement appears in its
editorial columns.  In the issue of June 11, 1864, we read:

"Far be it from us to patronize or palliate the infamous practices,
the unjustifiable practices, committed in French veterinary schools,
and in many French Medical schools, in the matter of vivisection.  We
repudiate as brutal and cruel all surgical operations performed on
PHYSIOLOGICAL QUESTION.  We hold that no man except a skilled
anatomist and a well-informed physiologist has a right to perform
experiments on animals."

It is unnecessary to state that these excerpts from the editorial
columns of medical journals are not quoted by way of criticism.  On
the contrary, they seem in the highest degree creditable to the
medical periodicals in which they appeared.  They voiced a
condemnation of scientific cruelty which then found a universal
response.  In the awakening of public apprehension regarding the
growing abuses incident to vivisection, their influence cannot be too
highly esteemed.  There can be no question that these exposures of
physiological methods, these repeated and emphatic denunciations of
cruelty, proceeding from the leading medical journals of England,
contributed more than anything else to arouse the general public to
the acknowledged existence of abuse, and to the necessity of some
legislation regarding the vivisection of animals.  AND YET NO ADVOCATE
William Osler tells the Royal Commission that "it is news to him."
Professor Bowditch, the leading physiologist of Harvard Medical
School, refers with contempt to "blood-curdling stories" in the
pamphlet of Dr. Fleming as the "first serious attack" upon
vivisection--without the slightest reference to all this earlier
criticism, this exposure of infamous cruelty by the leading journals
of the medical profession! But the worst and most regrettable result
of such ignorance on the part of those who teach is its effect upon
those who, as students, follow their guidance, accept their
prejudices, and, unconscious of their ignorance, give to their
statements implicit trust.

We shall perhaps be told that although the facts are as stated, yet
these medical condemnations of cruelty are the outgrown opinions of
the Past.  Are the foundations of morals so unstable? Can lapse of
years transmute cruelty into benevolence and righteousness? Are we now
to be asked to approve the conduct of Magendie and of Mantegazza and
Be'rnard, and send to the lumber room of "past opinions" the
expressions of horror and repulsion which their acts once excited
throughout the English-speaking world? The science of the modern
school of physiologists gives that implication: "LET ALL THAT PASS,"
is their cry to-day.  With this we cannot for a moment agree.  Rather
let us believe that in the whirl and conflict of opinions that marks
the social evolution of Humanity, there are some principles which are
stable and some landmarks that cannot be altered.  Cruelty is a vice
that should never be condoned.  What was regarded as infamous in the
laboratory of fifty years ago should be considered equally infamous

                        CHAPTER VIII


The awakening of a nation to the existence of a great evil is only
accomplished after years of persistent agitation.  We have seen that
some of the strongest denunciations of cruelty in biological
experimentation were due to that large element in the medical
profession which refused to condone cruelty under the guise of
utility.  Gradually public opinion began to be thoroughly aroused.  In
the year 1864 the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals offered a prize for the best essay on these questions:

"Is vivisection necessary or justifiable for purposes of giving
dexterity to the operator (as in veterinary schools)?

"Is it necessary or justifiable for the general purposes of science,
and, if so, under what limitations?"

The committee which decided the merits of the essays submitted
included some of the most distinguished scientists of England, among
them Professor Owen (better known as Sir Richard Owen), and Professor
Carpenter, physiologists of eminence and experience.  The first prize
was accorded to Dr. George Fleming, the leading veterinary authority
in Great Britain for many years, and a second prize was given to
Dr. W. O. Markham, F.R.C.P., one of the physicians to St. Mary's
Hospital of London, and formerly lecturer on Physiology at St. Mary's
Hospital Medical School.

Dr. Fleming's essay was undoubtedly of great utility in calling
attention to the abuses pertaining to Continental physiological
teaching.  That which makes his essay of chief value is not so much
the presentation of arguments, as the long array of unquestionable
facts for which the authorities are given.  There is hardly a
physiological writer of distinction from whose works he did not quote
to illustrate the excesses he condemns.

It is Dr. Markham's essay, however, which for us, at the present
moment, has principal significance.  It is the argument of a
professional physiologist, defending the right of scientific research
within limits which then seemed just and right to the entire medical
profession of the United Kingdom.  Every physiologist or physician
upon that committee which examined the essays is said to have marked
with approval this presentation of their views; and Professor Owen--
probably then the most distinguished man of science in Great Britain--
appended a note significant of his especial agreement.  And yet
Dr. Markham's essay is never quoted at present by any advocate of free
vivisection; even Professor Bowditch in that address to which
reference has been made left unmentioned the work of his professional
brother, one of the earliest defenders of animal experimentation.

The reader of Dr. Markham's essay will not find it difficult to
comprehend the cause of this significant silence.  Although the essay
was in no way sympathetic with antivivisection, it represented the
Anglo-Saxon ideal, in marked distinction from the doctrines which then
prevailed in the laboratories of Continental Europe, and which since
have become dominant throughout the United States.  Defending the
practice of vivisection as a scientific method, Dr. Markham freely
admitted the prevalence of abuses to which it was liable when carried
on without regulation or restraint.  Under proper limitations it was
at present necessary that some vivisection should be allowed; but with
the advance of knowledge, he believed that this necessity would
decrease, and the practice of animal experimentation gradually tend to
disappear.  Some quotations from this essay will be of interest.

"The proper and only object of all justifiable experiments on animals
is to determine unknown facts in physiology, pathology, and
therapeutics, whereby medical science may be directly or indirectly
advanced.  When, therefore, any fact of this kind has been once
determined and positively acquired to science, all repetition of
experiments for its further demonstration are unnecessary, and
therefore unjustifiable.

"All experiments, therefore, performed before students, in classes or
otherwise, for the purpose of demonstrating known facts in physiology
or therapeutics, are unjustifiable.  And they are especially
unjustifiable because they are performed before those who, being mere
students, are incapable of fully comprehending their value and
meaning.  THEY ARE NEEDLESS AND CRUEL: needless, because they
demonstrate what is already acquired to science; and especially cruel,
because if admitted as a recognized part of students' instruction,
REQUIRED.  I need hardly say that courses of experimental physiology
are nowhere given in this country, and that these remarks apply only
to those schools i France and elsewhere where demonstrations of this
kind are delivered."[1]

[1] "Experiments and Surgical Operations on Living Animals: One of Two
Prize Essays." London: Robert Hardwick, 1866.

"ESPECIALLY CRUEL!" Little could Dr. Markham have imagined that this
"especial cruelty" which he thus so emphatically denounced in 1864
would spread from the Continent of Europe and become, within the short
space of a single generation, the accepted method of physiological
instruction in every leading college or university in the United

Dr. Markham evidently fancied that with the larger acquirement of
facts the vivisection method would gradually become obsolete.
He says:

"A consideration of the conditions here proposed as requisite for the
rightful performance of experiments on living animals shows that
experiments of this kind must ever be very limited, because those
persons who are fitted for the due performance of them are of
necessity few in number; and that in proportion as new facts are added
by them to our knowledge, THE EXPERIMENTS MUST DIMINISH IN NUMBER...."

"Thus, then, we have seen that in the case of experiments legitimately
performed on living animals, ... such experiments must always, from
their nature, be comparatively few; that they must gradually diminish
with the advance of scientific knowledge, so that A TIME MAY COME WHEN

"... Very different, on the other hand, is the character and objects
of physiological demonstrations performed in French Schools of
Medicine.... These most painful practices are unjustifiable because
they are unnecessary.... They afford no instruction to the student
which may not be equally well obtained in another way.  The pain,
moreover, attendant on such proceedings is unlimited and unceasing.  If
they are to be accepted as a necessary part of the systemic
instruction of the student, then must every veterinary student
practice these experimental surgical operations, AND EVERY MEDICAL
ANIMALS.  In all veterinary schools, under such conditions, an
incalculable amount of pain inflicted on animals becomes a part of the
regular instruction of students.  At such a conclusion Humanity

"Experiments performed on living animals for the demonstration of
facts already positively acquired to science are unjustifiable, and
especially unjustifiable are such experiments when made a part of a
systemic course of instruction given to students."

Here, then, we have a view of vivisection presented less than forty
years since by a professional teacher of physiology in a London
medical school.  That the author was mistaken in his outlook, that the
practice of vivisection instead of diminishing has a thousand times
increased, and that operations then regarded as "especially cruel"
have become the prevalent methods of instruction, are matters evident
to all.  Peculiarly significant is the fact that a creed, once almost
universally held, may be so thoroughly obliterated by its antagonists
within so brief a time.  One may safely assert that not a single
recent graduate from any Medical College in America, not a single
student of physiology in any institution of learning in our land
to-day, has ever been told that the practice of animal experimentation
was once thus regarded by a large majority of the English-speaking
members of the medical profession.  So completely has the Continental
view of the moral irresponsibility of science established itself in
American colleges that the former preponderance of other ideals has
passed from the memory of the present generation of scientific men.

The subject of vivisection does not again appear to have engaged the
attention of the English medical Press for several years.  The abuses
and cruelties on the Continent, against which it had so vigorously
protested, continued as before.  In a brief editorial, the London
Lancet, on April 3, 1869, again referred to the subject:

"VIVISECTION.--The subject of vivisection has been again brought on
the tapis, owing to some remarks made by Professor (Claude) Be'rnard
... at the Colle`ge de France.... He admits on one occasion having
operated on an ape, but never repeated the experiment, THE CRIES AND

"As the Pall Mall Gazette remarks, M. (Claude) Be'rnard expatiates on
the subject with a complacency which reminds us of Peter the Great,
who, wishing, while at Stockholm, to see the WHEEL in action, quietly
offered one of his suite as the patient to be broken on it....

"We consider that vivisection constitutes a legitimate mode of inquiry
when it is adopted to obtain a satisfactory solution of a question
that has been fairly discussed, and can be solved by no other means....

"We hold that for mere purposes of curiosity, OR TO EXHIBIT TO A CLASS
what may be rendered equally--if not more--intelligible by diagrams or
may be ascertained by anatomical investigation or induction,

It is very probable that much of the criticism of foreign vivisection,
which at this period appeared in the medical journals of England, was
inspired by the abhorrence felt regarding the cruelty of certain
French physiologists.  We now know that the worst and most cruel of
them all was Claude Be'rnard, Professor of Experimental Physiology at
the Colle`ge de France, and the fit successor of Magendie.  Just as
pirates and freebooters have added to geographical discoveries, so
science admits that regarding the functions of certain organs he added
to accumulated facts.  But the peculiar infamy of Be'rnard was the
indifference displayed toward animal suffering long after the
discovery of chloroform and ether, and his practical contempt for any
sentiment of compassion for vivisected animals.  Of this savagery one
will look in vain for criticism or condemnation in the writings of the
opponents of vivisection reform at the present day.  Two physicians,
however, have told us what they witnessed in the laboratory of
Be'rnard.  On February 2, 1875, there appeared in the Morning Post a
letter from a London physician, describing his personal experience in
the laboratory of this physiologist.


"If the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals intends to
give effect to the memorial presented to it on Monday, and do its
utmost to put down the monstrous abuses which have sprung up of late
years in the practice of vivisection, it will probably find that the
greatest obstacle to success lies IN THE SECRECY WITH WHICH SUCH
SECRECY that its best efforts should be directed.  So long as the
present privacy be maintained, it will be found impossible to convict,
for want of evidence.  No student can be expected to come forward as a
witness when he knows that he would be hooted from among his fellows
for doing so, and any rising medical man would only achieve
professional ruin by following a similar course.  The result is that,
although hundreds of such abuses are being constantly perpetrated
among us, the public knows no more about them than what the distant
echo reflected from some handbook of the laboratory affords.  I
venture to record a little of my own experience in the matter, part of
which was gained as an assistant in the laboratory of one of the
greatest living experimental physiologists.

"In that laboratory we sacrificed daily from one to three dogs,
besides rabbits and other animals, and after four months' experience I
am of opinion that not one of those experiments on animals was
justified or necessary.  The idea of the good of Humanity was simply
out of the question, and would have been laughed at; THE GREAT AIM
SCIENCE, even at the price of incalculable amount of torture
needlessly and iniquitously inflicted on the poor animals.  During
three campaigns I have witnessed many harsh sights, but I think the
saddest sight I ever witnessed was when the dogs were brought up from
the cellar to the laboratory for sacrifice.  Instead of appearing
pleased with the change from darkness to light, they seemed seized
with horror as soon as they smelt the air of the place, divining,
apparently, their approaching fate.  They would make friendly advances
to each of three or four persons present, and as far as eyes, ears,
and tail could make a mute appeal for mercy eloquent, they tried it in
vain.  Even when roughly grasped and thrown on the torture-trough, a
low complaining whine at such treatment would be all the protest made,
and they would continue to lick the hand which bound them, till their
mouths were fixed in the gag, and they could only flap their tails in
the trough as the last means of exciting compassion.  Often when
convulsed by the pain of their torture this would be renewed, and they
would be soothed instantly on receiving a few gentle pats.  It was all
the aid and comfort I could give them, and I gave it often.  They
seemed to take it as an earnest of fellow-feeling that would cause
their torture to come to an end--an end only brought by death.

"Were the feelings of experimental physiologists not blunted, they
could not long continue the practice of vivisection.  They are always
ready to repudiate any implied want of tender feeling, but I must say
that they seldom show much pity; on the contrary, in practice they
frequently show the reverse.  Hundreds of times I have seen, when an
animal writhed with pain and thereby deranged the tissues during a
delicate dissection, instead of being soothed, it would receive a slap
and an angry order to be quiet and behave itself.  At other times,
when an animal had endured great pain for hours without struggling or
giving more than an occasional whine, instead of letting the poor
mangled wretch loose to crawl about the place in reserve for another
day's torture, it would receive pity so far that it would be said to
have behaved well enough to merit death, and as a reward would be
killed at once by breaking up the medulla with a needle, or `pithing,'
as this operation is called.  I have often heard the professor say,
when one side of an animal had been so mangled and the tissues so
obscured by clotted blood that it was difficult to find the part
searched for, `Why don't you begin on the other side?' or `WHY DON'T
the most revolting features in the laboratory was the custom of giving
an animal, on which the professor had completed his experiment, and
which had still some life left, to the assistants to practise the
finding of arteries, nerves, etc., in the living animal, or for
performing what are called `fundamental experiments' upon it--in other
words, repeating those which are recommended in the laboratory

"I am inclined to look upon anaesthetics as the greatest curse to
vivisectible animals.  They alter too much the normal conditions of
life to give accurate results, and they are therefore little depended
Connected with this there is a horrible proceeding that the public
probably knows little about.  An animal is sometimes kept quiet by the
administration of a poison called `curare,' which paralyzes voluntary
motion while it heightens sensation, the animal being kept alive by
means of artificial respiration.

"I hope that we shall soon have a Government inquiry into the subject,
in which experimental physiologists shall be only witnesses, not
same clearing away of abuses that the Anatomy Act caused in similar

                                "I am, sir, your obedient servant,
                                        "George Hoggan, M.B. and C.M.

        "13, Granville Place, Portman Square, W."

One of the oldest members of the medical profession in Massachusetts
has also written of his experience in Be'rnard's laboratory, and his
account of the cruelty there practised entirely accords with that of
the English physician:

"When I was studying medicine in Paris, it was the custom of a
distinguished physiologist to illustrate his lectures by operations on
dogs.  Some of his dissections were not very painful, but others were
attended with excruciating, long-continued agony; and when the piteous
cries of these poor brutes would interrupt his remarks, with a look of
suppressed indignation he would artistically slit their windpipes, and
thus prevent their howling! Curiousity prompted me to inquire of the
janitor whether, after this period of torment, these creatures were
mercifully put out of misery; and I ascertained that such animals as
did not succumb to the immediate effects of their mutilations were
consigned to a cellar, to be kept, unattended and unfed, until wanted
for the following lectures, which occurred on alternate days.  I
never noticed the slightest demonstration of sympathy on their behalf,
except on the part of a few American students.  These dogs were
subjected to needless torture, for the mere purpose of illustrating
well-known facts, capable of being taught satisfactorily by drawings,
charts, and models; and hence this cruelty, being unattended by any
possible benefit to either students or mankind, was illegitimate and
unjustifiable.  But when it is considered that these same experiments
might have been conducted under the influence of an anaesthetic, so
as to minimize, if not remove, this needless suffering, this
cold-blooded, heartless torture can only be characterized as
contemptible and monstrous.

"From detailed accounts communicated to me by eye-witnesses of the
incidents related, I entertain no doubt that barbarous cruelty was
practised at that time in all the Parisian laboratories, though it is
probable that, for novel and horrible experiments, none could rival
the infernal ingenuity in this business of that master-demon, Claude

[1] Extracts from letter to Boston Medical and Surgical Journal,
April, 1895.

Such is the memory which Be'rnard has left for posterity.  It was by
useless cruelty that he impressed.  And no American physiologist,
sounding the praises of free and unrestricted vivisection, has ever
yet ventured to criticize or to condemn either the man or his work.

Let us go back a little.  By the year 1871, the agitation had gone so
far as to be deemed worthy of consideration by the leading scientific
body in Great Britain.  At the meeting of the British Association in
Liverpool of that year, a committee was appointed to consider the
subject of animal experimentation, and the result of their
deliberations appears in the annual report.  Regarding the practice,
they suggest four recommendations or rules:

"1. No experiment which can be done under the influence of an
anaesthetic ought to be done without it.

"2. No painful experiment is justifiable for the mere purpose of
illustrating a law or fact already determined; in other words,
experimentation without the employment of anaesthetics is not a
fitting exhibition for teaching purposes."

A third rule suggested that painful experiments should only be made in
laboratories under proper regulation; and a fourth rule condemned
veterinary operations for the purpose of obtaining manual dexterity.
It was evidently an attempt to allay agitation--there were no means of
enforcing the recommendations concerning practices which the law did
not touch.

One of the signers was Dr. Burdon Sanderson, a Lecturer on Physiology.
Early the following year he began the delivery of a course of lectures
in the physiological laboratory of University College in London,
illustrated by vivisections.  During one of these discourses, the
lecturer made the following statement of his views:

"With respect to what are called `vivisections,' I assure you that I
have as great a horror of them as any members of the Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  The rules in respect to them are
these: First, no experiment that can be done under the influence of an
anaesthetic ought to be done without it.  Secondly, no PAINFUL
experiment is justifiable for the mere purpose of illustrating a law
or fact already demonstrated.  Thirdly, whenever for the investigation
of new truth, it is necessary to make a painful experiment, every
effort should be made to insure success, in order that the suffering
inflicted may not be wasted.  For the question of cruelty depends not
on the amount of suffering, but on its relation to the good to be
attained by it."[1]

[1] Medical Times and Gazette, February 25, 1871.

The lecturer contended that no experiment should be performed by an
unskilled person with insufficient instruments, and argued, therefore,
in favour of the establishment of Physiological Laboratories, equipped
with all modern devices and instruments for vivisection.

Some of his demonstrations were doubtless unproductive of pain, but in
view of the fact that in other experiments no anaesthetic was
employed, it may be questioned whether his second "rule" was always
very strictly observed.  In one lecture he referred to his
demonstration "as the first time that we have applied electrical
stimulus to a nerve," and explains that when the experiment is made on
an animal paralyzed with curare, the effect is more complicated when a
sensory nerve is irritated, since then "the arteries all over the body
contract, because the brain is in action."[1] No plainer confession of
the existence of sensibility could be made, yet for obvious reasons
the lecturer carefully avoids admitting the presence of pain.  During
the following year there appeared articles describing "the teaching of
practical physiology in the London schools." At King's College in
London, for example, demonstrations were made by the lecturer, but
"experiments on animals are never given to the ordinary student to do;
Professor Rutherford's experience on this point is that such attempts
result only in total failure."[2] On the other hand, at University
College, the Continental method of teaching was to be found. "Student
perform experiments on animals.  Frogs, curarized or chloroformed, are
given them, and the experiment which has been fully explained and
demonstrated by the professor, is performed by them as far as
practicable."[3] Here, then, we find introduced into England (and
perhaps there existing in secret for some time before), that
vivisection of animals in illustration of well-known facts, which, but
a few years earlier, every leading medical journal of Great Britain
had so emphatically reprobated and denounced.

[1] Medical Times and Gazette, June 17, 1871.
[2] Ibid., July 20, 1872.
[3] Medical Times and Gazette, July 27, 1872.

The Continental school of English physiologists seemed confident of
victory.  But the leading exponents of English ideals in medicine were
not inclined to surrender at once; now and then we find them
vigorously maintaining their ground, and disposed to contrast the
science gained in the laboratory with that gathered by experience and
fortified by reflection.  Some extracts from a leading editorial in
the Medical Times and Gazette are extremely suggestive of the conflict
of opinions:

"The relation of physiology to practical medicine is a subject which
has been brought prominently into notice by the address of Dr. Burdon
Sanderson ... at the recent meeting of the British Association.  That
address may be considered as the first authoritative and public
announcement made in this country that IT IS THE AIM AND INTENTION OF
THE PHYSIOLOGICAL SCHOOL OF THOUGHT and work to separate themselves
more and more from the school of practical medicine; no longer to
consider themselves auxiliary to it except as other sciences--for
instance, chemistry and botany--may be considered auxiliary to it, but
to win a place in the public estimation for their science as one which
shall be cultivated FOR ITS OWN SAKE...

"The teaching of experience is more reliable than physiological
theories and opinions.... The history of the advance of the cure of
disease is in the history of empiricism, in the best sense of that
much-abused word.  The history of retrogression in the art of curing
disease is that of the so-called Physiological Schools of
Medicine... Physiological theory, based on experiments on dogs, wishes
us to believe that mercury does not excite a flow of bile; but here
the common sense of the Profession, educated by experience, has
refused to be led by physiological theory.... Modern physiological
science has taught us little more than the necessity of pure air,
water, and food, good clothing and shelter, moderation in eating and
drinking, and regulation of the passions--things, in fact, which are
as old as the Pentateuch.  We may safely assert that all the
experiments made on luckless animals since the time of Magendie to the
present, in France, America, Germany, and England, have not prolonged
one tithe of human life, or diminished one tithe of the human
suffering that have been prolonged and diminished by the discovery and
use of Jesuits' bark and cod-liver oil."[1]

[1] Medical Times and Gazette (Editorial), September 7, 1872.

Early the next year (1873) was published the "Handbook of the
Physiological Laboratory," compiled by leading men of the
physiological party, among whom were Professors Sanderson, Foster, and
Klein.  Describing the method of performing various experiments upon
animals, it included a particular account of some of the most
excruciatingly painful of the vivisections practised abroad.  So
atrocious was one of the experiments thus described in this handbook
for students that Professor Michael Foster, who wrote the description,
afterward confessed that he had never seen or performed the experiment
himself, partly "from horror of the pain." Reviewing the work, a
medical journal justly declared that "the publication of this book
marks an era in the history of physiology in England.... It shows THE
OF SCIENCE."[1] A professor of physiology, Dr. Gamgee, about the same
time, refers to the physiological laboratories of Edinburgh,
Cambridge, and London, and the part they sustained "in what I may call
the Revival of the study of experimental physiology in England."[2]

[1] Medical Times and Gazette, London, March 29, 1873.
[2] Ibid., October 18, 1873.

Emboldened by continuing success, the advocates of Continental
vivisection in England determined to advance yet another step.  The
annual meeting of the British Medical Association for 1874 was to be
held that year in August in the city of Norwich.  A French vivisector,
Dr. Magnan, was invited to be present, and to perform in the presence
of English medical men certain experiments upon dogs.  On this
occasion, however, the public demonstration of French methods of
vivisection did not pass without protest; there was a scene; some of
the physicians present--among them Dr. Tufnell, the President of the
Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, and Dr. Haughton of the medical
school in Dublin, denounced the experiments at the time they were made
as unjustifiably cruel.  Public attention was beginning to be aroused;
it was decided to test the question, whether such exhibitions were
protected by English law, and a prosecution was instituted against
some who had assisted in performing the experiments.  Dr. Tufnell
appeared to testify in regard to the cruelty of the exhibition, and
Sir William Fergusson, surgeon to the Queen, who had only just retired
from the presidency of the British Medical Association, not only
stigmatized one of the experiments as "an act of cruelty," but
declared that "such experiments would not be of the smallest possible
benefit."[1] The magistrates decided that while the case was a very
proper one to prosecute, yet the gentlemen named as defendants were
not sufficiently proven to have taken part in the experiment.  The
decision was not unjust; the real offender was safe in his native

[1] British Medical Journal, December 12, 1874.

It is not my purpose to trace the course of the English agitation
against vivisection, except as it may be seen in the medical
literature of the time; but one cannot refer to this period without
mention of the name of Frances Power Cobbe.  In 1863, while in Italy,
she had protested, and not in vain, against the cruelties of Professor
Schiff in Florence.  Taking up the question again in 1874, she devoted
the remainder of her life to the advancement of her ideals of reform.
It was to her zeal that in 1875 was founded the "Society for the
Protection of Animals liable to Vivisection." At this period, then,
three phases of opinion opposed one another; first, the
antivivisectionists, who desired the total suppression by law of all
animal experimentation; second, the physiological enthusiasts, few in
number, but favourable to the introduction of the Continental
irresponsibility, and eager to free vivisection from every semblance
of restraint; and, thirdly, the great body of Englishmen and of the
medical profession, whose views we have seen reflected in medical
journals of the day.  The popular attack upon all animal
experimentation became so pressing that for a time the entire medical
profession seemed to unite in its defence; and editorial space once
filled with denunciation of vivisection in France was now given over
to criticism of the antivivisectionists of England.  Yet, even at this
period, there appeared no repudiation of those humane principles, so
long professed by English medical men.  One leading journal, the
Medical Times and Gazette, thus suggests that very oversight of
vivisection which we are told is impossible:

"Just as the law demands that a teacher of anatomy should take out a
licence, and be responsible for the bodies entrusted to him, so a
teacher of physiology might be required to take out some such licence
as regards the teaching of practical physiology.  We have never been
of those who advocate the wholesale performance of experiments by
students, especially on the higher animals, if they are of such a kind
as to require any degree of skill for their performance.  When the
medical public seemed bitten with what was called `practical
physiology,' many were ready to advocate the performance of all kinds
of experiments on living animals by uninstructed students.  Against
this notion we were first to protest, as being at once cruel and worse
than useless; for an experiment performed by bungling fingers is no
experiment at all, but wanton cruelty."

After explaining his position in favour of scientific research, the
editor refers to a recent discussion on vivisection in London:

"Dr. Walker declared that his desire was not to stop scientific
research, but the abuses which were connected with it.  In the first
place, he would not allow vivisection to be practised by incompetent
students.  This was nothing but wanton and unrighteous cruelty.
FROM COMPETENT AUTHORITY.  Another abuse related to operations
performed merely to demonstrate physiological phenomena already
verified and established.  Again, the number of animals vivisected was
shamefully high.  Persons unacquainted with physiological laboratories
could form no idea of the lavish way in which animals were made to
suffer days and weeks of anguish and acute pain.  If the people knew
of these sufferings, they would insist that the number of animals
annually vivisected should be limited, and that no animal rearing its
young should be experimented upon.  Nor should it be allowable to
operate on an animal more than once.... Lastly, every licensed
vivisector should be obliged to send in an annual return, showing the
number of vivisections performed, and the scientific results attained,
which would prevent repeated operations with the same object.  Nothing
in any of these proposals, urged Dr. Walker, would interfere with the
progress of science; they would simply stop the abuses which

[1] Medical Times and Gazette (Editorial), June 27, 1874.

In January, 1875, we find the London Lancet also suggesting legal
supervision and restriction:

"We are utterly opposed to all repetition of experiments for the
purpose of demonstrating established doctrines.... We believe an
attempt might be made to institute something in the way of regulation
effectually guard against their being undertaken by any but skilled
persons, for adequate scientific objects."[2]

[2] The London Lancet (Editorial), January 2, 1875.

A month later the Lancet devotes its leading editorial to a discussion
of the ethics of vivisection.  After criticizing the position taken
by the antivivisectionists, the writer says:

"On the other side, the discussion has been conducted as if it
concerned physiologists alone, who were to be a law unto themselves,
and each to do what might seem right in his own eyes; that the matter
was one into which outsiders had no right whatever to intrude; in
fact, that `WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT,' and so unquestionably right as to
stand in no need of investigation or restriction.  We have, from the
first, striven to take a middle course, not because it was safe, but
because it seemed to us the sound and true one.  Without disguising
the difficulties, we have nevertheless expressed our conviction that
the subject was one about which it was impossible not to feel a sense
of responsibility, and a desire to ascertain whether the line between
necessary and unnecessary could be defined; and whether any attempt
could be made to institute something in the way of regulation,
supervision, or restriction, so as to secure that, while the ends of
science were not defeated, the broad principles of Humanity and duty to
the lower animals were observed.  Animals have their rights every bit
as much as man has his...."

Admitting the probable necessity of some repetition of experiments in
research, the writer continues:

"It is for the purposes of instruction, however, that it becomes
questionable whether and to what extent experiments of this kind
should be performed.  A chemical lecturer teaches well, in proportion
to the clearness with which he can demonstrate the correctness of his
statements by experiment, and there is no doubt it is the same with a
Lecturer on Physiology.  Some persons seem to regard the advance of
knowledge as the whole duty of man, and they would perhaps consider
experimentation as justifiable in the one case as in the other.  We
cannot so regard it, for the simple and sufficient reason (as it seems
to us) that the element of Life and Sensibility being present in the
one case and not in the other, carries a responsibility with it.  We
contend that in any case where certain phenomena are known to follow a
given experiment, when the fact has been established by the separate
and independent observation of many different persons, a lecturer is
not justified in resorting to it FOR THE PURPOSE OF MERE DEMONSTRATION

[1] The London Lancet, February 6, 1875.

It is an instructive and interesting fact that one of the first steps
toward the legal regulation of vivisection in England was taken by
scientific men.  The Lancet of May 8, 1875, contains the following

"Some eminent naturalists and physiologists, including Mr. Charles
Darwin, Professor Huxley, Dr. Sharpey, and others, have been in
communication with Members of both Houses of Parliament to arrange
terms of a Bill which would prevent any unnecessary cruelty or abuse
in experiments made on living animals for purposes of scientific
discovery.  It is understood that these negotiations have been
successful, and that the Bill is likely to be taken charge of by Lord
Cardwell in the House of Lords, and by Dr. Lyon Playfair in the House
of Commons."

A week later, the Lancet gives an outline of the proposed Act:

"The Bill introduced by Dr. Lyon Playfair, Mr. Spencer Walpole, and
Mr. Evelyn Ashley, `To Prevent Abuse and Cruelty in Experiments on
Animals, made for the Purpose of Scientific Discovery,' has been
printed.  It proposes to enact that painful experiments on living
animals for scientific purposes shall be permissible on the following

"`That the animal shall first have been made insensible by the
administration of anaesthetics or otherwise, during the whole course
of such experiment; and that if the nature of the experiment be such
as to seriously injure the animal, so as to cause it after-suffering,
the animal shall be killed immediately on the termination of the

"`Experiments without the use of anaesthetics are also to be
permissible provided the following conditions are complied with: That
the experiment is made for the purpose of new scientific discovery and
for no other purpose; and that insensibility cannot be produced
without necessarily frustrating the object of the experiment; and that
the animal should not be subject to any pain which is not necessary
for the purpose of the experiment; and that the experiment be brought
to an end as soon as practicable; and that if the nature of the
experiment be such as to seriously injure the animal so as to cause it
after-suffering, the animal shall be killed immediately on the
termination of the experiment.

"`That a register of all experiments made without the use of
anaesthetics shall be duly kept, and be returned in such form and at
such times as one of Her Majesty's principal Secretaries of State may

"`The Secretary of State is to be empowered to grant licences to
persons provided with certificates signed by at least one of the
following persons: the President of the Royal Society, the President
of the Royal College of Surgeons or of the College of Physicians in
London, Edinburgh, or Dublin; and also by a recognized Professor of
Physiology, Medicine, or Anatomy.'"[1]

[1] Lancet, May 15, 1875.

The Bill, though introduced in Parliament, was not pressed.  Another
and more stringent measure for the regulation of vivisection had been
introduced a few days earlier through the efforts of Miss Frances
Power Cobbe and the Earl of Shaftesbury.  In the conflict of opposing
statements and opinions, the Government wisely concluded that more
light on the subject was necessary, and a Royal Commission was
appointed to investigate and report.

But if the Continental party was to conquer in England, its members
undoubtedly felt that it must be through audacity quite as much by
silence and secrecy.  At the annual meeting of the British Medical
Association, therefore, Professor William Rutherford delivered an
address, wherein for the second time an English physiologist openly
advocated the vivisection of animals as a method of teaching well-
known facts.  Commenting upon this address, the editor of the Lancet

"We confess that we think Dr. Rutherford presses his principle too far
when he argues that, teaching by demonstration being the most
successful method, we are thereby always warranted in having recourse
to it.  Physiology and chemistry are both experimental sciences.  The
chemical lecturer can have no hesitation in employing any number of
experiments, or repeating them indefinitely to illustrate every step
he takes; but we may fairly assume that the physiologist would be
restrained by the thought that the materials with which he has to deal
are not so much inert, lifeless matter, but sentient, living things.
We hold, therefore, that it would be both unnecessary and cruel to
demonstrate every physiological truth by experiment, or to repeat
indefinitely the same experiment, simply because by such
demonstrations the lecturer could make his teaching more definite,
precise, and valuable."[1]

[1] The London Lancet, (Editorial) August 21, 1875.

Again, somewhat later the same journal brings into prominence one of
the greatest difficulties attending all discussion of vivisection--the
lack of agreement upon the meaning of words:

"It is extremely difficult to get at the exact meaning of the terms
used.  The physiologist would be ready to declare his utter abhorrence
WORD.  We hope Sir William Thompson was not justified in stating that
revolting cruelties are sometimes practised in this country, in the
name of vivisection, although we may concur with him in reprehending
the performance of experiments on animals in illustration of truths
already ascertained.... When the Cardinal (Manning) laid it down as
the expression of a great moral obligation that we had no right to
inflict NEEDLESS pain, he begged the whole question.  By all means lay
down and enforce any restriction that will prevent the infliction of
NEEDLESS pain."[1]

[1] The London Lancet (Editorial), March 25, 1876.

We see how valueless, therefore, is the assertion so frequently made
in this country that "no NEEDLESS pain is ever inflicted." The
physiologist has his own interpretation of the word.

The testimony given before the Royal Commission was of utmost value.
Leading members of the medical profession, such as Sir Thomas Watson,
physician to the Queen, and Sir William Fergusson, surgeon to the
Queen, gave evidence against the unrestricted practice of animal
experimentation.  Physiologists after the Continental school stated
their side of the controversy, usually with significant caution; but
one of them, Dr. Emanuel Klein, with an honest frankness of confession
that astounded his friends, made himself for ever famous in the
history of the vivisection controversy.  It is hardly accurate to say
that no cruelty was uncovered by the Royal Commission.  Everything
depends on the meaning of words, but the evidence of one of the most
noted of English physiologists as to his own personal practices in
vivisection was quite sufficient to justify the legislation that
ensued.  How seriously this evidence was regarded at the time is
clearly shown in an extract from a confidential letter of Professor
Huxley to Mr. Darwin, dated October 30, 1875:

"This Commission is playing the deuce with me.  I have felt it my duty
to act as counsel for Science, and was well satisfied with the way
things are going.  But on Thursday, when I was absent, --- was
examined; and if what I hear is a correct account of the evidence he
gave, I might as well throw up my brief.  I am told he openly
professed the most entire indifference to animal suffering, and he
only gave anaesthetics to keep the animals quiet!

"I declare to you, I did not believe the man lived who was such an
unmitigated, cynical brute as to profess and act upon such principles,
and I would willingly agree to any law that would send him to the

"The impression his evidence made on Cardwell and Foster is profound,
and I am powerless (even if I desire, which I have not) to combat

[1] Huxley's "Life and Letters," vol i., p. 473.  This
characterization seems by no means fair, and probably it would have
been so regarded by the writer in calmer moments.  Is indignation
chiefly directed to the "indifference to animal suffering," or to the
"OPEN PROFESSION" of the feeling? For men, perfectly familiar with
Continental indifference, to condemn with holy horror a young
physiologist because he "openly professes" the generally prevalent
sentiment of his class, is very suggestive.

The result of the Commission's report was the introduction by the
Government of a Bill placing animal experimentation in Greta Britain
under legal supervision and control.  As first drawn up, it appears to
have been regarded by the medical profession as unduly stringent and
unfair.  Protests were made, amendments of certain of its provisions
were requested, concessions were granted, and at the close of the
Parliamentary session, August 15, 1876, the practice of vivisection,
like the study of human anatomy by dissection, came under the
supervision of English law.

It is curious to observe how those who had vehemently opposed the Act
were able to approve it when once the law was in operation, and
criticism could no longer serve any purpose of delay.  The British
Medical Journal of August 19, 1876, announcing to its readers the
passage of the Bill, says:

"Taking the measure altogether, we think the profession may be
congratulated on its having passed.... So far, the Act facilitates the
prosecution of science by competent persons, while it protects animals
from the cruelty which might be inflicted by ignorant and unskilful

The Medical Times and Gazette also regained its equanimity, and an
editorial referring to the Act admits that "the profession may regard
it without much dissatisfaction."[1] There are even advantages to be

"It gives scientific inquirers the protection of the law; it protects
animals from cruelties which might be inflicted by unscientific and
unskilled persons, and it satisfies to a great extent a demand made by
a hypersensitive ... portion of the public."

[1] December 30, 1876.

Nor did further experience with the working of the Act appear greatly
to disturb this favourable impression.  For instance, after the law
had been in operation nearly three years, the London Lancet in its
issue of July 19, 1879, editorially remarked:

"There is no reason to regret the Act of 1876 which limits vivisection,
except on the ground that it places the interests of science at the
arbitration of a lay authority.... MEANWHILE, THE ACT WORKS WELL, AND

There can be no doubt, however, that the law has always been regarded
with marked disfavour by the extreme vivisectionists of Great
Britain.  They had planned, as we can see, to introduce in the United
Kingdom the freedom of vivisection which obtained on the Continent.
They had failed, and instead of liberty to imitate Be'rnard, Magendie,
and Brown-Se'quard, they saw between them and the absolute power they
had craved and dreamed of obtaining, the majesty of English law.
Among American representatives of the same school--the strenuous
opponents of all legal supervision--it has been the fashion on every
possible occasion to cast discredit upon this Act.  For obvious
reasons they have sought to represent it to the American public as
having proven a serious detriment to medical science and an
obstruction to medical advancement.  The idea is absurd.  English
physicians and surgeons are as well educated and equipped in every
respect as are the graduates of American schools.  The complete
refutation of all such misstatements regarding the effect of the
English law will be found elsewhere.  The Act is far from being an
ideal law--it is capable of amendment in many respects--but it is an
evidence of the acceptance by the English people of the principle of
State regulation, and of their wish that between the will of the
vivisector and the irresponsible and unlimited torment of the victim,
there hall be some power capable, if it so desires, of making
effective intervention.

                        CHAPTER IX


Among the critics of unlimited vivisection one American name of the
present century stands pre-eminently above all others, not only for
emphasis of denunciation, for vigour of condemnation, for clear
distinctions between right and wrong, but also for the distinguished
position which the writer held.  Forty years ago in the medical
profession of the United States no name stood higher than that of
Dr. Henry J. Bigelow, the professor of surgery in Harvard University.
To estimate the value of his criticism it is necessary to outline his

He was born in Boston, March 11, 1818, his father being Dr. Jacob
Bigelow, one of the leading physicians of his day.  After completing
his medical education in America, young Bigelow went abroad, and spent
nearly three years studying in the great hospitals of Paris.  It was
at a period when the cruel vivisections of Magendie and his
contemporaries had become the scandal of civilization, and there can
be no doubt that Dr. Bigelow witnessed every phase of vivisection that
his sensibilities permitted him to observe.

Returning to Boston in 1844, the young surgeon rapidly attained a
prominent position.  In January, 1846, before he had completed his
twenty-eighth year, he was appointed visiting surgeon of the
Massachusetts General Hospital.  Here on November 7, 1846, there
occurred one of the greatest historic events--the first surgical
operation in which insensibility to pain was secured by the inhalation
of ether.  Dr. Bigelow's enthusiasm for the new discovery was very
great, and it has been said that to him "the world was indebted for
the introduction of anaesthesia in surgery at the exact time in which
it occurred."

Dr. Bigelow was surgeon to the Massachusetts General Hospital from
1846 to 1886--a period of forty years.  He was professor of surgery in
Harvard University from 1849 to 1882, or a third of a century.  When
he resigned the latter position, President Eliot in his annual report
referred to him as "a discoverer and inventor of world-wide
reputation, a brilliant surgical operator, a natural leader of men."
The faculty of Harvard Medical School also spoke of him as one "who
had done so much to render this school conspicuous and to make
American surgery illustrious throughout the world." This is high
praise.  Let it be remembered in reading his opinions concerning

An abhorrence of pain was a marked trait in Dr. Bigelow's character.
Even to the infliction of necessary suffering he had an extreme
dislike.  His gentleness to animals was akin to his tenderness for
children.  He had a great respect for their intelligence, their
affection, their confidence in mankind.  Toward the close of life he
had among his pets a number of the little animals most closely related
to human beings, and therefore the most-prized "material" of the
vivisector.  But such was Dr. Bigelow's sympathy with his little
friends that he disliked to take visitors into their presence, and
when he did, always cautioned them to assume a smiling face.  He was
unwilling to give his pets even the mental suffering of anxiety or

He died October 30, 1890, at the ripe age of seventy-two.  It was
Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, himself illustrious in science and in
literature, who referred to the name of Dr. Henry J. Bigelow as "one
of the brightest in the annals of American surgery, not to claim for

Such a tribute was well deserved.  His was the most eminent name in
the annals of American surgery.  It was from this man, occupying such
a position in the medical profession, that we have one of the
strongest protests, one of the clearest, most discriminating, and
emphatic criticisms of unregulated and unrestricted vivisection that
the world has known.  It is particularly valuable, because Dr. Bigelow
was never an antivivisectionist, if by that term we mean one who is
opposed to all experiments upon animals.  But there are things done in
the name of Science which he utterly repudiated and condemned as
cruelty, and against which he made a protest that should never be
forgotten until the evil shall be condemned by the universal judgment
of mankind.

It is probable that Dr. Bigelow's first protest against the abuses of
vivisection was in course of an address delivered before the
Massachusetts Medical Society in 1871.  It is not difficult, perhaps,
to detect the reason for its utterance.  Dr. H. P. Bowditch, for very
many years afterward the professor of physiology in Harvard Medical
School, graduated in 1868 from that institution, and went abroad to
study physiology in Europe.  There he remained about three years, and
on his return in 1871 he was given the opportunity of introducing
laboratory methods and all the newer processes of experimentation into
Harvard Medical School.  Now, the address from which the following
extracts are taken was delivered on May 7, 1871.  Perhaps the
inference is not an unreasonable one that Dr. Bigelow was here
protesting, and protesting in vain, against the introduction in
America of those methods of vivisection which he always regarded with
abhorrence and detestation.

In this address he says:

"The teacher of the art of healing has no more right to employ the
time of the ignorant student disproportionately in the pleasant and
seductive paths of laboratory experimentation--because some of these
may one day lead to pathology or therapeutics--than a guardian has to
invest the money of his ward in stocks or securities of equally
uncertain prospective value to him.

"How few facts of immediate considerable value to our race have of
late years been extorted from the dreadful sufferings of dumb animals,
the cold-blooded cruelties now more and more practised under the
authority of science!

"The horrors of vivisection have supplanted the solemnity, the
thrilling fascination of the old unetherized operation upon the human
sufferer.  Their recorded phenomena, stored away by the physiological
inquisitor on dusty shelves, are mostly of as little present value to
man as the knowledge of a new comet or of a tungstate of zirconium,
perhaps to be confuted the next year, perhaps to remain a fixed truth

"For every inch cut by one of these experimenters in the quivering
tissues of the helpless dog or rabbit or guinea-pig, let him insert a
lancet one-eighth of an inch into his own skin, and for every inch
more he cuts let him advance the lancet another one-eight of an inch;
and whenever he seizes, with ragged forceps, a nerve or spinal marrow,
the seat of all that is concentrated and exquisite in agony, or
literally tears out nerves by their roots, let him cut only one-eight
of an inch farther--and he may have some faint suggestion of the
atrocity he is perpetrating when the guinea-pig shrieks, the poor dog
yells, the noble horse groans and strains--the heartless vivisector
perhaps resenting the struggle which annoys him.

"My heart sickens as I recall the spectacle at Alfort in former times,
of a wretched horse--one of many hundreds, broken with age and disease
resulting from life-long and honest devotion to man's service--bound
upon the floor, his skin scored with a knife like a gridiron, his eyes
and ears cut out, his arteries laid bare, his nerves exposed and
pinched and severed, his hoofs pared to the quick, and every
conceivable and fiendish torture inflicted upon him, while he groaned
and gasped, his life carefully preserved under this continued and
hellish torment from early morning until afternoon, for the purpose,
as was avowed, of familiarizing the pupil with the frenzied motions of
the animal.  This was surgical vivisection on a little larger scale,
I have heard it said that somebody must do it.  I say it is needless.
BLOOD AND SUFFERING, not the science, that rivet their breathless
attention.  If hospital service makes young students less tender of
suffering, vivisection deadens their humanity, and begets indifference
to it."

Let us pause for a moment.  These are words of great import.  They are
as true to-day as when first uttered.  Who was the speaker? The most
eminent surgeon in America in his day.  He was professor of surgery in
Harvard University, and the leading member of its faculty.  He was the
surgeon of the Massachusetts General Hospital.  He had seen the first
surgical operation under complete anaesthesia that the world had
known.  Learned societies in Paris, in London, in other countries of
Europe, were proud to number him among their members.  He had reached
the age of assured eminence, where all fear of opposing influences
that might disastrously affect the medical career of a younger man,
had no weight.  Surely, if any living man can speak with authority, he
speaks now.

And before whom does he speak? He is not addressing a general
audience.  It is a meeting of the Massachusetts Medical Society, an
association of the physicians and surgeons of that Commonwealth.  Some
of them had also seen vivisection as practised in Paris and Leipsic.
Here was a man at the head of their profession protesting against the
introduction of the vivisection laboratory system in his own country.

He insists over and over again that we cannot tell the degree of agony
inflicted by experiments upon the nervous system, nor measure its

"Who can say whether a guinea-pig, the pinching of whose carefully
sensitized neck throws him into convulsions, attains this blessed
momentary respite of insensibility by an unexplained special machinery
ANIMAL ENDURANCE? Better that I or my friend should die than protract
existence through accumulated years of torture upon animals whose
exquisite suffering we cannot fail to infer, even though they may have
neither voice nor feature to express it."

It is not the fact of suffering, but the useless waste of suffering
that chiefly repels him:

"If a skilfully constructed hypothesis could be elaborated up to the
point of experimental test by the most accomplished and successful
philosopher, and if then a single experiment, though cruel, would
forever settle it, we might reluctantly admit that it was justified.
But the instincts of our common humanity indignantly remonstrate
against the testing of clumsy or unimportant hypotheses by prodigal
ENLARGE A MEDICAL SCHOOL, or for the entertainment of students--not
one in fifty of whom can turn it to any profitable account.  The limit
of such physiological experiment, in its utmost latitude, should be to
establish truth in the hands of a skilful experimenter, and not to
demonstrate it to ignorant classes and encourage them to repeat it."

One cannot but remark the clear distinction of views which these words
indicate.  No antivivisectionist would accept the suggestion of a
single experiment.  Dr. Bigelow is speaking as a restrictionist
against the free and unlimited vivisection which he rightly foresaw
was about to be introduced into this country, and which has become the
practice of the present day.  He realizes that if once the laboratory
system gains a foothold in his own college, the system will spread
throughout America:

"The reaction which follows every excess will in time bear indignantly
upon this.  Until then it is dreadful to think how many poor animals
will be subjected to excruciating agony as one medical college after
another becomes penetrated with the idea that vivisection is a part of
modern teaching, and that, to hold way with other institutions, they,
too, must have their vivisector, their mutilated dogs, their guinea-
pigs, their rabbits, their chamber of torture and of horrors, to
advertise as a laboratory."

Nor this the only expression of Dr. Bigelow's opinions.  In his work
on "Surgical Anaesthesia," he left on record an even stronger
condemnation of the abuses of vivisection and the cruelties which
pertain to it.  As he quotes from Stanley's "In Darkest Africa," which
was published in 1890, it is evident that it represents his mature and
settled judgment, down to the very close of his long and distinguished
career.  In this work he says:

"There can be no question that the discussion of vivisection arouses
antagonistic human instincts.  It is no common subject which enlists
such earnest and opposite opinions.  That there is something wrong
about it is evident from the way in which the reputation of inflicting
its torture is disclaimed.  That for some reason it is a fascinating
pursuit is equally evident from the bitter contest made for the right
to practise it.

"There is little in the literature of what is called the `horrors of
vivisection' which is not well grounded on truth.  For a description
of the pain inflicted, I refer to that literature, only reiterating
that what it recounts is largely and simply fact, selected, it may be,
but rarely exaggerated.

"Vivisection is not an innocent study.  We may usefully popularize
chemistry and electricity, their teaching and their experimentation,
even if only as one way of cultivating human powers.  But not so with
painful vivisection.  We may not move as freely in this direction, for
there are distinct reasons against it.  It can be indiscriminately
pursued only by torturing animals; and the word `torture' is here
intentionally used to convey the idea of very severe pain--sometimes
the severest conceivable pain, of indefinite duration, often
terminating, fortunately for the animal, with its life, but as often
only after hours or days of refined infliction, continuously or at

It is here that Dr. Bigelow differs radically from the advocates of
free vivisection.  To them there appears no reason why the science of
physiology should not "move as freely" in experimentation as the
sciences pertaining to any other subject.  The closed laboratory
evinces the desire and intention to "move freely," without criticism
or restraint.

No physician in America of Dr. Bigelow's eminence has ever stated so
distinctly the fact of torment in vivisection, and the reasons for its

"A man about to be burned under a railroad car begs somebody to kill
him; the Hindoo suttee has been abolished for its inhumanity; and yet
it is a statement to be taken literally that a brief death by burning
would be considered a happy release by a human being undergoing the
experience of some of the animals who slowly die in a laboratory.
Scientific vivisection has all the engrossing fascination of other
HAS NO PARALLEL IN ANY OF THEM.  As to its extent, we read that in
course of ten years seventeen thousand dogs were dissected alive in
one laboratory."

Why, then, does not a universal protest arise against such infamous
cruelty? On this point Dr. Bigelow is very frank.  It is because of
the confidence which the general public places in the average
scientist.  Is he deserving of that implicit faith? Dr. Bigelow does
not think so.  He says:

"The difficulty is that the community, for want of time or opportunity
themselves to investigate the subject, ARE WILLING TO RELY UPON THE
DISCRETION OF SCIENTIFIC MEN.  This is an error....  A recent
distinguished writer, a good judge of men, makes the following
observation: `Who can say why the votaries of science, though
eminently kind in their social relations, are so angular of character?
In my analysis of the scientific nature, I am constrained to associate
with it (as compared with that of men who are more Christians than
strike me as being ... coolly indifferent to the warmer human

[1] Sir Henry M. Stanley, "In Darkest Africa."

"It should not for a moment be supposed that cultivation of the
intellect leads a man to shrink from inflicting pain.  Many educated
men are no more humane--are, in fact, far less so--than many
comparatively uneducated people.... The more eminent the
vivisectionist, the more indifferent he usually is to inflicting pain;
however cultivated his intellect, he is sometimes absolutely
indifferent to it....

"But in order to oppose vivisection to best advantage, and especially
lest he should place himself in a false position, the anti-
vivisectionist should bear clearly in mind that what he opposes is
PAINFUL vivisection only.  For there have been wholly painless
experiments upon living animals which have led to useful results.
Some of the greatest discoveries in medical science were made with no
pain whatever.... And yet they have been often and sophistically cited
by the vivisector as plausible arguments for inflicting both excessive
and useless pain.  The fact that a few able men have made discoveries
by certain painless experiments upon animals is used to justify the
demonstration of torture to medical students (to whom it is as
profitless as any medical information can be), and its practice by
them.  The discovery of anaesthesia has been time and again quoted in
favour of vivisection.  THIS IS SIMPLY PREPOSTEROUS.  In making that
discovery, the experiments from the beginning were painless, and were
therefore wholly unobjectionable--as I happen to know, having seen the
first of them.  The same is true of Jenner's vaccination, which was a
wholly painless discovery.  Little pain was involved in all that was
needed to discover the circulation of the blood, which was inferred
from the valvular construction of the veins, and then easily
substantiated.... The greatest prizes in the lottery of physiological
and pathological discovery have involved little or no pain.  But the
usual and staple work of a so-called `laboratory of vivisection,
physiology or pathology,' for the education and practice of medical
students in the unrestricted cutting of living animals, and for the
indiscriminate and endless repetition of experiments already tried,
where a live dog can be bought and its living nerves dissected, ... all
this is a very different affair.  A distinguished vivisector once
remarked: `To us, pain is nothing.' When it is remembered that this
pain may be, and sometimes intentionally is, of the most excruciating
nature possible for human science to invent, and that in a large
majority of instances it is to little or no purpose, the remark of
this vivisector covers the objectionable ground."

In view of the foregoing quotations, it would appear almost impossible
for Dr. Bigelow's position to be misrepresented or misunderstood.  He
cannot be regarded as an antivivisectionist, for he repeatedly states
that to painless experiments upon animals no objection exists.  But of
the reality of the torment, and of the blunted sensibility of the
professional tormenter, he seems to have no doubt.  How may reform be
promoted? By legal supervision and regulation.  A few further extracts
from Dr. Bigelow's writings will bring these points into prominence:

"There can be no question that the practice of vivisection HARDENS THE
SENSIBILITY OF THE OPERATOR, and begets indifference to the infliction
of pain, as well as great carelessness in judging of its severity.

"Indeed, vivisection will always be the better for vigilant
supervision, and for whatever outside pressure can be brought to bear
against it.  Such pressure will never be too great, nor will it retard
progress a hair's-breadth in the hands of that very limited class who
are likely materially to advance knowledge by its practice.

"The ground for public supervision is that vivisection, immeasurably
beyond any other pursuit, involves the infliction of torture to little
or no purpose.  Motive apart, painful vivisection differs from that
usual cruelty of which the law takes absolute cognizance mainly in
being practised by an educated class, who having once become callous
to its objectionable features, find its pursuit an interesting
occupation under the name of science.  In short, though vivisection,
like slavery, may embrace within its practice what is unobjectionable,
what is useful, what is humane, and even what is commendable, it may
also cover what is nothing less than hideous.  I use this word in no
sensational sense, and appeal to those who are familiar with some of
the work in laboratories and out of them to endorse it as appropriate
in this connection....

"`But burning was useless, while vivisection is profitable.' Here we
reach the kernel of the argument of the pain-inflicting vivisector.
The reply is that by far the larger part of vivisection is as useless
as was an auto da fe'.  It does not lead to discovery.  The character
of the minds of most of those who usually practise it makes this
hardly a possibility.  Real discoverers are of a different texture of
mind, which you cannot create by schools; nor can you retard their
progress by restrictions, put on all you may.  But restrictions will
OF THE DISCOVERER, actuated by a dozen different motives, from a
desire for research down to the wish to gratify a teacher or to comply
with a school requisition."

How carefully and how clearly the writer has phrased his distinctions
between what in vivisection is right and wrong! In all the literature
of advocacy for free and unrestricted vivisection can we find anything
resembling it? Certainly, I know no writer favourable to unlimited
experimentation who has been equally fair.  One surgical
vivisectionist is fond of dividing the class interested in discussion
of vivisection as "Friends of Research," and "Foes of Research,"
ascribing to the first all the virtues of good sense, and to the
latter all the folly that belongs to ignorance.  In which class, we
may well wonder, would he place the first American surgeon of his time
because he objected only to cruelty and abuse?

To Dr. Bigelow the legal supervision of the laboratory seemed the one
practical method by which cruelty might be somewhat restrained,
because in this way he believed the public would obtain some knowledge
of the practice which is now withheld.  He says:

"In order that painful vivisection may be as nearly as possible
suppressed, not only by public opinion, but by law, IT IS ESSENTIAL
MAY BE.  Here lies the work of the antivivisectionist.  Further, every
laboratory ought to be open to some supervising legal authority
competent to determine that it is conducted from roof to cellar on the
humanest principles, in default of which it should be, as slavery has
been, uncompromisingly prohibited wherever law can accomplish this

Is the cruelty of unrestricted and unregulated vivisection a reality
or a myth? Of his own views on this question we can have no doubt.
He says:



"The law should interfere.  There can be no doubt that in this
relation there exists a case of cruelty to animals far transcending in
its refinement and in its horror anything that has been known in the
history of Nations.

"There will come a time when the world will look back to modern
vivisection in the name of Science, as they do now to burning at the
stake in the name of Religion."

Concerning vivisection, then, the views of one of the most eminent
surgeons that America has produced may be summed up as follows:

FIRST.  He is not favourable to antivivisection, but to restriction.
"There is no objection to vivisection except the physical pain."

SECOND.  The cruelties which pertain to certain vivisections and
vivisectors are not myth, but realities.  For a description of these
cruelties, Dr. Bigelow expressly refers to the literature of protest.

THIRD.  In defence of vivisection or of unrestricted experimentation,
he says that UNTRUTHFUL CLAIMS OF UTILITY have been made.

FOURTH.  The reasons for inflicting prolonged torment upon animals are
wholly inadequate for its justification.

FIFTH.  Vivisection has a hardening tendency upon its practitioners.
The more eminent the vivisector, the more indifferent he may become to
the infliction of torment.

SIXTH.  There is ample reason for the interference of the law.  Every
laboratory should be legally supervised.  Public opinion should be
frequently informed concerning vivisection, its objects, and its

I have presented these opinions at length because they represent
exactly the position which I have personally maintained for over
thirty years.  And if the time shall come, foreseen by him, "when the
world will look back to modern vivisection in the name of Science, as
we now do to burning at the stake in the name of Religion," then,
surely, it will be remembered that the first strong voice in America
raised, not in condemnation of all experimentation upon animals, but
solely in protest against its cruelty and secrecy, and in appeal for
its reform, was that of the leading American surgeon of his time,
Professor Henry J. Bigelow of Harvard University.

                        CHAPTER X


In the year 1906, a Royal Commission was appointed by King Edward to
investigate the practice of animal experimentation.  Thirty years had
passed since the appearance of the earlier inquiry, upon which was
based the English law regulating the practice of such experiments.  On
the one hand, it had been denounced as affording most inadequate
protection to animals liable to such exploitation; on the other hand,
in the United States it had been condemned as a hindrance to
scientific progress, and a warning against any similar legislation.  A
new Commission was therefore appointed to inquire into the practice,
to take evidence, and to report what changes, if any, in the existing
statute might seem advisable.

The composition of the new Commission leaned heavily toward the
laboratory.  It included no opponent to all vivisection.  On the other
hand, three of the Commissioners at one time or another had held a
licence to vivisect, and one of them seems to have held this
permission for some fourteen years.  The Commission also included
among its members the permanent Under-Secretary to the Government--an
official whose acts had again and again been arraigned, and were soon
to be challenged once more.  The unusual spectacle was therefore to be
presented of men sitting in judgment upon themselves.  One of the
Commissioners--Dr. George Wilson, well known for his work regarding
the public health--had at various times questioned the conclusions of
certain experimenters, but he was not opposed to all research upon
animal life.  From a Commission so constituted, we might have expected
as the final result of their labours a report favourable to the
interests of the laboratory, to marked modifications of the existing
law by a lessened stringency of inspection, to relaxation of
restrictions, and to an endorsement of every claim of utility which
the experimenters should put forth.

Such an outcome of the deliberations of the Royal Commission must have
seemed to American vivisectors almost a certainty.  During the past
twenty years, repeated attempts have been made in New York, in
Massachusetts, in Pennsylvania, and in the city of Washington, to
obtain some legislation regulating the practice of animal
experimentation to the extent which obtains in England.  At "hearings"
before various legislative and Senate Committees, all such attempts
have been vigorously combated by representatives and defenders of the
physiological laboratories, and their strongest argument has always
been the exceedingly detrimental effect of the English Act of 1876
both upon medical education and upon the progress of medical science.
Professor Bowditch once said:

"The amount of mischief which may be produced by the English law
depends very much on the good judgment of the Home Secretary.... In
general, it may be said that the system of licensing and Government
inspection is UNDER THE MOST FAVOURABLE CONDITIONS a source of serious
annoyance to investigation."

We shall have reason hereafter to see the inaccuracy of this
statement, so far as may be evinced by the opinions of English
physiologists and teachers.

Upon the secrecy now maintained in English laboratories, a vivid light
is thrown by the evidence given before the Commission.  Quite as
strong as in America have been the precautions taken in England to
prevent any knowledge of the methods of vivisection from coming before
the general public except through the assertions of the experimenters
themselves.  In America, where we have no legal limitations to
experimentation, such secrecy occasions no surprise; but that in
England the laboratory had secured so complete a degree of security
from criticism by concealment of that which we are told needs no
concealment gives reason for questionings.  One of the Government
inspectors--a Dr. Thane--insists that although a physiological
laboratory is open to the visits of medical students at any time, it
would hardly be possible to permit a similar privilege to physicians
not in sympathy with experimentation. "I see no way of doing it," he
declares.  He does not seem to be certain that one of the Royal
Commissioners before whom he was giving evidence could be admitted.
Dr. George Wilson asks him the question in regard to seeing the
various operations which are open to medical students. "I can go and
see them? I suppose I would have no difficulty?" Dr. Thane's reply was
by no means assuring. "I do not see how it could be done," he replied.
He could not see how one of the most distinguished physicians of
England could secure the legal right of admission to a physiological

Some of the evidence given regarding this point seems a little
suggestive of a willingness to mislead a thoughtless questioner.  Was
there any wish to give an impression that the secrecy of the
laboratory did not exist? One of the Government inspectors--Sir James
Russell--informed the Commissioners that HE never had any difficulty
in getting into laboratories. "I simply walk into them, and have
always found the doors open," as if that proved that there was nothing
to be concealed.  The professor of physiology at University College
was particularly examined on this point. "Would there be any
difficulty in a doctor who was very strongly opposed on all grounds to
experiments on animals presenting his card and being present?" "None
whatsoever," was the Professor's answer to his questioner, the
Chairman of the Commission. "I want to see," added Lord Selby, "what
sort of check there is upon the neglect of the statute; ... whether
any medical man who disagreed with the Act and disagreed with
vivisection altogether would be able to attend?" "In these advanced
lectures there is no means by which we can prevent him from
attending," was the instant reply. "In point of fact, are ANY steps
taken with a view of preventing it?" "None whatever," was the reply.
"There is NOTHING to prevent it?" persisted Lord Selby; and the reply
of the professor was reiterated: "There is nothing to prevent the
attendance of any medical man at these advanced lectures."

The distinguished jurist undoubtedly believed that by these repeated
interrogations he had reached a complete denial of the secrecy of
experimentation so far as the witness was concerned.

On the day following, the same professor of physiology continued his
evidence, and another member of the Commission--A. J. Ram, Esq.--"one
of our counsel learned in the law," took part in the examination. "One
hears a good deal in lay papers and so forth about experiments
conducted with closed doors.  IS THERE ANYTHING OF THAT SORT AT ALL?"
The very form of his inquiry would seem to indicate his disbelief in
the practice of secret vivisection.  His question, however, admitted
of two different replies.  The physiologist might assert the necessary
seclusion of physiological experimentation, or he might construe the
question in a literal sense as pertaining merely to the locking of his
inner door.  He preferred the latter course. "I have ever come across
a laboratory where there were any closed doors.  In my laboratory any
student wanting to speak to me walks straight in.  The door of my
laboratory, where I do the chief part of my work, IS ALWAYS OPEN TO

This is very clever.  The two leading lawyers of the Commission have
sought to get at the truth concerning the secrecy of vivisection, and
apparently are quite satisfied.  But some hours later another member
of the Commission, a plain Member of Parliament, without skill of
fence or experience in the examination of witnesses, asks a question
or two. "You have told us," said Mr. Tomkinson, "that any medical man,
on presenting his card, can obtain admission at once to a laboratory?"

Here was an inquiry that could be answered but in one way. "No,"
replied the physiologist; "to the advanced physiological lectures
which are given in the University of London." "NOT TO WITNESS ANY
OPERATION?" "No; only to witness the demonstrations that are given in
those lectures." "But might not the public be more satisfied if a
layman--a Member of Parliament, for example--had the right of entry on
presenting his card?" "Do you mean to the advanced lectures or to the
laboratory?" "I mean to an operation IN THE LABORATORY: say a Member
of Parliament or anyone whose position is assured?" "I should be only
too pleased to see any Member of Parliament or any layman who had any
doubt about it if he presented his card, but I SHOULD HAVE TO BE

It is a pity that no one thought to ask the physiologist how he
expected a Member of Parliament to prove his "good faith" before he
could enter precincts open to every student of the University.  Sir
William Church came to his assistance by suggesting that the professor
would admit anyone "vouched for" by a person whom you know, or whose
position you know; but the curt monosyllabic reply was not indicative
of a welcome, and it was quite different from the conditions which had
just been laid down.  The doors of the laboratory are "open," but only
to those in whose silence and discretion the vivisector may trust.

A considerable amount of testimony was devoted to the alleged
painfulness of vivisection.  It is the great problem.  If the absence
of sensation were a certainty in all operations of the kind, there
would be no reasonable objection to them, no matter to what extent
they might be carried.  The physiologists of the present day occupy a
somewhat different attitude from those of half a century ago, or of
yet later periods.  Thirty years ago, one of the leading experimenters
in England declared that he had "no regard at all" for the pain
inflicted upon a vivisected animal; that he never used anaesthetics
except when necessary for personal convenience; and that he had "no
time, so to speak, for thinking what the animal will suffer." We find
no such profession of indifference in the testimony of modern
physiologists.  What seems to take its place is, in many cases, a
denial of the existence of pain in the experimentation of the present
day.  Does anything here turn upon a definition of words? A professor
at King's College, London, giving his testimony, affirmed that "no
student in England has EVER SEEN PAIN in an animal experiment"--a
statement which in one sense everyone can accept, for who can say that
he ever SAW a pain anywhere? Professor Starling, of the University
College in London, declared that during his seventeen years of
experimentation "on no occasion HAVE I EVER SEEN PAIN inflicted in any
experiment on dog, cat, or rabbit in a physiological laboratory in
this country." The experimenter is undoubtedly correct.  Neither he
nor anyone else in or out of a laboratory has ever "SEEN PAIN."

Some of Dr. Starling's testimony on the subject of pain is very
curious.  Pain, he tells the Commissioners, "would spoil the
THEREBY A BAD EXPERIMENT." He is asked whether "there are any
operations performed under circumstances in which the animal is
necessarily and intentionally sensitive to some pain?" Without any
apparent hesitation he replied: "NO, NEVER." Surely this is a
remarkable assertion.  He is not speaking, so far as one can see, of
his own laboratory, but of all the laboratories of the world.  If,
since the discovery of anaesthesia over sixty years ago, there has
been painful physiological experimentation in England, in America, or
INFLICTED HAS SPOILED THEIR WORK.  One may not be inclined to dispute
this opinion, and yet be quite certain that some very eminent
vivisectors in Europe and America would question its accuracy so far
as their own work is concerned.

It is interesting to compare these assertions with the testimony given
by another physiologist--Dr. Pembrey, the lecturer on physiology at
Guy's Hospital in London.  He tells the Commission that "a common-
sense view should be taken of the question," and then makes a definite
admission that by no means bears out the contention of the
physiologist of University College. "I ADMIT," said Dr. Pembrey, "THAT
I HAVE DONE PAINFUL EXPERIMENTS, and I am not ashamed of admitting
it." He goes yet further, declaring that if you caused an animal to
suffer extreme agony, the pain itself might be so severe as to render
the creature unconscious.  It is probable that the physiologist could
not have foreseen the results of his candid admissions.  When the
Commission made their final report, they expressed unanimously the
opinion that "to grant a licence to any person holding such views as
those formerly expressed by Dr. Klein and as those entertained by
Dr. Pembrey is calculated to create serious misgiving in the mind of
the public."

Closely allied to this question is the problem of anaesthesia.  Fifty
years ago ether and chloroform were administered to animals very much
as they were given to human beings undergoing operations in surgery.
An animal returning to consciousness gave abundant evidence of its
sensibility to suffering by its struggles and cries.  The experimenter
might try to believe that the pain was slight, but he never disputed
its existence.  To-day, all this is changed.  As much or as little of
the anaesthetic may be given as the vivisector desires, and yet he may
declare that "ANAESTHETICS WERE USED," no matter how slight the degree
of sensibility thus induced.  It is a known fact that a dog is very
susceptible to the action of chloroform, so that during its
administration death frequently occurs.  Sir Thornley Stoker, the
President of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, and for many
years a teacher of science, testified before the Commission that a
dog's heart is very weak and irregular, and susceptible to the
poisonous influence of chloroform.  Over and over again he expresses
the doubts that arise concerning the administration of chloroform. "I
fear that, particularly in the case of dogs, ANAESTHESIA IS NOT ALWAYS
PUSHED TO A SUFFICIENT EXTENT, as these animals often die from the
effects of the anaesthetic if given to a full extent.... I am never
sure, if I give a dog chloroform, that I will not kill it.... THE
ANAESTHESIA CANNOT BE COMPLETE if the dog lives as long as is
necessary for some of these experiments." Even for one hour he
believes it would be generally impossible to keep a dog alive under
full anaesthesia.  On the other hand, Dr. Starling declared that
"there is no difficulty in keeping an animal alive as long as you
like,"  and Sir Victor Horsley affirmed that one could keep a dog
under chloroform "FOR A WEEK, if you only take the trouble."[1]

[1] See Minutes of Evidence, November 13, 1907, Q. 15,649.

The discrepancy here would seem insurmountable.  May it not be more in
appearance than in reality? One man tells me that arsenic is a poison,
very liable to cause death.  Another affirms that he has taken it for
days in succession, and has experienced no unpleasant results.  Both
statements can be true, for they need not refer to the same amount.
In the modern laboratory there is little danger that the animals will
succumb to the effects of anaesthetic.  Assuredly we may question the
completeness of that insensibility which Sir Victor Horsley apparently
declares may be maintained for a week.

The use of the substance known as CURARE, either alone or in
connection with anaesthetics or narcotics, was naturally a subject of
passing inquiry.  So slight is the knowledge afforded by certain
physiologists that it would almost seem that they were united in a
"conspiracy of silence" regarding it; in neither of the last two
editions of the "Encyclopaedia Britannica" is there more than a casual
reference to the poison, and no reference to its origin. "What is it?"
asked one of the Commissioners. "Is it an herb?" A brief account of
the poison, in view of an ignorance so widespread, is not out of

Curare is the arrow-poison of certain tribes of South American
Indians.  It was first brought to the knowledge of Europeans by Sir
Walter Raleigh on his return from a voyage to Guiana in 1595, over
three centuries ago.  Its actual composition, even at the present
time, is unknown; it is probable that different tribes of savages have
their special methods of preparing it.  Some travellers claim that it
consists only of a decoction of poisonous plants; others believe that
with such substances are mixed the fangs of snakes, and certain
species of poisonous ants, the whole compound being boiled down to the
consistency of tar.

The action of the poison thus made is exceedingly rapid.  Numerous
experiments by different observers have demonstrated that it swiftly
destroys the functions of the motor nerves of the body, leaving the
sensory nerves unaffected to any extent.  Claude Be'rnard, who made
many experiments with curare, came to the same conclusion; it
abolishes the power of motion, but has no effect upon the nerves of
sensation.  An American physiologist, Dr. Isaac Ott, tells us that it
is able to render animals immovable "by a paralysis of motor nerves
,LEAVING SENSORY NERVES INTACT." Be'rnard asserts as a result of
numerous experiments that in an animal poisoned with curare, "its
intelligence, sensibility and will-power are not affected, but they
lose the power of moving;" and that death, apparently so calm, "is
accompanied by sufferings the most atrocious that the human
imagination can conceive." Although it may seem to be a corpse without
movement, and with every appearance of death, "sensibility and
intelligence exist ... it hears and comprehends whatever goes on, and
feels whatever painful impressions we may inflict." It is only within
late years, and since the employment of curare has been denounced,
that anyone has suggested any doubt of these physiological

It has been found by physiologists that if the throat of a dog be
severed and the windpipe exposed and artificial respiration kept up,
all the functions of life may be greatly prolonged; and if curare be
used, the creature does not die, although it feels.  Supposing that
morphia or chloroform be administered at the same time--is the animal,
notwithstanding, conscious of pain? Professor Starling admitted in his
evidence that if the anaesthetic passed off, the curarized animal
would be unable to move or to show any sign of suffering; there would
be no possibility of a dog whining or moaning; "it could not, under
curare," he frankly admits.  Dr. Thane, one of the Government
inspectors of laboratories, gave interesting evidence on this point,
in reply to questions of one of the Commissioners.

"What is the object of giving curare when you are going to give an

"The object of giving curare is to stop all reflex movements...."

"It would stop all struggling, would it not?"


"That is to say, it would put an end to the usual signs of the animal
not being properly under anaesthesia?"

"That is so."

"And in that case the experimenter has to depend solely, not upon the
attendant, but upon the accuracy of his apparatus? He cannot tell from
looking at the animal, which is perfectly still, whether it is
suffering or not?"

"If his apparatus breaks down, the animal will die of suffocation; it
will not get air."

"Yes, it may die; but so long as it is alive, HE could not say, YOU
could not say, I could not say--if I were present--that the animal was
properly under anaesthesia, IF THERE WERE NO SIGNS BY WHICH YOU CAN

"We could say the animal is respiring air which is charged with
anaesthetic in sufficient quantity to keep it anaesthetized before we
gave it curare."

"That is all you could say?"

"That is all we could say."[1]

[1] Evidence taken November 21, 1906.

And this pious opinion Dr. Thane reiterates to other questioners.  It
fails to satisfy except where faith is strong. "The curious thing to
me," said Dr. George Wilson, "is that you or anyone else can say
positively that an animal which cannot, by moving, give any indication
that it is not completely anaesthetized during all this time that it
is under a terribly severe operation does not suffer.... I cannot
understand such a positive statement." And after Dr. Starling had
admitted the impossibility of a dog, under curare, making any cry,
You may hope and believe, but how can you tell that during a prolonged
and terrible experiment, the animal suffers no pain?" The only reply
that the experimenter could give was a reiteration of faith in the
working of the apparatus.

And here, for the present, the problem must be left.  Its only answer
is a guess.  Yet it should be capable of a definite solution.  Every
year, in our great cities, it becomes necessary to put homeless dogs
out of existence in some merciful way.  It should be possible, by use
of chloroform, to determine which theory is true.  If, under proper
circumstances, a dozen animals were made absolutely unconscious by the
use of chloroform, as insensible as human being are made before a
capital operation, so that the corneal reflex is abolished, could this
degree of unconsciousness be maintained "as long as any experimenter
desired"? Would it even be possible as a rule to keep them alive a
week, yet completely anaesthetized? Or, on the contrary, would such
animals be peculiarly liable to sudden death from the effects of the
chloroform? One cannot doubt the possibility of laboratory anaesthesia
being maintained indefinitely; but how is it with complex and full
surgical anaesthesia? Until such appeal to science shall have been
made in the presence of those who doubt, and are able to judge, the
question cannot be regarded as settled.  There are those who will
believe that the older investigators were right; that the perfect
insensibility to pain is not invariably attained in these cases; and
that both in English and American laboratories the most hideous
torments are sometimes inflicted upon man's most faithful servant and
friend.  Even Dr. Thane, the Government inspector, admitted that in
making reports the inspector "never could determine which experiments
were painless and which were painful."

The evidence given by experimenters was frequently very curious, and
sometimes suggestive.  Professor Starling, for example, testified that
dogs exhibited no fright or fear at entering a vivisection chamber;
there are no signs "that they have ANY IDEA OF WHAT THEY ARE GOING TO
SUFFER," said the physiologist; "that is a great consolation in
dealing with animals, as compared with dealing with a man."[1]
"GOING TO SUFFER" is a somewhat significant admission.  He is asked
whether the experimentation of to-day is more or less humanely
conducted than it was before the Act of 1876; and instead of replying
he tells the Commissioners that "there was very little work carried
such ignorance of history comment is hardly necessary.  We have heard
much concerning a "wonderful discovery" of a Dr. Crile, the giving of
morphia before a surgical operation, in order to quiet the
apprehensions of the patients and so to prevent the occurrence of
shock.  Yet as long ago as 1906, Dr. Thane, a member of the Royal
College of Surgeons, testified, upon the authority of a distinguished
scientist, that such use of morphia before administration of
anaesthetics "is often done in surgical operations." The attention of
Sir Victor Horsley was called to the experiments of a Dr. Watson in
America.  Had he heard of them?

[1] Minutes of Evidence, Q. 3,885.

"Yes, I know of those experiments," was the reply.

"Were they, in your opinion, valuable experiments?"

"I cannot, at the moment, call to mind whether they revealed any new
conditions.  I should have to look them up again."

"Were they justifiable, in your opinion?"

"CERTAINLY," was Sir Victor Horsley's terse reply.

Yet, when the account of these experiments was first published, the
British Medical Journal, in its editorial columns, thus commented upon

"The present pamphlet calls for our strongest reprobation as a record
of the most wanton and stupidest cruelty we have ever seen chronicled
under the guise of scientific experiments.... Apart from the utterly
useless nature of the observations, so far as regards human pathology,
there is a callous indifference shown in the description of the
suffering of the poor brutes which is positively revolting.... WE
the fancy that these or such-like experiments are scientific or

It will be seen that concerning Watson's most cruel vivisections Sir
Victor Horsley was not in agreement with the British Medical Journal,
the official organ of the Association of which, before the Commission,
he appeared as the representative!

The final report of the Royal Commission occupies a volume.  The long
period over which the inquiry extended, the generally apparent desire
to permit every phase of opinion to have a hearing, all tended toward
views which, if not unanimous, at any rate indicated a desire to be
fair.  Taken as a whole, the evidence and the final decisions of the
Commission constitute an important contribution to the literature of
animal experimentation which has appeared during the present century.

The conclusions of the Commission are almost, yet not quite,
unanimous.  All of the eight members signed the final report, three of
them, however, making their assent subject to a qualifying memorandum
that in certain respects indicated a considerable divergence of
opinion.  The following are the conclusions of the Commission, the
words in italics and parentheses being the qualifying additions of one
of their number, Dr. George Wilson.

"Altogether, apart from the moral and ethical questions involved in
the employment of experiments on living animals for scientific
purposes, we are, after full consideration, inclined to think--

"1. That certain results, claimed from time to time have been proved
by experiments upon living animals, and alleged to have been
beneficial in preventing and curing disease, have, upon further
investigation, been found to be fallacious or useless.  (INDEED, THE

"2. That notwithstanding such failures, valuable knowledge has been
acquired in regard to physiological processes and the causation of
disease, and that (SOME) methods for the prevention, cure, and
treatment of certain diseases (OTHER THAN BACTERIAL), have resulted
from experimental investigations upon living animals.

"3. That, as far as we can judge, it is highly improbable that,
without experiments made upon animals, mankind would by now have been
in possession of such knowledge.

"4. That in so far as disease has been successfully prevented, or its
mortality reduced, suffering has been diminished in man and the lower

"5. That there is ground for believing that similar methods of
investigation, if pursued in the future, will be attended with similar

Other conclusions appear to be as follows:

"We strongly hold that limits should be placed to animal suffering in
the search for physiological or pathological knowledge."

How far interference with experimentation should extend appears to
have been a matter of divergent views.  Five of the Commissioners took
the following position:

"An Inspector should have the power to order the painless destruction
of any animal which, having been the subject of any experiment, shows
signs of obvious suffering or considerable pain, even though the
object of the experiment may not have been obtained; and

"That in all cases in which, in the opinion of the experimenter, the
animal is suffering severe pain which is likely to endure, it shall be
his duty to cause painless death, even though the object of the
experiment has not been attained."

Three of the Commissioners--Sir William J. Collins, M.D., Dr. George
Wilson, and Colonel Lockwood--do not agree with this clause.  They
cannot approve of a rule which leaves to the discretion of the
vivisector the right of keeping alive for an indefinite period, a
suffering creature.  They recommend that all observations, "likely to
cause pain and suffering shall be conducted under adequate
anaesthetics, skilfully and humanely administered, or if the nature of
the investigation render this impracticable, then, that on the
supervention of real or obvious suffering the animal shall be
forthwith painlessly killed."

The Commission recommended that, in certain cases, immediate or
special records or reports of results should be furnished by the
experimenter.  The three members just named agree with this, but would
have such reports the rule, and not the exception.  With this view I
am personally in emphatic accord.  Every experiment should have its
complete record, available for publication if so desired.

That part of the final report which in certain respects is more
valuable than all the rest, is the reservation memorandum of
Dr. George Wilson, one of the Commissioners.  He is not an anti-
vivisectionist, for he agrees with the unanimous conclusion of his
associates that "experiments upon animals, adequately safeguarded by
laws faithfully administered, are morally justifiable." Regarding the
practice as now carried on, he maintains the only scientific position,
that which more inclines to doubt than to credulity.  The assurances
of witnesses, that in certain experimental operations no pain was
inflicted, Dr. Wilson accepts "as opinions to which the greatest
weight should be attached, and not as statements of absolute fact, so
far as specific instances are concerned." That insensibility to pain
is invariably maintained is by no means sure; "however confident
the operator may be that he has abolished all pain, VIVISECTIONAL

What are we to say of the results, either to science or the art of
healing, which modern vivisection has contributed? It is regarding
this point that Dr. Wilson has brought together a mass of evidence of
unquestionable value, in a field of inquiry peculiarly his own.  For
more than thirty years he had been a writer upon topics pertaining to
the Public Health.  One by one, in his memorandum, Dr. Wilson has
examined the claims of vivisection regarding the chief forms of
disease which have occupied the attention of experimenters--cancer,
which still maintains its advance in fatality; tuberculosis, which
began to decline in England more than forty years ago, before it was
associated with experimentation; hydrophobia, diphtheria, tetanus,
typhoid fever, snake-poison, sleeping-sickness, and certain animal
ailments of an infectious character.  What is his conclusion regarding
all the claims of vastly increased potency of modern medicine over
these powers of darkness and death? That experiments have been utterly
valueless? No; some useful knowledge has been acquired, in certain
directions. "But I still contend, and have endeavored to prove, that
the useful results which have been claimed, or may still be claimed,
HAVE BEEN ENORMOUSLY OVER-ESTIMATED." And the final conclusion of this
keen observer and lifelong student of medicine is this: "That
experiments on animals, no matter with what prospective gain to
humanity, are repellant to the ethical sense; and that those who
persistently advocate them as beneficial to human or animal life MUST
JUSTIFY THEIR CLAIMS BY RESULTS....  Even admitting that experiments on
animals have contributed to the relief of human suffering, such
measure of relief is infinitesimal compared with the pain which has
been inflicted to secure it."

What changes to the existing law of England regarding animal
experimentation, or in the administration of the Act, did this
Commission recommend?

should be sufficiently numerous and should have at their command ample
time to afford to the public reasonable assurance that the law is
faithfully administered."

if its use is to be permitted at all, an inspector, or some person
nominated by the Secretary of State, should be present from the
commencement of the experiment, who should satisfy himself that the
animal is throughout the whole experiment and UNTIL ITS DEATH IN A

This is a most remarkable recommendation.  Can it imply anything else
than distrust of the experimenter?

operation must be complete; performed only under an adequate
anaesthetic; and by a licensed person when made on a warm-blooded

OF ANIMALS which show signs of suffering after the experiment."

To this recommendation and its suggested amendment by three of the
Commissioners, reference has already been made.

FIFTH. "A CHANGE IN THE METHOD OF SELECTING and in the constitution of
the Advisory body to the Secretary of State."

point we have seen that three of the Commissioners went yet farther,
and believed that in ALL cases of painful experiment--and, possibly,
in all cases whatsoever, such reports should be made.

It is now upwards of thirty-five years since the Act regulating the
practice of vivisection in England came into effect.  During all that
period, in the United States, the law has never ceased to be an object
of misrepresentation and attack.  Before Legislatures and Senate
Committees, on the platform and in the press, by men of good
reputation but associated with laboratory interests, the English law
has been denounced as a hindrance to scientific progress and a warning
against similar legislation in the United States.  And yet nothing can
be more evident that all these attacks were based upon ignorance and
misstatement.  We find a Royal Commission in England, composed almost
entirely of scientific men, everyone of them favourable to animal
experimentation, devoting years to an inquiry concerning not
vivisection only, but the working of the law by which it is
regulated.  And the conclusions reached are in every respect opposed
to the statements made by the laboratory interests here.  THEY FULLY
IS SO STRENUOUSLY OPPOSED.  But this is not all.  Every recommendation
made for modification of the Act is in the direction of animal
protection, and toward an increased stringency of the regulations
relating to animal experimentation.  In not a single instance was
there recommendation that the regulations should be less stringent;
not an instance in which it was suggested that privileges of the
vivisector should be enlarged.  That this should be the result of an
inquiry in this twentieth century, extending over five years, is
remarkable indeed.  Perhaps there is no reason for surprise that all
these conclusions of the Royal Commission were never made known to the
American public by the periodicals of the day.  Is it possible for
anyone to believe that such conclusions would ever have been attained
if the denunciations of State regulation of vivisection, proceeding
from the American laboratory, had been grounded in truth?

                        CHAPTER XI


A popular delusion is often the basis of a great abuse.  If at one
time witches were burnt by countless thousands, it was at a period
when implicit faith in the reality of diabolic conspiracy was
undisturbed by sceptical questionings.  Human slavery existed for
centuries, not only because it was profitable, but because it came to
be regarded as the only conceivable permanent relation between the
negro and the white man.  The Spanish Inquisition existed for ages,
because the pious Spaniard could not believe that the good men who
upheld, encouraged, and promoted its activity could be liable to
error, or actuated by other than the loftiest principles.  Men find
themselves deluded not merely because of their faith in the integrity
of their fellow-men, but because they have also extended that faith to
the accuracy of their opinions.

There can be no doubt of the fact that public apathy regarding the
abuses of vivisection as now carried on without limitations or
restrictions is grounded upon the great anaesthetic delusion.  This
misinterpretation of facts, this misunderstanding of scientific
statements, constitutes the most singular delusion of the present

What is anaesthesia? It has been defined as a state of insensibility
to external impressions, sometimes introduced by disease, but more
generally in modern surgery by the inhalation of the vapours of ether
or chloroform.  The discovery of the properties of these drugs
constitutes a very interesting chapter in the story of scientific
achievement; but in this connection the chief point of interest lies
in the fact that the most wonderful of all advances in medicine was
made without resort to the vivisection of animals.  Sir Benjamin Ward
Richardson, an English scientist who had much to do with its various
methods, tells us that "the instauration of general anaesthesia came
from experiments on man alone; there is no suspicion of any experiment
on a lower animal in connection with it"; and Professor Bigelow, of
Harvard Medical School, as we have seen, makes the same statement.

The extent to which insensibility may be carried depends entirely on
the amount of the vapour inhaled.  Suppose the quantity to be very
small.  Then the result will be a diminished sensibility, without
entire loss of consciousness.  Let the quantity inhaled be
considerably increase, and we may produce a profound stupor with
muscular relaxation, the eyes are fixed, and the eyelids do not
respond when the eyeball is touched.  There is now deep anaesthesia,
and complete unconsciousness to the surgeon's knife.  The borderline
between life and death is not distant; and if still more of the
anaesthetic is administered, we may reach a condition from which there
is no awakening.  The skill of the anaesthetist is not unlike that of
a pilot, who needs to know just how far the ship may be steered in a
difficult channel without running upon the rocks.

For a slight operation, a very little of the drug will often suffice.
In some hospitals abroad--and perhaps in America--it is the custom not
to give anaesthetics to charity patients when the pain is not greater
than the extraction of a tooth.  Between a light anaesthesia and the
deep insensibility required for some capital operation, THERE IS EVERY
CONCEIVABLE DEGREE.  We see the same thing in ordinary sleep.  The
deep unconsciousness of a thoroughly exhausted man is vastly different
from the light slumber of an anxious mother, who is aroused by a word
or touch.  Yet both conditions are what we call "sleep."

Now, one of the popular delusions regarding what is called
"anaesthesia" arises from ignorance of its innumerable degrees.  We
are told, for instance, "anaesthetics were used" in certain
vivisections.  That assertion alone, in a majority of cases, will
quiet any criticism.  If "anaesthetics were used," then the average
reader assumes that of course there was no pain.  The experimenter may
know better.  But if ignorance persists in misinterpreting statements
of fact, it is possible that he may think he is not obliged to make
the truth plain, to his positive disadvantage.  If such method of
reasoning ever obtains, it may explain very much.

And yet it would seem that only very ignorant people could be so
blinded by authority as not to perceive where the fallacy lies.  A
slight amount of ether or chloroform may mean to a vivisected animal
no protection whatever from extreme pain.  The fact has long been
known.  Many years ago Dr. George Hoggan declared that "complete and
conscientious anaesthesia is seldom even attempted, the animal getting
at most a slight whiff of chloroform by way of satisfying the
conscience of the operator, OR OF ENABLING HIM TO MAKE STATEMENTS OF A
HUMANE CHARACTER." In other words, it enables him to say,
"Anaesthetics are always used." Shall we always be blind to the
insignificance of that phrase?

That chloroform or ether will suppress the consciousness of pain
during a surgical operation, every reader is aware.  But when we speak
of certain vivisections, we are on different ground.  The pains to be
inflicted are sometimes far more excruciating than any surgical
operation.  In the stimulation of sensory nerves, and in various
operations upon these nerves, there may be excited agonies so great
that they break through the limited unconsciousness induced by
chloroform.  One of the most experienced vivisectors in America has
given his testimony on this point.  Speaking of his experiments upon
some of the most exquisitely sensitive nerves, Dr. Flint says: "WHEN
we have used anaesthetics"--not the significance of the phrase--"WE
OF THE ROOT OF THE NERVE.  If an animal, brought so fully under the
influence of ether that the conjunctiva had become absolutely
insensible" (the degree of insensibility required by the surgeon),
"the instant the instrument touched the root of the nerve in the
cranium, THERE WERE EVIDENCES OF ACUTE PAIN."[1] Of other experiments
upon the same nerves he tells us that "in using anaesthetics, we have
never been able to bring an animal under their influence SO COMPLETELY
AS TO ABOLISH THE SENSIBILITY.... In cats that appear to be thoroughly
etherized, as soon as the instrument touches the nerve, there is more
or less struggling."[2]

[1] Flint's "Physiology," vol. iv., p. 97.
[2] Flint's "Physiology," vol. iv., p. 193.

This statement needs to be remembered.  The agony may be so keen, so
exquisite, so far beyond the pain of a surgical operation, that it
makes itself felt.  Pain, then, conquers the anaesthetic, exactly as
the anaesthetic usually conquers the pain.

What, then, is the value of the phrase, "ANAESTHETICS WERE USED"?
Dr. Hoggan has told us.  It has no value whatever.

Sir Thornley Stoker, President of the Royal Academy of Medicine in
Ireland, and an inspector of laboratories under the Act, was
questioned about the pain endured by an animal in course of a
prolonged vivisection, and he frankly admitted that a vivisector
"could do no more than give an opinion.  He could have no CERTAINTY as
to the entire absence, the continuous absence, of pain."[2] Dr. Thane,
a professor at University Medical College, London, and a Government
inspector, being asked whether one might not be able to distinguish
between painful and painless experiments, replied that "the inspector
never could distinguish exactly which experiments were painless and
cannot distinguish IN A VERY LARGE NUMBER OF CASES."[3]

[2] Evidence before Royal Commission, Question 1,064.
[3] Ibid., Question 1,335.

These are the opinions of experts.  This attitude of uncertainty is
the only ground possible for a scientific man who aims at stating the
whole truth.  When a professional vivisector gives us assurance that
no pain was felt during the severest operations, he is only putting
forth an opinion.  He is but mortal.  We are not obliged to assume his
infallibility in a region where experts are in doubt, and where there
may be a desire for concealment.

During the last decade of the nineteenth century, a work was published
describing in detail experiments upon surgical shock--so termed to
distinguish it from a similar condition arising from overwhelming
emotions.  These experiments were almost exclusively made upon dogs,
man's faithful friend and companion; and their number was so great and
their character so horrible that their publication at first excited
general criticism and condemnation.  At one the suggestion was put
forth that the experiments were painless, because "anaesthetics were
employed." The vivisector had said:

"In all cases the animals were anaesthetized, usually by the use of
ether, occasionally by chloroform, either alone or with ether.  In a

In a number of succeeding volumes, the same assertion has been put
forth; and as understood by the average reader, it has tended to
dispel doubts regarding the character of the experiments.  It seems
worth while to examine the account of these investigations a little
closely.  The question for us is not whether anaesthetics were
employed, but to what extent we may find ourselves assured regarding
their efficiency in abolishing sensibility in every case.

The experiments in question were of a peculiar kind.  They differ in
certain respects from anything to be found in the records of American
vivisection.  The number of dogs sacrificed--148--was far greater than
seems necessary to establish any working hypothesis.  It would appear
that the methods of vivisection selected were generally designed for
the purpose of making the strongest possible impression, and, if
consciousness was present, the sharpest pangs that human ingenuity
could invent were repeatedly inflicted.  The most sensitive parts of
the body were crushed in various ways.  The lungs were stabbed, or
shot through; the intestines were lifted from the body, and burned or
placed in boiling water; the nerves were exposed and scraped; loops of
intestines were manipulated or crushed; the ear was penetrated; the
jaws were opened as far as "the maximal normal separation," and then
by extraordinary force separated still more; the paws were crushed,
and sometimes burnt by the application of a Bunsen's flame; the
stomach was dilated by pumping air and water into it till the stomach
burst; one animal was subjected to "all kinds of operations for a
period of three hours more," including the cutting out of kidneys and
double hip-joint amputations; another suffered the opening of the
abdomen, the crushing of the kidneys, "severe manipulation of the
eye," "severe manipulation of the tongue, puncture, crushing," etc.,
and lastly, a "stimulation of the sciatic nerve"; in one case, the paw
"was placed in boiling water for a considerable time"; in another,
"boiling water was poured into the abdominal cavity"; in yet another,
flame was applied over the heart.  I am not quoting all this from
memory; the work describing all these experiments lies open before me
as I write.  No Iroquois savage, no Spanish inquisitor, no
professional tormentor of any age ever devised more exquisite
torments, more excruciating agonies, more lengthened tortures than
these 148 vivisections imply--UNLESS, THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE EXPERIMENT

Such assurance as this it is now impossible for anyone to give with
scientific certainty.  The absolute insensibility of each and every
animal thus vivisected cannot be demonstrated.  On the contrary, there
are reasons which compel belief that, in many instances, these
vivisections implied the most horrible and prolonged torments that the
practice of animal experimentation has ever been permitted to evoke.

What are some of these reasons?

FIRST.  In the work describing these experiments, the author has

Now, the omission of this statement is peculiarly significant.  If it
had been possible, we may be quite sure that such a statement would
have been made.  Suppose, for example, that in place of vague
generalities the experimenter had said:

"Before the commencement of each experiment, the animal was deeply
anaesthetized by the inhalation of chloroform or ether, or both; and
the insensibility thus induced before the experiment began was
maintained until the death of the animal.  Curare was never used.  In
no instance and at no time during any experiment was the anaesthesia
otherwise than profound; the corneal reflex was never to be obtained,
nor was any other sign of sensibility to pain ever to be noted."

A statement like this would have been definite.  But with due regard
for truth, it could not have been made.  Instead of an explicit
statement, we have merely the assertion--so easily misunderstood--
that "in all cases the animals were anaesthetized." And this statement
may mean nothing whatever, so far as concerns the painlessness of
these vivisections.


It is a well-known fact that dogs are peculiarly susceptible to
chloroform, and very likely to die while under its influence.  The
president of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, a teacher of
science for many years, Sir Thornley Stoker, stated in his testimony
that a dog's heart is very weak and irregular. "I fear that in the
case of dogs, anaesthesia is not always pushed to a sufficient extent,
as these animals often die from the effects of the anaesthetic if
given to a full extent.... THE ANAESTHESIA CANNOT BE COMPLETE, if the
dog lives as long as is necessary for some of these experiments."[1]

[1] Testimony before Royal Commission, Questions 761, 836.

Now, one of these experiments lasted over three hours, and many of
them over an hour.  How many of the 148 animals died because the
anaesthesia was TOO DEEP?

On this point the admissions of the experimenter seem especially
significant. "OVER-ANAESTHESIA rendered the animals subject to early
collapse, and decidedly less capable of enduring a protracted
experiment." During certain experiments, "CONSIDERABLE CARE was
necessary to prevent excessive inhalation of the anaesthetic by the
animal." And yet all that could happen to the unfortunate victim would
be a painless death; to prevent that would require, doubtless,
considerable care. "If the animals were allowed PARTIALLY TO RECOVER
FROM THE EFFECT OF THE ANAESTHETIC, care was necessary in reducing
them again to surgical anaesthesia, as an excess of the anaesthetic
was liable to be inhaled."[1] This admission is evidence complete,
that the insensibility was not always maintained from beginning to
end; the creatures were in some cases--how many we can never know--

In the detailed accounts of these vivisections, we find more than one
proof of the sensibility of the animals.  Take the following:

EXPERIMENT 126. "The animal did not take the anaesthetic well, and
part of the experiment was made under INCOMPLETE ANAESTHESIA." There
was noted, also, "contraction of the abdominal muscles, on account of

EXPERIMENT 133. "Bunsen's flame to the right paw.... In the control
experiments, as well as this, THE DOG WAS NOT UNDER FULL ANAESTHESIA

very sharp rise, followed by an equally sharp decline of pressure.
THIS WAS REPEATED SEVERAL TIMES.  Under full anaesthesia crushing of
paws caused rise again."

EXPERIMENT 4. "First, crushing of paw.... Second, crushed foot

To the average reader the last few words convey no definite meaning,
but their significance is plain.  Until the corneal reflex is
abolished, the surgeon does not begin to operate, for sensibility
remains.  It is needless to quote further; even a single instance of
incomplete anaesthesia, admitted by the vivisector himself, suffices
to overturn the claim that the insensibility was complete in every
case. "Words," says Bishop Butler, "mean what they do mean, and not
other things"; and no amount of literary juggling can prove that
whether the insensibility is complete or incomplete, the pain is
precisely the same.


The use of CURARE rests upon the admission of the vivisector himself.
After mentioning the employment of chloroform and ether, as before
quoted, he adds: "In a few cases, CURARE and MORPHIA were used." Now,
these drugs are not anaesthetics, and curare especially is only used
when it is desired to keep the vivisected creature incapable of any
movement--no matter what degree of torment it may be suffering.  In
his textbook on physiology, Professor Holmgren calls curare the "most
cruel of poisons," because an animal under its influence "it changes
instantly into a living corpse which hears and sees, and knows
everything, but is unable to move a single muscle; and under its
influence no creature can give the faintest indication of its hopeless
condition." Dr. Starling, the professor of physiology at University
College, London, states that when an animal has had an anaesthetic
administered and also a dose of CURARE, if the anaesthetic passed off,
the animal would be unable to move, or to show any sign of suffering.

Nor is morphia an anaesthetic. "So far from suppressing sensibility
completely," says Claude Be'rnard in his lectures, "morphine sometimes
seems to exaggerate it." An animal under its influence "FEELS THE

We should have been very glad if the author had stated in his book the
precise experiments in which curare and morphia were employed.  We are
told that the number was "few." But in comparison with the total
number--146--how many may that phrase signify? Were there twenty?
Possibly.  It would seem that in every case after the preliminary
administration of anaesthetics--the dog's throat was cut, so that
artificial respiration could be easily maintained; "tracheotomy was
performed," to use the scientific phraseology.  This is done when
curare is given, for then not the slightest movement of the tortured
animal can disturb the delicate instruments which are attached to it.
We may therefore assume that every case wherein only curare and
morphia were used--how many there were we do not know--implied torment
for the wretched victims.

Human beings are not submitted on the surgeons' table to operations of
this character, prolonged for hours.  If, in the interest of Science,
some experimenter would place himself in like condition to that of the
animals upon which he worked; if, under anaesthesia--complete or
incomplete--he would permit a hand to be "crushed," a nerve trunk
"stimulated," his feet placed in boiling water "for a considerable
time," and a Bunsen's flame applied for two minutes to some part of
his body--we might possibly learn whether the acutest pains inflicted
could be absolutely suppressed.  Perhaps he would survive to tell us;
but the animal cannot speak.  No assurances suffice to clear our
doubts; assurances prove nothing.  It may be, to use the words of a
great surgeon, that "in this relation, there exists a case of cruelty
to animals far transcending in its refinement and in its horror,
anything that has been known in the history of nations."

Such are some of the reasons which induce doubt of the theory that all
of the experiments of these vivisectors were conducted upon animals
wholly insensible to painful impressions.  To become the victim of the
anaesthetic delusion regarding them is to justify; and to justify is
to share responsibility.  But this is not all.  There would seem to be
other evidence of the most convincing character, that some of the
animals thus subjected for hours to the stimulation of nerves and to
the most frightful mutilations were not at all times in such state of
unconsciousness as to prevent the occurrence of one most significant
indication of pain.  It is proof to which the attention of the public,
so far as known, has never yet been directed; and I propose to
illustrate somewhat at length what has been done in the name of free
and unlimited vivisection, not only during the closing years of the
past century, but down almost to the present time.

                        CHAPTER XII

                    VIVISECTION OF TO-DAY

If the reform of vivisection may only be hoped for, when the secrecy
concerning it shall have been dispelled, the beginning of the present
century is not propitious of any changes.  Against all intrusion upon
its rites, the physiological laboratory in England and America
maintains as successful an opposition as ever characterized the
Eleusinian mysteries of the pagan world.  No laboratory--so far as
known--dares to invite inspection at any hour, even from men of the
highest personal character, and leave them free to reveal or to
publicly criticize whatever in the experiments upon animals there
conducted seems worthy of caution or reproof.  Silence and
concealment, so far as the outer world is concerned--these are yet the
strange ideals of modern vivisection.

Within the realm of scientific literature, however, this reticence is
not maintained.  Experiments may be there described in terms so
abstruse and technical, that, while clear enough to the professional
reader, they convey little or no meaning to the man in the street.
There would seem to be a growing tendency to state certain facts in
carefully shrouded phraseology, in complete confidence that the full
meaning will not be discerned.  Within the past few years, therefore,
a large number of vivisections have been described in full--
vivisections which half a century ago would have aroused the horror
and execration of the English-speaking world--without exciting any
very general condemnation beyond the circle of those who ask for
reform.  Experimentation of this kind, exhibiting the practice as it
is carried on to-day, seems worth of a somewhat careful examination.
It will not be necessary to go beyond the work of a single vivisector
who has made his name a household word wherever experiments upon
animals are discussed in England or America.

The principal point toward which inquiry must be directed is the
question of pain.  One reason why they have been partly condoned by
the public is not difficult to discover.  In language which seemed to
have no element of ambiguity, the experimenter apparently affirmed the
entire absence of sensation on the part of the dogs which he and his
assistants subjected to operations of various kinds and of an extreme
character.  It is true that, as a general rule, this affirmation was
not as explicit as might perhaps be desired.  He was writing for
professional men only, not for the general public, and it is quite
unlikely that any physiologist or medical reader could have been at
any time misled in the slightest degree.  If the language used was
capable of more than one interpretation, if possibilities of
insensibility were exaggerated into definite assertions, nothing of
the kind was apparent to the general reader.  Glancing at the
statement that "the animals were completely anaesthetized," his doubts
were abolished.  Indescribably disgusting and hideous as were some of
the vivisections, if they were absolutely painless, their performance
was a matter of taste.  Can we criticize the humaneness of one who, at
the butcher's bench, mutilates the body from which life has gone?
Complete and perfect anaesthesia, maintained till death, is
practically only premature death.  Deprived of sensibility--a
deprivation that is never to cease--a living creature is beyond the
infliction of cruelty.  But is it certain that all these various
experiments, made upon nearly five hundred dogs were without pain?
Reasons for doubt concerning some of them have been given.  Let us now
look into the question so far as concerns vivisection in its relation
to the pressure of the blood.

A little over two centuries ago the Rev. Stephen Hales, the rector of
an obscure country parish in England, became interested in problems
pertaining to the circulation of sap in plants, and blood in the
higher animals.  By various experiments he discovered that the blood
of a living animal is subject to a definite pressure, and with some
approach to accuracy he succeeded in measuring it.  The subject seems
to have attracted but little attention for over a century after the
discovery of Hales; it was then again investigated by physiologists,
and certain conclusions definitely reached.  Without going into the
subject at length, it suffices to state that this blood-pressure
constantly varies slightly, being somewhat influenced by every
disturbing condition, and probably by every physiological act.  Any
injury tending to lower the tone of the general system, or to induce
the condition of shock, tends to cause the blood-pressure to fall.  On
the other hand, if the animal is sensible to pain, the stimulation of
sensory nerves, or any sharp or sudden pang, TEND TO CAUSE A RISE IN
THE PRESSURE OF THE BLOOD, unless the creature has become exhausted by
the experimentation to which it has been subjected.

Upon this point the attention of the reader should be specially
directed.  What authorities support this conclusion? Only a few need
be named, for there would appear to be no difference of opinion among
physiologists regarding the fact.

Sir Thomas Lauder Brunton, one of the leading medical writers in
England, in a contribution to the latest edition of the "Encyclopaedia
Britannica," tells us:

"IRRITATION OF SENSORY NERVES tends to cause contraction of the

[1] Enc. Brit., Art. "Therapeutics," p. 800.

Dr. Isaac Ott, an American physiologist of distinction, states in a
description of certain vivisections made by him:

excitation of the vasomotor centre, WHICH IS INDEXED BY A RISE OF
PRESSURE.... As indirect irritation ALWAYS PRODUCES A RISE OF
PRESSURE, the sensory nerves and the conductors of their impressions
up to the (spinal) cord are not paralyzed."[2]

[2] Ott, "On Physiological Action of Thebain," pp. 11-12.

Dr. Leonard Hill, in an article contributed to Schafer's "Textbook of
Physiology" upon the circulation of the blood, says:

"Arterial pressure is affected reflexly BY STIMULATION OF ANY SENSORY
NERVE IN THE BODY.... The usual result of stimulating a sensory nerve

[3] Schafer's "Textbook of Physiology," vol. ii., pp. 166-167.

The writer goes on to explain that when the tone of the system in
weakened "after prolonged experiment OR DURING THE ADMINISTRATION OF
CHLOROFORM AND CHLORAL," then a fall of pressure may occur.

This phenomenon was known to physiologists many years ago.  For
instance, Dr. J. C. Dalton, professor of physiology at the College of
Physicians and Surgeons, in his well-known textbook on physiology,
says that the most frequent instance of reflex constriction of
arteries is that "which follows irritation of the central extremity of
a sensitive nerve."

"This effect has been observed by many experimenters, and is regarded
as nearly invariable.  Galvanization of the central extremity of the
sciatic nerve causes general constriction of the bloodvessels
throughout other parts of the body, INDICATED BY INCREASED ARTERIAL
PRESSURE.  A similar result is produced by the irritation of ... other
sensitive nerves, or nerve roots."[1]

[1] Dalton's "Physiology," pp. 507-508.

And, referring to another experimenter, Dr. Crile, puts the case

"PAIN INCREASES (BLOOD)-PRESSURE.  In four cases of trauma (injury), a
rise of 20 to 40 was noted upon pressure upon a nerve.  Even in a
healthy person, pinching the integument was noted increase the

[2] Crile "On Blood-Pressure," p. 341.

It would seem unnecessary to accumulate evidence regarding a
physiological phenomenon so long and so firmly established.  We may
therefore take it for granted that in a living animal or in a human
being, as a general rule, the irritation of a sensory nerve will cause
a rise of blood-pressure.

Let us now suppose that an animal destined to be vivisected lies
before us, "stretched" on the vivisection dog-board, so securely
fastened that voluntary movement is almost impossible.  An incision
has been made in the neck, and in the principal artery has been
inserted a part of a delicate instrument designed to indicate the
fluctuations of the blood-pressure of the animal.  The sciatic nerve
has been laid bare; the animal is supposed to be under the influence
of an anaaesthetic continuously administered, and if our imagination
is vivid and our faith implicit, we may believe that no suffering will
be felt.  BUT HOW MAY WE BE CERTAIN? This question came up more than
once before the Royal Commission on Vivisection.  How can one tell
that an animal may not be insufficiently anaesthetized IF IT CAN MAKE
CAREFULLY RESTRAINED? The animal which lies before us cannot move;
every physical movement is as far as possible totally suppressed.  It
cannot use its voice, for the trachea is cut and otherwise used.  ARE
what one of the Royal Commission called "a nightmare of suffering"?

The answer to this question has been given by some of the leading
physiologists of England.

Dr. J. M. Langley, professor of physiology in the University of
Cambridge, a Fellow of the Royal Society, gave explicit testimony on
this point.  His examiner was desirous of knowing upon what he would
depend, other than upon the dose of the anaesthetic and watchfulness,
if in the animal he could see nothing that would satisfy him.

"There is the state of the blood-pressure, which would indicate to
some extent the reflexes on the vascular system," Professor Langley


"IT WOULD CAUSE A RISE OF BLOOD-PRESSURE," replied the physiologist.
Of course, he insisted upon the sufficiency of the anaesthesia, but he
had made the most important admission which his evidence affords.  IF

Dr. W. E. Dixon of King's College, London, representing one of the
sections of the Royal Society of Medicine, gave evidence before the
Royal Commission on various matters pertaining to anaesthesia.  Dogs,
he asserted, "very easily die of chloroform; but if one goes
sufficiently slowly they never die." (18,677)[1]

[1] Figures in parentheses refer to the questions or replies in the
printed evidence.

"Supposing you were giving chloroform with CURARE, then it might be
said you were not giving enough chloroform.  BUT YOU CAN SEE WHETHER
Professor Dixon tells us that one of the gauges used for determining
whether anaesthesia is present or not IS THE BLOOD-PRESSURE. "The
blood-pressure goes DOWN BECAUSE THE CHLOROFORM IS GIVEN.  The heart
beats more feebly; therefore the blood-pressure goes down." (18,742)

Another expert physiologist, whose testimony on this point is
enlightening, was Dr. Eh. H. Starling, professor of physiology at
University College, London.

"Are there any means, other than the cries or struggles of the animal,
by which you can tell whether the anaesthetic is passing off?"

replied. "When one is working without curare, one notices THAT THE
PRESSURE GOES UP, and then, if one does not attend to it, after that
comes a little movement, AND YOU GIVE MORE ANAESTHETIC." (4,054)

We need not follow Professor Starling in his repeated assurances of
complete anaesthesia in his vivisections; all this is merely an
expression of faith in the accurate and perfect working of his
instruments, a faith which some of the Commissioners did not share.
What interests us is the statement that IF THE ANAESTHESIA IS
there is some slight motion on the part of the animal; IT FEELS, and
that returning sensibility to painful impressions is indicated by an
increase in the pressure of the blood.[1]

[1] Sir Victor Horsley admitted that "changes in the blood-pressure"
afford an indication whether anaesthesia is perfect or not
(Ques. 16,057).

But how is the measurement of the blood-pressure to be ascertained?
One of the instruments in use is thus described:

"The pressure exerted upon the blood in the arterial system may be
measured by attaching the carotid artery of a living animal to a
reservoir of mercury, provided with an upright open tube or pressure-
gauge.... Under pressure of the blood, the mercury rises in this tube,
and the height of the mercurial column becomes an indication of the
pressure to which the blood itself is subjected within the artery.
The arterial pressure is found to be equal to the average of a column
of mercury 150 millimetres, or 6 inches, in height."

Instruments for ascertaining the blood-pressure in human beings record
it merely for a moment or two.  In experimenting upon a living animal,
an incision is made in the neck, the principal artery exposed and
severed, and connected with the recording instrument.

"Pain" is a word which as a rule the modern physiologist prefers to
exclude from his vocabulary. "We know absolutely nothing about pain
except that which we ourselves have suffered," says a leading
experimenter.  We are unable neither to see, hear, smell, taste, or
feel the pain of another being, and although the cries or struggles of
an animal which is being vivisected may suggest that it is
experiencing intense agony, the physiologist insists that in reality
we know nothing about it, and we can only infer that it is
experiencing something which our reason suggests that we should feel
in its place.  Of course we might say the same thing regarding agony
undergone by another human being.  What the physiologist does is note
the phenomena following the stimulation of nerves, and to register it
by appropriate instruments.

To stimulate a nerve is to excite its activity in some way.  When the
dentist touches with his instrument the exposed nerve of a tooth,
there is immediate "stimulation," as many of us have had reason to
assert, even if the dentist can know nothing of our sensations, and
can only infer them by remembering his own.  One may stimulate the
nerve of a vivisected animal by mechanical means, by pinching or
scraping it when exposed; and although the movements of the animal may
indicate an exquisite sensibility, yet other methods are more
effective for the purposes of the experimenter. "Electricity,"
Professor Austin Flint tells us, "is the best means we have of
artificially exciting the nerves.  Using electricity, we can regulate
with exquisite nicety the degree of stimulation.  WE CAN EXCITE THE
IRRITATION." A French vivisector, M. de Sine'ty, removed the breasts
of a female guinea-pig, nursing its young, and laid bare the mammary
nerve, and he tells us that "the animal exhibits signs of acute pain,

[1] Gazette Me'dicale de Paris, 1879, p. 593.

In 1903 there was published in America an account of a large number of
vivisections involving blood-pressure which a well-known experimenter
had made, either personally or by his assistants.  The number of dogs
thus sacrificed was no less than 243; the experiments to which they
were subjected amounted to 251.  Ether alone was used in 107
experiments, or about 43 per cent. of the whole number; ether and
morphia were employed in 80 experiments, or 32 per cent. of the
total.  Chloroform combined with ether was used but ONCE.  In no less
than 15 per cent. of the experiments no anaesthetic whatever is named,
and CURARE was employed in nearly 10 per cent. of the investigations.
Why was curare used? We have seen that the professor of physiology in
Upsaal University regards it as "the most cruel of poisons." An animal
under its influence, Professor Holmgren tells us, "changes instantly
is unable to move a single muscle, and under its influence no creature
can give the faintest indication of its hopeless condition." The
French vivisector, Claude Be'rnard, tells us frankly that death under
the influence of this poison "is accompanied by sufferings the most
atrocious that the imagination of man can conceive." Precisely the
reason why this poison was employed in the investigations before us we
have no means of knowing by anything the vivisector has stated in his
report.  He tells us, indeed, that "the animals were all reduced to
full surgical anaesthesia before the experiments began, a nd were
killed before recovery from the same." We see no reason for doubting
why this may not have been true.  It is quite probably that as a rule
the preliminary cutting operations necessary were made while the
animal was deeply insensible.  But was this deep insensibility
maintained for hours? Was it so absolute that doubt is impossible?
Since it is certain that the irritation produces a rise in blood-
pressure, was this phenomenon never witnessed during the terrible
operations to which these dogs were subjected for hours at a time? If,
as Professor Langley of the University of Cambridge explained, pain
"WOULD CAUSE A RISE OF BLOOD-PRESSURE," was this sign of agony ever
evoked when the bare nerve was subjected to "stimulation," or the paws
"slowly scorched" one after another? Let us see.

We observe that as a rule each vivisection consisted of two
procedures, aside from the preliminary operation.  In the first place,
the normal pressure of the blood was reduced by various methods,
calculated to depress the vital powers of the animal, and to induce a
condition of collapse, and this was followed by such "stimulation" of
nerves as would tend to cause the blood-pressure to rise in an animal
not perfectly anaesthetized.  The means taken to depress the vital
powers were as varied as the ingenuity of the vivisectors could
devise.  Sometimes it was accomplished by skinning the animal alive, a
par of the body at a time, and then roughly "sponging" the denuded
surface.  Sometimes it was secured by crushing the dog's paws, first
one and then the other.  Now and then the dog's feet were burnt, or
the intestines exposed and roughly manipulated; the tail was crushed,
the limbs amputated, the stomach cut out.  Then came the "stimulation"
of the exposed nerve, carried on and repeated sometimes until Nature
refused longer to respond, and death came to the creature's relief.
No torments more exquisite were ever perpetrated unless absence of
feeling was completely secured.  Was it so secured? Let the
experimenter's own report give us the facts, remembering that if there

EXPERIMENT 42.  The material used was a little dog, weighing only 11
pounds.  How it was "reduced to shock"--whether by skinning or
crushing--we are not informed; all we know is that it was "reduced to
shock." The sciatic nerve was exposed, the artery in the neck laid
bare, and the instrument for measuring the blood-pressure carefully
adjusted.  Ether, we are told, was used.  Was all sensibility thereby
wholly suppressed? Let us see what is revealed by the changes of the

[1] In all experiments cited in this chapter the italics are not in
the original descriptions.

"10.30 a.m. Sciatic nerve stimulated.  SLOW RISE IN BLOOD-PRESSURE.
 10.35 a.m. Sciatic nerve stimulated.  RISE OF BLOOD-PRESSURE.
 10.51 a.m. Sciatic nerve stimulated.  RISE OF BLOOD-PRESSURE.
 11.30 a.m. Sciatic nerve stimulated.  RISE OF BLOOD-PRESSURE
              13 MILLIMETRES.
 11.59 a.m. Sciatic nerve stimulated.  RISE OF BLOOD-PRESSURE
              5 MILLIMETRES."

Noon has come.  It is the hour when experimenters need their
accustomed refreshment, and we note a long interval during which there
were no observations.  The victim lies stretched upon the rack.  After
nearly two hours the pastime began again, or, we may say, "the young
scientists resumed their arduous labours."

"1.55 p.m. Sciatic nerve stimulated.  ABRUPT RISE OF BLOOD-PRESSURE
             17 millimetres.
 3.3  p.m. Sciatic nerve stimulated.  RISE OF 14 MILLIMETRES.
 4.44 p.m. Sciatic nerve stimulated.  RISE OF 2 MILLIMETRES."

The little animal is growing weaker.  For more than six hours it has
been on the rack.  The play upon its nervous system is about over. At
five o'clock the dog died.

The full details of this experiment do not here concern us, and are
not given.  Whether useful or not is another matter  Pain, said
Professor Langley, "WOULD CAUSE A RISE OF BLOOD-PRESSURE." Did not the
blood-pressure rise when this creature's nerve was stimulated?

EXPERIMENT 114.  In this experiment four dogs were simultaneously
vivisected.  Some of them lasted but a short time; but one--a young
dog--was "in splendid condition," and subserved the object of the
vivisection for many hours.  The usual incisions were made in the
trachea and carotid artery, and the femoral vein and sciatic nerve was
exposed.  At 10.59 a.m. the blood-pressure was found to be 125 milli-
metres; at 10.42 it had been reduced to 99 millimetres--by what means
we are not informed.  Further details are as follows:

"11.42 a.m.  Blood pressure 99 millimetres.
 11.45 a.m.  Stimulated sciatic nerve.  PRESSURE ROSE TO 115
 12 midday.  Blood-pressure 95.  Sciatic nerve stimulated:
               BLOOD-PRESSURE 115.
 12.19 p.m.  Blood-pressure 92.
  1.23 p.m.  Blood-pressure 108; sciatic nerve stimulated.
  1.26 p.m.  Blood-pressure 110; three minutes later."

Between 1.29 p.m. and 2.19 p.m. there is no record of any
observations.  Perhaps we may venture the hypothesis that during this
period of nearly an hour's duration, the young experimenters went out
to luncheon.  The dog, while stretched upon the rack, could have had
no other refreshment than cessation from the stimulation of its

But after about an hour's intermission the young vivisectors would
seem again to have begun their observations concerning the effect
produced by stimulating the sciatic nerve.  What was that effect? It
appears to have been very uniform.

"2.28 p.m.  Sciatic nerve stimulated.  ABRUPT RISE AND FALL IN
 3.32 p.m.  Sciatic nerve stimulated.  RISE AND FALL IN
 4.16 p.m.  Sciatic nerve stimulated.  BLOOD-PRESSURE ROSE TO 120,
              FALLING TO 105.
 4.34 p.m.  Sciatic nerve stimulated.  ABRUPT RISE AND FALL OF
 4.53 p.m.  Sciatic nerve stimulated.  THE USUAL RISE AND FALL

Do we find in the last observation an indication of a growing distaste
for such work? One cannot tell.  Between 5.49 p.m. and 6.36 p.m. there
are no observations recorded.  Perhaps this period of forty-seven
minutes--three-quarters of an hour--were devoted by the young
vivisectors to the conviviality of their evening repast.  Then the
usual observations were renewed.  But at 7.10 p.m., while again
"stimulating the sciatic nerve," suddenly the dog's heart stopped.  At
7.12 p.m. "the dog died." During a period from eleven o'clock in the
forenoon until after seven o'clock in the evening--EIGHT HOURS AND
THIRTEEN MINUTES--the little animal had been stretched upon the rack.
Its "splendid condition" had enabled it to survive the tortures to
which its three less vigorous companions in martyrdom had long before
succumbed, and had made it possible for many hours to play upon
exquisite sensibility.

"PAIN," said Professor Langley to the Royal Commissioners, :WOULD

We call attention to no other details.

Let us study these vivisections further.  When animals were subjected
to injuries calculated to make the strongest impression uppon their
sensibility, was not the response A RISE IN BLOOD-PRESSURE?

EXPERIMENT 38.  A small female spaniel, weighing about 13 pounds.
Ether is said to have been used for anaesthesia.

"12.54 p.m.  Blood-pressure 98 millimetres.
               MILLIMETRES.  A slow fall followed.

The dog died of heart failure, after an experience of nearly five
hours in the hands of the vivisectors.

EXPERIMENT 73.  A dog, weighing about 15 pounds.  Morphia and ether
said to have been used.  Did they prevent sensation under such
"stimulation" as follows:

pressure was maintained higher BY REPEATED BURNINGS." These are the
final words of the report of this experiment.  We do not know when the
dog died, nor to how many burnings he was subjected.

The use of fire as a method of "STIMULATION" of nerves seems to have
been very attractive.  For example:


Of what possible value was such an experiment? Does any one believe
that in a human being blood-pressure will ever be maintained by slowly
scorching the hands and feet of the patient?

EXPERIMENT 75.  Small dog, weighing about 13 pounds.  Morphia and
ether said to have been used.  During this experiment the intestines
were exposed and manipulated, and the foot and tail "CRUSHED." "THE

After administration of CURARE, there was another "BURNING OF THE
PAW," the blood-pressure did not respond, and shortly after, the dog

EXPERIMENT 95.  Dog, in good condition.  NO ANAESTHETIC MENTIONED.
Integument removed from three-fourths of the body. "BURNING OF THE
HIND-PAW.  ABRUPT RISE (of blood-pressure), 55 MILLIMETRES, then an
equal fall.  The denuded surfaces were roughly sponged for a
considerable time." Then CURARE was given, and artificial respiration

EXPERIMENT 46.  Mongrel; good condition.  An excessive amount of ether
given at beginning; artificial respiration became necessary.
Extensive operations were made, such as crushing the paws, breaking
the legs, and manipulating the nerve trunks.  These were followed by A


"11.26 a.m.  Animal reduced to surgical shock by skinning and
               mechanically irritating the raw surface.
 11.36 a.m.  CURARE given.
 11.58 a.m.  Electrical stimulation of sciatic (nerve).  RISE OF
 12.48 p.m.  Sciatic nerve stimulated.  RISE OF BLOOD-PRESSURE.
  1.12 p.m.  Electrical stimulation of sciatic nerve cause A RISE ...
               IN BLOOD PRESSURE.
  2.40 p.m.  Animal died."

When Dr. Francis Gotch, F.R.S., the professor of physiology in the
University of Oxford, was examined before the late Royal Commission
on Vivisection, he testified that under curare an animal could not
even blink an eye, so complete is the immobility produced by this
drug.  Yet to the eye of the experimenter would there not be something
to tell him whether or not the animal was feeling pain?

"I should say so," replied the physiologist--"in the alternations of

"IT IS A RISE OF BLOOD-PRESSURE, is it not?" inquired one of the

"YES," was the physiologist's curt reply.

"But it would be diminished if the animal was absolutely

"YES," was the reply of Dr. Gotch.

"Is a change in blood-pressure the only mode by which you can
objectively determine whether the animal is conscious, or suffering
pain, if under the influence of curare?" somewhat later, he
physiologist was asked.

"I suggest that THAT IS ONE OBVIOUS WAY."

Let us turn again to the experiment just quoted.  No anaesthetic is
mentioned.  Curare was administered, the sole effect of which is to
render the living animal as motionless as a corpse.  Three times the
greta nerve was electrically "stimulated," and each time there was
that RISE OF BLOOD-PRESSURE which we are told upon the highest
authority was the "ONE OBVIOUS WAY" of determining the presence of

Keeping in mind this testimony of the professors of physiology at the
Universities of Oxford, of Cambridge, and of London, that if pain were
present during a vivisection IT WOULD CAUSE A RISE OF THE BLOOD-
PRESSURE, let us now examine a little more carefully some of the
experiments referred to in the volume reviewed in the previous
chapter.  We have had assurances of their painlessness.  But to the
scientific man assurances are of little value as compared with the
testimony of the instrument.  Were any of these experiments associated
with a "RISE IN BLOOD-PRESSURE"? It is unnecessary to study them in
their relation to other phenomena.  In the early "stimulations of a
nerve trunk, a rise in blood-pressure was always produced"; but after
a number of repetitions the time came when no effect was produced, or
the pressure fell; the point of exhaustion had been reached.  But let
us note what the instrument recorded.  The italics are ours.

EXPERIMENT 5. "Under incomplete anaesthesia, CRUSHING OF FOOT CAUSED A
VERY SHARP RISE, followed by an equally sharp decline of pressure.
This was repeated several times." (The author also tells us that
"under full anaesthesia, crushing of the paws" caused a rise.  One may
question the completeness of the insensibility.)

EXPERIMENT 8.  Fox terrier, two years old; ether.... CRUSHING OF THE
PAW WAS ATTENDED BY IMMEDIATE RISE..... Crushing of the fore-leg WAS
ATTENDED BY A RISE.... Crushing of the foot, ATTENDED BY A RISE.
Cutting skin of thigh and leg was ATTENDED BY A RISE.

continual cutting and crushing of the paw BY A STILL FURTHER RISE OF

EXPERIMENT 17.  Several loops of intestines were withdrawn and placed
followed soon by a fall.

EXPERIMENT 28.  Hip-joint amputation made on both sides caused a rise
(pulling upon the nerve) CAUSED A RISE.

EXPERIMENT 36.  Small white dog.... HOT WATER introduced into
abdominal cavity PRODUCED A RISE.

EXPERIMENT 59.  Spaniel, female; weight only 13 pounds.  It has "been
nursing its puppies," and is very cross.  Duration of experiment, one
and a half hours.  Manipulation of ovaries caused slight RISE OF

EXPREIMENT 76.  Dog.  Among other procedures, the vivisectors "APPLIED
A LARGE GAS-FLAME to the posterior extremities in the region of the
knee; a slight rise.  Repeated the application for a longer time;

EXPERIMENT 82.  A small female dog; weight oly 9 pounds.  Time of
experiment, one hour and fifty-five minutes. "One-third of a grain of
CURARE and one-twelfth of a grain of morphia were injected into the
jugular vein." After various manipulations, there was "APPLICATION OF

EXPERIMENT 87.  Dog.  Time of experiment, two hours and forty-five
minutes.  "Injected CURARE and morphine into the jugular vein;
artificial respiration maintained.... The sciatic nerve was exposed
and stimulated by a faradic current.  A SHARP INCREASE IN
BLOOD-PRESSURE during the period of stimulation was noted."[1]

[1] Concerning the rise of blood-pressure as the sign of an animal's
sensibility to painful impressions, when under the influence of
CURARE, see testimony of Professor Gotch of Oxford University, quoted
on a preceding page.

EXPERIMENT 94. "Electrical stimulation of sciatic nerve produced
MARKED INCREASE IN BLOOD-PRESSURE.... Application of Bunsen's flame to

EXPERIMENT 95. "Application of Bunsen's flame to the paw produced but
slight rise.... Bunsen's flame applied to the foot, CAUSING RISE IN
RISE IN THE PRESSURES." Then the blood-pressure fell, and though the
vivisector applied flame to the intestines, it produced no effect so
far as the blood-pressure was concerned.

sciatic nerve by the faradic current produced an INCREASE IN BLOOD-
PRESSURE.... Repetition of the stimulus produced A FURTHER RISE IN

EXPERIMENT 110. "Application of Bunsen's flame PRODUCED A SHARP

EXPERIMENT 113. "Bunsen's flame applied to the posterior and anterior

EXPERIMENT 131. "Bunsen's flame to the right hind-foot was followed by


In the year 1900 the same vivisector published an account of certain
experiments on the respiratory system, 102 in all.  We have the usual
assurances of anaesthesia, which, of course, can only be regarded as
the operator's opinion.  Fire is an element of some of these
experiments.  We are told that "a large blow-flame burner used for
glass-blowing supplied a flame that could be adjusted to a very great
range of intensity." Of this statemnet one can have no doubt upon
reading some of the experiments described.  Upon "a healthy little
poodle," weighing only ten pounds, with a blood-pressure of 120
millimetres, the following experiment was made:

"The mouth was held wide open, and THE BLOW-FLAME DIRECTED INTO THE
PHARYNX AND RESPIRATORY TRACT.  The immediate effect upon the blood-
pressure was A TEMPORARY RISE.  Again the flame was applied; THE

Probably this little creature was the pet of some child.  From whose
door, one day, did it wander, to be snatched up by some thief, sold to
a laboratory, and sent to a death like this?

In another experiment a Newfoundland dog "CONTINUOUSLY BREATHED THE
FLAME FOR TWELVE MINUTES." In a similar experiment that followed, "the
results were practically identical.  In this case THE FLAME WAS SO
was broiled alive.

During the first year of the twentieth century the same writer
presented the public an account of an "Experimental and Clinical
Research into Certain Problems," a work containing a considerable
number of experiments of a nature similar to those before published.
We are again told that in all cases "the animals were anaesthetized,
usually by ether, occasionally by chloroform," alone or combined with
other substances, although, in a few cases, "CURARE and morphine were
used"--neither of which is an anaesthetic.  A curious statement seems
to imply a confession that all these experiments were not absolutely
painless, for the writer says:

"Every precaution was taken to inflict AS LITTLE PAIN OR DISTRESS AS

Is not this an admission that in some experiments there was pain? How
senseless is such statement! When Ridley and Latimer were burnt alive
at Oxford, the executioner might have protested with equal assurance
that "every precaution was taken to burn the condemned with as little
pain and distress as possible."

Between the experiments recorded in this volume and those which have
been reviewed, there is no very great difference.  There is a rise of
blood-pressure after any mutilation or stimulation calculated to cause
pain, except in the few cases where a sufficiency of the anaesthetic
appears to have been given; to these attention will be called.  A new
procedure seems to have been the use of the injection of a hot salt
solution into the blood.  Some of the results of experiments were as

EXPERIMENT 12. "Burning right hind-foot caused a slight RISE IN BLOOD-

"Ten minims (drops) of chloroform on inhaler produced a DECIDED FALL
in blood-pressure."

EXPERIMENT 56. "Dog.  Hind-foot burned, FOLLOWED BY A RISE IN BLOOD-
PRESSURE.... Burning the nose caused A VERY MARKED RISE in
blood-pressure.  The animal, after the injection of cocaine, WAS NOT

EXPERIMENT 27. "Dog.  Ether anaesthesia.  Hind-foot was burned,
producing A SHARP RISE in the blood-pressure.

"Right paw again burned, and ARTERIAL PRESSURE ROSE.... Animal
subjected to FURTHER BURNING, which was followed by ADDITIONAL SLIGHT

A considerable number of experiments involved the adding of hot salt
solution to the blood.

EXPERIMENT 34.  Dog, in good condition.  Saline solution in jugular
vein.... In this and in preceding experiments with the hot saline, the

That shows the worth of the "surgical anaesthesia." When Professor
Starling was asked how he might know that the anaesthesia was passing
off, he told the Royal Commission that it was by noting the SLIGHT
PRESSURE.[1] Scalding water in the blood seems to have given both of
these signs:

[1] Evidence before Royal Commission, Question 4,054.

EXPERIMENT 11.  At 3.35 saline at 64 degrees C. (this is 147 degrees
 3.45.  Saline in jugular vein.  Slight fall, then a quite ABRUPT RISE
 3.48.  Saline at 60 degrees C. (140 degrees F.).  Slight RISE in
blood-pressure.  DOG STRUGGLED SOMEWHAT.
 3.54.  Saline at 60 degrees C.  An immediate RISE in blood-pressure.
 4.12.  One-half drachm of chloroform on inhaler.
 4.13. MARKED FALL in blood-pressure.
previous level.

EXPERIMENT 32.  A few drops of chloroform were given instead of ether,
the BLOOD-PRESSURE FALLING immediately.... After a few minutes,
several drops of chloroform were again administered, a marked FALL (of
blood-pressure) following.
  One-half drachm of chloroform given, PRODUCING A GRADUAL FALL IN
BLOOD-PRESSURE.  On removing the chloroform, the blood-pressure
  At 5.30, saline stopped.  Eye reflex not gone.  At 5.36 THE

Does all this seem obscure to the reader? At all events, he can see
that the effect of even a "few drops of chloroform" is a fall of the
blood-pressure, and that when the "anaesthesia is removed" there comes
the rise which is so constantly associated with sensibility.

Some of the experiments related to the effect of cocaine in "blocking"
sensation.  These effects have long been known; the necessity of all
this burning of flesh is not apparent.

In another experiment, a large dog was reduced to "surgicla
anaesthesia," and both sciatic nerves exposed.  In one nerve cocaine
was inject, in the other salt solution.

The cocaine paw was subjected to burning by a Bunsen flame, UNTIL THE
PAW WAS CHARRED.  There was no effect on the blood-pressure.  But on
applying the Bunsen flame to the other paw, "THERE WAS A DELIBERATE
writer tells us elsewhere that "under general anaesthesia--no matter
how deep--if the paw of an animal is subjected to the flame of a
Bunsen's burner, after the lapse of a short time, the leg is drawn up
... in a deliberate but rather forceful manner, removing the foot from
the flame." When cocain is injected into a nerve trunk, we are told
that an effectual physiologic "block" is produced.  The difference is
manifest.  Yet the vivisector would have us believe that in all cases
of his "anaesthesia" the dog is unconscious.  May it not be rather
that there are phases of agony so great that the anaesthesia of the
laboratory does not suppress them? Is this a matter of uncertainty?
Then why not permit the vivisected dog to have the benefit of the

Here is a most significant experiment:

EXPERIMENT 17. "... The animal was allowed to come out of the
influence of the general anaesthesic sufficient (sic) to make a slight
struggle.... THE FEET WERE BURNED just previous to the application of
cocaine, and ... BLOOD-PRESSURE WAS INCREASED.  More cocaine was then
WERE ABOLISHED, and on applying a Bunsen flame to the paws, NO EFFECT

Here we have an instance of a dog allowed to come out of the influence
of the anaesthetic and to struggle; the feet burned; and finally, such
a degree of total anaesthetization as to prevent the usual phenomena.
But why are we told that "the animal became TOTALLY ANAESTHETIZED, and
that the corneal reflexes were abolished"? Is it a confession that in
other experiments such a state of deep insensibility was not
invariably produced?

What is the necessity for all this burning? The smell of scorched and
charred living flesh may have hung as heavily in the laboratory of the
hospital as before the altars of Baal; it could hardly have been an
attractive savour.  Here are other instances:

EXPERIMENT 62. "Dog, in good condition; fox-terrier.  As a control,

Here, then, was sensation; the eye responded to the touch.

EXPERIMENT 72.  Dog; weight 12 pounds.  (Spinal) cord exposed.
  5.5.  Burning foot was followed BY RISE IN BLOOD-PRESSURE.
  Cocaine was then injected, and burning of paws "produced no effect."
There was a difference in the phenomena produced.

In the year 1909 the same vivisector published stll another volume
recording experiments upon haemorrhage and the transfusion of blood.
To many of these experiments we should take no exception on the ground
of inutility or excessive production of pain.  Others, however, are to
be criticized, particularly when studied in connection with the claim
put forth of complete absence of animal sensation.  In his
introduction the experimenter seems to assert in the most distinct and
emphatic way the complete unconsciousness of each victim.  He says:

"No experiment was performed in which the particular animal used was
not reduced to complete insensibility by means of ether, or some other
equally efficient anaesthetic.  If the statement is made that the
anaesthetic was stopped during an experiment, it does not mean that
the animal could suffer pain, but that death was threatened from too
much anaesthetic, more being given as soon as signs of revival were
shown.  In every experiment in which necessary mutilation was
performed, the animal was killed before coming out of the anaesthetic;
therefore absolutely no suffering was undergone.  Very few recovery
experiments were performed, no more than were necessary to prove a
given fact."

What is the scientific value of this assurance--that "absolutely no
suffering was undergone"?

It can have no value, except as an opinion on the part of one
extremely interested in the maintenance of a particular view.  So far
from being a series of painless experiments, we do not hesitate to
suggest that IF RISE OF BLOOD-PRESSURE BE A SIGN OF PAIN, then, in all
probability many of them involed torments as exquisite as it is
possible to imagine.

Take, for example, the folloowing vivisections:

EXPERIMENT 10.  The subject was a dog, said to be in a good
condition.  From time to time blood was abstracted from the body.
10.16.  On burning a paw, there was A RISE OF PRESSURE.
11.13.  On burning a paw, there was A RISE OF PRESSURE of
          13 millimetres.
 1.42.  On burning a paw, there was A RISE OF PRESSURE of
          13 millimetres.


What is "LIGHT anaesthesia"?

It is a condition which a few drops of chloroform will produce; a
state in which the loss of consciousness is so slight that any pain
may be as keenly felt as if no stupefying agent had been given.  What
are we to think of a statemnet that in a condition of such light
slumber the keenest of pains--THE BURNING OF LIVING FLESH--INVOLVED NO
SUFFERING? How can one speak with authority on a matter like this
against the evidence of the "one obvious sign" of sensibility? When
the paws of the miserable animal were burned, was there not the rise
of blood-pressure which indicated suffering? "Pain would cause a rise
of blood-pressure," said the professor of physiology of the University
of Cambridge.  Should we find the significant rise of the
blood-pressure in other experiments where fire was used for the
"stimulation" of the nerves? Let us see.

EXPERIMENT  2. "On burning a paw, there was a RISE OF PRESSURE OF 10
               millimetres.  Stimulation of sciatic nerve resulted in
               A RISE of systolic pressure."
EXPERIMENT  4. "11.45.  On burning a paw, there was A RISE OF PRESSURE.
               " 1.27.  Sciatic nerve stimulated; RISE OF
EXPERIMENT  6. "Burned a paw.  A RISE OF PRESSURE of 4 millimetres
EXPERIMENT 12. "On burning a paw, there was a RISE OF PRESSURE of 16
EXPERIMENT 14. "On burning a paw, A RISE OF 12 MILLIMETRES, followed
               by a temporary fall, and then a rise to a higher level.
               "On burning a paw, there was A RISE OF BLOOD-PRESSURE
               OF 2 MILLIMETRES."
EXPERIMENT 15. "11.12.  On burning a paw, there was A RISE OF PRESSURE
               OF 8 MILLIMETRES.
               "11.36.  On burning a paw, there was A RISE OF PRESSURE
               OF 12 MILLIMETRES."
EXPERIMENT 16. "Dog.  Condition good.
               "11.22.  On burning a paw, there was A RISE OF PRESSURE
               OF 22 MILLIMETRES.
               "11.33.  On burning a paw, there was A RISE OF 29
               "11.44.  Contrl.  On burning a paw, there was A RISE OF
               24 MILLIMETRES.
               "12.26.  On burning a paw, there was A RISE OF PRESSURE
               OF 8 MILLIMETRES.
               "12.35.  On burning a paw, there was A STEADY RISE OF
EXPERIMENT 22. "Dog.  On burning a paw, there was A RISE IN PRESSURE
               OF 36 MILLIMETRES."
EXPERIMENT 24. "On burning a paw, there was A RISE OF BLOOD-PRESSURE
               OF 12 MILLIMETRES.
               "12.19.  On burning a paw, there was A RISE OF PRESSURE
               OF 18 MILLIMETRES."
EXPERIMENT 29. "2.13.  Blood-pressure 43.  On burning a paw it rose 12
               "2.30.  On burning a paw, THERE WAS A RISE OF BLOOD-
               "3.6. On burning a paw, THERE WAS A RISE OF BLOOD-
EXPERIMENT 31. "3.35.  On burning a paw, THERE WAS A RISE OF PRESSURE.
               "4.14.  On burning a paw, THERE WAS A RISE OF

The foregoing experiments are not quoted in full; in many of them, at
intervals, the animals were bled; and these observations of the
effects of "burning a paw" were incidental to others.  BUT WHY ALL

One exceptional experiment must not be overlooked.  On one occasion
two dogs were vivisected at the same time.  At the outset a paw of
each dog was burned, causing A RISE of blood-pressure in each case.  A
little later the sciatic nerve was stimulated:

"11.25.  On stimulating the sciatic nerves of each dog, Dog A showed a
rising and falling pressure, and Dog B (MORE ETHER WAS GIVEN JUST
THEN) showed an initial FALL, and a rise, with a sudden second FALL
and a rise.

PRODUCED NO EFFECT.  Dog B: On stimulating the sciatic nerve, there

Here we have recorded by the experimenter himself the difference in
the effect of stimulation of nerves in an animal "deeply
anaesthetized" and the results produced when the anaesthesia was

It has seemed necessary to examine at some length these peculiar
experiments.  The volumes describing them are not easily to be seen;
some appear to be out of print; even Sir Victor Horsley; in whose
laboratory in London some of the experiments were performed, confessed
that he did not know about the vivisections made in the United
States--whether or not they differed from those performed in England.
In the vast number of these vivisections, so far beyond anything
previously reported in our country by a single experimenters; in the
ingenuity and variety of the mutilations to which the victims were
subjected--mutilations and stimulations calculated to cause the
extremest agony, unless the anaesthesia was perfect; in the seeming
affirmation of absolute insensibility of the wretched animals,
although contradicted by the only sign of suffering that in some cases
could possibly be seen; in the apparent uselessness of experiments,
repeated again and again simply to elicit precisely the same
phenomena; above all, in the absence from criticism which some of
these "investigations" have managed to secure--all this constitutes a
claim for especial consideration.  There can be little doubt that they
merely illustrate what goes on to-day, in many a laboratory in the
United States, in secret--as these were made in secret--and untouched
by the criticism of the outer world.

Of the absolute uselessness of the vast majority of these experiments
much might be said, but it is aside from this inquiry.  The question
of utility is not here raised.  The one matter of inquiry is the
existence of pain.

If a vast number of the experiments recorded may have involved the
keenest agony of the victims, how are we to explain the repeated
assertions that sensation was absolutely removed? Among
antivivisectionists there are those who belive that any human being
who could thus subject animals to torment would not find it impossible
to deny the fact.  Such explanation implies an inveracity which it is
not necessary to impute.  Mankind is still liable to error; the false
deductions of honest men have more than once led to mistaken
affirmations of facts; and the most illustrious scientist that ever
lived can hardly claim infallibility in matters of opinion.  A
distinguished philosopher and vivisector of three hundred years ago,
Rene Descartes, put forth the theory that animals, being without
souls, cannot suffer pain, and that their cries under vivisection were
simply as the whirring of wheels in an intricate piece of machinery.
We can easily imagine a modern follower of Descartes declaring, as the
philosopher would have done, that "NO SUFFERING WAS FELT." A professor
of physiology in Harvard Medical School, in course of an address
before a State medical society, laid down the theory that "it is
ENTIRELY IMPOSSIBLE to draw conclusions with regard to the sensations
of animals by an effort to imagine what our own would be under similar
circumstances"; and when a vivisector has reached the stage where he
can hold that belief, he may define pain as something pertaining only
to human beings, and feel himself justified in declaring that
definition of the word.  It is well for the world that with this
theory the vast majority of thinking men and women have no sympathy
whatever.  The organized efforts for the protection of animals from
cruelty have no meaning if animals are without capacity for that
anguish which cruelty implies.  We believe, on the contrary, that
many, if not all, of the higher species of animals, especially those
nearest to man in structure and intelligence, receive, when subjected
to the torment of fire or steel, precisely the same sensations that,
under a like infliction, a human being would suffer.  At any rate, if
doubt be possible, should they not have the benefit of it?

If one were asked whether he surely could demonstrate the emotions of
any animal made incapable of movement, fixed immovably as in a vice,
and subjected to the stimulation of fire, he might confess that
inference and not proof was all he could offer.  But if one goes
farther, and inquires whether in any of the experiments recorded in
this chapter there was evoked any sign of sensibility which delicate
instruments could detect and record, then, assuredly, we are on safe
ground.  With startling uniformity we find recorded by the
experimenters themselves the fluctuations of blood-pressure following
the stimulation of exposed nerves, the crushing of pawes, the burning
of the feet, the scalding with boiling water, and other mutilations.
What is their significance? If, as Sir Lauder Brunton tells us, "the
irritation of sensory nerves tends to cause contraction of blood-
vessels AND TO RAISE THE BLOOD-PRESSURE"; if, as Straus affirms, "PAIN
INCREASES BLOOD-PRESSURE," so that in a healthy person the pressure is
increased even by pinching of the skin; if, as the physiologist Dalton
declares, the irritation of any of the sensitive nerves induces a
constriction of bloodvessels indicated by icreased arterial pressure;
if the professor of physiology at University College, London, being
asked if there were any means, other than the cries or struggles of an
animal, by which one could tell if the anaesthesia of an animal was
passing off, answered with scientific accuracy when he replied, "YAou
can tell by the blood-pressure," adding that when sensibility was
returning "THE PRESSURE GOES UP"; if it be true, as Professor Dixon,
of King's College, London, told the Royal Commissioners, "you can see
whether you are giving enough (of the anaesthetic) BY LOOKING AT THE
BLOOD-PRESSURE"; if the professor of physiology at Oxford was correct
in stating that "A RISE OF BLOOD-PRESSURE" would tell an experimenter
whether or not an animal undergoing vivisection was feeling pain, even
though curare had rendered it so helpless that it could not even wink
an eye, and that this rise of blood-pressure was the "ONE OBVIOUS WAY"
of determining such sensibility; if we may depend upon the evidence of
the professor of physiology at the University of Cambridge, that "PAIN
WOULD CAUSE A RISE OF BLOOD-PRESSURE"; if the agreement of all these
scientific authorities concerning the rise of blood-pressure as an
indication of pain or returning sensibility can be accepted as
scientific truth--then may we not be sure that all of the living
animals whose vivisection we have here reviewed, in whose bodies, by
fire and steel and every phase of mutilation, there was so constantly
elicited this RISE OF BLOOD-PRESSURE, cannot be said to have attained
a painless death? "A man about to be burned under a railway car begs
somebody to kill him, yet iti s a statemnet to be taken literally,
that a brief death by burning would be considered a happy release by a
human being undergoing the experiences of some of the animals that
slowly die in a laboratory." So wrote Dr. Bigelow of Harvard
University, the most eminent surgeon that New England has yet
produced; and were he living to-day, it is not improbable that he
would point to some of the experiments here reviewed as examples of
the vivisections he intended to condemn.  It may be that although the
present generation be indifferent, posterity will not condone, and
that one day it will hold up some of the experiments of the twentieth
century as involving the most prolonged, the most useless, the most
terrible, the most cruel torments, that the annals of animal
vivisection have ever supplied.

                        CHAPTER XIII


Every reflecting man must recognize that the settlement of the
vivisection question is a problem that must find its solution at some
period in future rather than to-day.  But the duty of the hour remains
the same.  Admitting the existence of the wrong, what can we do to
promote reform? What should we ask with the hope that popular judgment
will gradually come to approve? How may we be faithful to that ideal
of justice toward our inferior brethren, which underlies all
humanitarian effort, and lack nothing in fidelity to Science to whose
achievements we reverently look for the amelioration of the human
race? There are those who would oppose the slightest use of animals
for any scientific purpose whatever.  There are others who would grant
to the vivisector the secrecy and silence, the complete
irresponsibility and unbounded freedom which he demands as his right.
There are those to whom a middle course seems the only one leading to
ultimate reform.  What is the most reasonable attitude toward the
laboratory and its claims possible to an honest and clear-minded
investigator who is anxious to protect all living creatures from cruel
acts, and equally concerned in the conservation of every legitimate
privilege which Science can claim?

Such a man stands, let us say, before some great biological
laboratory, richly endowed, slendidly equipped, and in the present
enjoyment of freedom that is without bounds, and in a secrecy that
to-day is as complete as can be imagined.  What can he learn with
certainty of what goes on within? If he hears claims of superlative
gains by the experiments there carried on, how is he to weigh and
decide their value? If there is cruelty behind those barred doors, how
is he to prevent its constant recurrence? What, in short, should be
the reasonable attitude of every intelligent man or woman anxious to
know the truth and to promote reform of abuse?

For many years I have insisted upon the necessity for a certain degree
of scepticism regarding every claim put forth by the laboratory,
unsupported by convincing proofs.  We may judge the future by the
past.  Has there not been evinced a disposition to exaggerate
achievement, to deny secrecy, to mislead regarding the infliction of
pain? No intelligent person, it seems to me, can study the vidence
carefully, year after year, without reaching this attitude of distrust
and doubt in a great number of instances.  This by no means indicates
that every claim of utility is false.  A great many statements are
accurate.  Some claims will be partly true, but magnified by the
enthusiasm of youth far beyond what devotion to a strict veracity
would require.  And some claims may be doubted altogether.  It may be
doubted whether any reliabce whatever can be placed upon the
assertions or protesting denials of any profession vivisector now
drawing a large income from the vivisection of animals, whose
interests would possibly be affeted by failure to produce startling
results, or by removal of the secrecy that now enshrouds the
laboratory.  The defenders of absolute licence have not told us the
truth on every occasion it has been sought from them, and it must be
gained from other sources and by other means.

It would seem, therefore, that the first step toward reform must be
the creation of a public sentiment, eager, not so much to pass
condemnation as to know the facts.  That the laboratory, of its own
accord and initiative, will ever open its doors and give to the world
a complete knowledge of what goes on within its sacred precincts, is
more than we can expect.  The doors will open only when public opinion
so demands.  The laboratory is perfectly aware of this.  With ever
yenergy that such consciousness gives, it will fight to keep
everything that it now hides from the light of day.  Take, for
example, the question of vivisection in our institutions of learning.
To what extent is experimentation carried on therein merely to
demonstrate what every student knows in advance? It would appear that
certain lines of experiment are now permitted in such institutions
which hardly more than a generation ago were condemned as cruel by the
medical profession of Great Britain.  We ought to inquire why it is
that experiments which scarcely thirty years ago were thus condemned,
are less abhorrent to-day.  The removal of secrecy is the first and
most important step toward any true reform.

It is the fashion of certain apologists for vivisection without
control to represent their opponents as guided by sentiment alone.
Perhaps it would be well to quote the opinions of one whose work for
science should absolve him from that imputation.

One of the most illustrious philosphers which America has produced was
Dr. William James, professor of psychology in Harvard University.  In
that institution, thirty-five years ago, he was assistant-professor of
physiology, and knew exactly what was done.  Harvard made him a
professor of philosophy, and then of psychology; Princeton and Oxford
and Harvard conferred upon him their highest honours.  He lectured
both at the University of Oxford and the University of Edinburgh.  He
wa s a member of various scienfitic societies in France, in Germany,
in Denmark, and England.  If any man was entitled by experience and
study to speak with some authority concerning vivisection, it was
William James of Harvard University.

He knew to what extent the practice of vivisection was carried on.
Calling upon me one day in Cambridge, we compared views, and although
he told me of certain experiments he proposed to make the next day, he
was emphatic in his denunciation of the atrocities which over and over
again were repeated in physiological laboratories throughout the
land.  The men who raised their voices against all reform were--he
said--neither candid, nor honest, nor sincere.

Somewhat later, with some knowledge of his views, he was asked to hold
an honorary relation to the Vivisection Reform Society.  His reply was
so characteristic of the man that it is here given:

"Dear Sir,

"I am made of too unorganized stuff to be a Vice-President of the
Vivisection Reform Society, and, moreover, I make it a principle not
to let my name appear anywhere where I am not doing practical work.
But I am glad to send you, in answer to your request, a statement of
my views, which you are at liberty to publish if you see fit.

"Much of the talk against vivisection is, in my opinion, as idiotic as
the talk in defence of it is uncandid; but your Society (if I rightly
understand its policy) aims not at abolishing vivisection, but at
regulating it ethically.  AGAINST ANY REGULATION WHATEVER I understand
the various medical and scientific defenders of vivisection to
protest.  Their invariable contention, implied or expressed, is that
it is no one's business what happens to an animal so long as the
individual who is handling it can plead that to increase Science is
his aim.

"This contention seems to me to flatly contradict the best conscience
of our time.  The rights of the helpless--even though they be brutes--
must be protected by those who have superior power.  The individual
vivisector must be held responsible to some authority which he fears.
The medical and scientific men, who time and time again have raised
their voices in opposition to all legal projects of regulation, KNOW
AS WELL AS ANYONE ELSE does the unspeakable possibilities of
callousness, wantonness, and meanness of human nature, and their
unanimity is the best example I know of the power of club opinion to
quell independence of mind.  No well-organized sect or corporation of
men can ever be trusted to be truthful or moral when under fire from
the outside.  In this case, THE WATCHWORD IS TO DENY EVERY ALLEGED
FACT STOUTLY; to concede no point of principle, and to stand firmly on
the right of the individual experimenter.  His being `scientific'
must, in the eye of the law, be a sufficient guarantee that he can do
no wrong."

It may be questioned whether more serious charges against the
laboratory have ever been made than are contained in these statements
by an expert in vivisection.  The man of the world wonders at the
unanimity of scienitfic writers of the day in opposing every step
tending to reform.  Professor James tells us it is due to "the power
of club opinion to quell independence of mind." That the professional
ATTACKED," that they combine "to deny every alleged fact stoutly,"
these are the admissions of an expert experimenter, whose record as a
man of science is surely equal if not superior to that of any
vivisector in America.

Professor James believed that some abuses had been rectified.  He

"That less wrong is done now than formerly is, I hope, true.  There is
probably a somewhat heightened sense of responsibility.  There are,
perhaps, fewer lecture-room repetitions of ancient vivisections,
supposed to help out the professors' dulness with their brilliancy,
and to `demonstrate' what not six of the students are near enough to
see, and what all had better take, as in the end they have to, upon
trust.  The waste of animal life is very likely lessened, the thought
for animal pain less shamefaced in the laboratories than it was.
These benefits we certainly owe to the antivivisection agitation,
which ,in the absence of producing actualy State regulation, has
gradually induced some sense of public accountability in
physiologists, and made them regulate their several individual selves.

"But how infinitely more wisely and economically would these results
have come if the physiologists as a body had met public opinion half-
way long ago, agreed that the situation was a genuinely ethical one,
and that their corporate responsibility was involved, and had given up
the preposterous claim that every scientist has an unlimited right to
vivisect, for the amount or mode of which no man, not even a
colleague, can call him to account.[1]

"The fear of State rules and inspectors on the part of the
investigators is, I think, well founded; they would probably mean
either stupid interference or become a sham.  But the public demand
for regulation rests on a perfectly sound ethical principle, the
denial of which by the scientists speaks ill for either their moral
sense or their political ability.  So long as the physiologists
disclaim corporate responsibility, formulate no code of vivisectional
ethics for laboratories to post up and enforce, appoint no censors,
pass no votes of condemnation or exclusion, propose of themselves no
law, so long must the antivivisectionist agitation, with all its
expensiveness, idiocy, bad temper, untruth, and vexatiousness,
continue, as the only possible means of bringing home to the careless
or callous individual experimenter the fact that the sufferings of HIS
animals are somebody else's business as well as his own, and that
there is `a God in Israel' to whom he owes account.

                                                "WILLIAM JAMES.
  "Cambridge, Mass.,
        "May 5 (1909)."

[1] "Unnecessary and offensive in the highest degree would it be,
... by legislation of any kind, to attempt to dictate or control how,
and by whom, and for what purposes, and under what conditions and upon
what animals in the laboratories, ... experiments should be made.  The
THESE INSTITUTIONS."--From a memorial of Dr. Simon Flexner,
Dr. W. T. Councilman, Dr. H. C. Ernst, and other members of the
Association of American Physicians against Senate Bill regulating
vivisection in the District of Columbia, May 4, 1896.

This is a very strong indictment.  If he misunderstood the
antivivisectionists, we must remember that Henry Clay in 1851 could
see nothing good in William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition party.
But James knew precisely what the vivisection of animals meant, for he
had taught physiology, and had been engaged in experimentation for
more than a quarter of a century.  When he speaks of the power of
"club opinion to quell independence of mind," he explains a situation
which otherwise might remain obscure.  When he asserts that certain
groups "cannot be trusted to be truthful or moral," we have the
explanation of a philosopher who was not given to over-statement.

Do we not find in this letter an outline of what Professor James would
suggest as steps toward vivisection reform? In perfunctory inspection
of laboratories or supervision by State inspectors, he has no
confidence; such inspection would probably degenerate into a sham.  A
well-known experimentor once said to the rwiter: "Your inspectors of
laboratories must be either well-educated and competent men, or else
officials of the grade of the average policemen.  If the belong to the
first class, do you think they will become detectives and spies? If,
on the other hand, they earn the salary of the average policeman, will
they be intelligent enough to discover abuses, and invariably of such
rectitude that a ten-dollar bill will not induce official blindness?"

It would seem that this objection to State inspection cannot be
lightly considered.  For the prevention of cruelty it may be right to
permit certain persons always to have the right to enter any
laboratory whatever without previous notice; the fact that they may
come at any time constitutes the safeguard to a limited degree.  But
such men must be persons unpaid by the State, of intelligence
sufficient to comprehend all peculiarities of experimentation, and of
a probity that no bribe can disturb.  It would be far better to allow
things to go on as they are than to have cruelty protected by public
confidence in a legal supervision that did not sufficiently supervise
and restrian.

It appears to me, as I have said elsewhere, that first of all public
opinion should be aroused, not so much to condemn all experimentation
upon animals, as to know with certainty the facts about it.  Of the
vivisection of animals in England and America carried on in secret,
the general public, even of the more intelligent class, has no more
accurate inforumation than two centuries ago it had of the methods of
the Spanish Inquisition in the dungeons of Madrid or Seville.  How did
it happen that an institution so execrated and so universally
condemned to-day, managed for centuries almost unchallenged, to exist?
Precisely as the closed laboratory manges to exist among us, becauseof
the secrecy in which it was surrounded, and the general confidence
which it claimed as its due.  Reform canot make headway so long as the
dungeon is dark and the laboratory is locked.  The strongest line of
defence is the maintenance of ignorance, even though we have the
curious anomaly, existing nowhere else, of Science covering herself
with darkness and hiding behind ignorance.  It was one of the ablest
advocates for vivisection that America has produced, who, in an
address before the American Academy of Medicine, condemned the secrecy
of the physiological laboratory as "a grave and profound mistake,"
adding that "if there be necessary secrecy, there is wrong." No more
significant condemntation of present-day methods has ever been

An eminent London physician, Dr. Greville Macdonald, wrote not long
ago in favour of that publicity of vivisection, or rather of that
knowledge of its methods which should precede any attempt at
legislation.  The question of interference is one that the State must
decide, though the dangers and advantages of vivisection can only be
arrayed in intelligible order by one who understands the subject. "But
the public, HAVING HEARD THE EVIDENCE, must decide whether or no the
State shall more willingly sanction cruelty in the secret laboratory
than in the highway.... I most reluctantly admit, it is almost
impossible to get evidence upon such points, and for the reason THAT
Nevertheless, it is just because of this secrecy that the public have
a right to make trouble.  But for John Howard's crusade against the
horrors of the prisons, the public had never known the truth, their
infamies had never been remedied; and the public have now as much
right to question the physiologist's repudiations as they had then to
doubt the denials of the gaolers.  The evidence is sufficient to
justify, in my own mind, a large measure of sympathy with the
antivivisectionists, though I am not of them."

What lines of procedure in the direction of reform would Dr. Macdonald
advocate? He admits that "to prohibit vivisection altogether would be
to invite its performance in such secrecy as no system of espionage
could unearth.  Legislation can seldom do more than compromise,
because it cannot essay the impossible." He admits that "no Act of
Parliament can eradicate the spirit that makes cruelty possible." But
there are some things that may be done, and upon four points
Dr. Macdonald believes legislation is desireable.  "The first is that
vivisection ought to be prohibited for the purposes of teaching,
because it is often misleading and always demoralizing.  The second is
that the inspection of the physiological laboratories should be
carried out more systematically and always unexpectedly, and that the
inspectors should largely be increased in number.  Thirdly, I would
prohibit all dissections, with or without anaesthetics, upon live
horses and dogs.  Fourthly, I would make the administration of curare
for purposes of experiments a criminal act."

One method of obtaining information concering the practice in America
is through a Legislative commission.  Guided intelligently, such a
Commission should be able to present in its final report a large
accumulation of important facts.  It is evident, however, that if such
disclosures are likely to tell against present methods of research,
the appointment of any such Commission will be strenuously opposed by
everyone connected with the laboratories.  The strange thing is that
precisely this opposition has been evinced in the State of New York,
as elsewhere shown.  The powers that control prefer the present
darkness, and for the time being have been able to secure it.  But
this very opposition is so significant that no effort should be
relaxed to bring every phase of the practice of vivisection into the
light of day.

That altogether too much reliance may be placed upon Government
inspection of laboratories seems unquestionable.  If one could be sure
that it would always be conducted by intelligent and educated men,
with due appreciation of scientific aims, yet in thorough sympathy
with humane motives and objects, it would undoubtedly be of use.  But
no such reliance can be ours.  The experience of England should convey
a lesson in this respect.

Suppose, therefore, that in place of demanding the State inspection of
laboratories, or any present interference with the conduct of the
vivisector, we endeavor first of all to learn the facts through the
experimenters themselves.  Of course they will not volunteer any
information that may seem to tell against the practice; we must expect
the laboratory to put forward ever obstacle that might hinder the
facts from becoming public if there is anything wrong to hide.  But
unless the claim be soberly put forth--and I am not sure that this may
not be the case--that the vivisector has a right to work in complete
secrecy, and to hide his methods from the world, he cannot complain at
being the reporter of his own activities.

Assuming then, that our object be solely the acquisition of knowledge
without interference until necessity be shown, what can be done by
legislation in America to attain the end desired?

1. THE REGISTRATION OF LABORATORIES.--Every place where experiments
upon animals are to be legally made should be licensed by the State.
It has been suggested that such regulation should recognize the
occasional necessity for experiments upon animals relating to the
transmission of diseases at other places than laboratories, as, for
example, on farms.  A liberal recognition of all genuine exceptions
might easily be made; the only object of such regulation is to insure
that all experimentation whatever comes upon the record.  So long as
this is accomplished, every exceptional case of such investigation
outside a laboratory may easily be permitted without injury to the
principle involved.

2. REGISTRATION OF EXPERIMENTERS.--Every man who desires to perform
experiments upon animals should be required to obtain a licence from
the State granting such privilege for a definite time.  This could
work no injury to science in America, for in England it has been a
rule in force for many years.  When one remembers that a physician or
surgeon, even though possessed of the greatest skill, cannot practise
unless licensed by the State, it is difficult to see why a practice so
liable to abuse and crulety should be without this simple recognition
of the experimenter's ability, humaneness, and skill.

3. REPORTS OF EXPERIMENTS.--We are sometimes told that if there is any
secrecy in vivisection, it is only that which scientific men
everywhere demand for scientific work.  The dissecting-room has its
enforced privacy; the chemist must have his period of uninterrupted
attention, and to the observatory of the astronomer it is not easy to
obtain admittance at any and all times.  Suppose Society to grant the
privacy for a time, asking in return from every registered laboratory
and from every experimenter, the completest reports of all experiments
upon animals.  What objection can be raised if there is nothing to
conceal? The Savings Bank, the Insurance Company, even the National
Treasury, are all required to give at regular intervals information
concerning the disposition of funds.  Let us place the creatures
liable to vivisection and taken into a laboratory on a plane of equal
importance with bags of silver coin taken into a banking-house.  From
greta financial institutions we require detailed information and
reports attested by oath concerning the disposition made of money
taken into its treasury.  No cashier would dream of objecting to such
reports; they are the tribute which conscious integrity
unhesitataingly pays to secure public confidence and trust.  Now, in
the interests of science--which means always truth demonstrated, not
truth concealed--and in the interests of humanity as well, let us ask
for ever material fact pertaining to the creatures entering a
laboratory for vivisection, whether it be the dog, "stolen, to begin
with" (to use the phrase of the London Lancet), or animals more
legitimately acquired, so long as their lives are to be exploited in
the professed interests of mankind.

In every registered laboratory, therefore, the law should require that
a register be kept concerning every animal of the higher species
brought upon the premises for purposes of experimentation.  The
species of every such animal, its sex, colour, condition, and apparent
age; from whom it was acquired and the price paid for it; and to whom
for experimentation it was finally delivered--all these facts should
be a part of the permanent record of every laboratory.  It ought not
to be difficult to devise a register, which at the outset would
probably meet the suggested requirements.[1]

[1] See Appendix, pp. 340-343.

One advantage of such a register as this would be the assistance it
would render in all attempts to trace animals which are stolen or
lost, and which find their way to the laboratory.  Every animal which
may possibly have been a pet should be kept for redemption for two to
three weeks, and no animal should be purchased unless the purchaser is
able to have a record of the address of the seller.  Anyone can
distinguish between a homeless vagabond of the street and an animal
which must have been well treated in a good home, and I believe that
experimentation upon a pet animal under any conditions should be
forbidden by law.

The gain arising from such registration is obvious.  It would mark the
entrance within the laboratory of every creature intended for
experimentation of any kind.  It makes possible to an extent the
tracing of pet animals, lost or stolen, which now find themselves
devoted to vivisection.  The inspection of such a register should be
permitted to any person whatever endeavouring to trace a lost or
stolen pet.  A summary should be regularly furnished for publication,
attested by oath, precisely as the cashier of a national bank
periodically attests the accuracy of his reports.  Such a report is
but a promulgation of facts which ought to be within the reach of the
public.  By no stretch of the imagination can one honestly declare
that such knowledge will constitute an impediment to justifiable
research.  Yet no one acquainted with this subject can doubt that
every resource of the laboratory will be brought forward to resist to
the uttermost even the giving of so little information as this.

But we must go beyond this.  To trace animals to the door of the
laboratory, and there to drop them, leaves the curtain unlifted; they
enter the darkness, and that darkness must be dispelled.  It must be
the privilege of the public to know as completely as possible EXACTLY
accomplished? How may we know what is done to the animals thus traced
to the door of every laboratory without being charged with impeding
the legitimate researches of science? For reasons stated, inspection
will not accomplish it.  As carried out in England, it certainly has
accomplished but little for the protection of animals.  The published
reports of experiments made in that country under one or another
"certificate," are practically of no value whatever except to show the
constant increase of such experiments every year.  The plummet must
sink to deeper depths.  If Society is to grant to the physiological
laboratory that isolation and freedom from interference which it

It has the right.  Unfortunately it cannot persuade or compel.  That
is the province of Legislation.

Vivisection, we must always remember, is an exceedingly complex
practice.  It is a means of demonstrating well-known facts; it is also
a method of original research.  How many animals in any given
laboratory are used in each of these phases of experimentation? No one
can tell us.  If the laboratory keeps no account, it is unlikely that
the information could be given by anybody else.  A strong impression
exists that "original research" for any object of conceivable utility
to mankind is vastly more infrequent than vivisection for the
repetition--painful or otherwise--of facts perfectly well known.  We
need to have the question settled with an accuracy upon which as much
reliance may be placed as upon the oath of the cashier of a bank.
"Every laboratory," said Dr. George M. Guld, in an address before the
American Academy of Medicine, "should publish an annual statement
setting forth plainly the number and kind of experiments, the objects
aimed at, and, most definitely, the methods of conducting them." This
wise suggestion, however, bore no fruit.  No such "annual statemnet"
has ever been issued by any American laboratory, so far as I am
aware.  Even if thus issued it would not go far enough.  Such reports
should be attested under oath by each individual experimenter, exactly
as the officers of a bank are required by law to make reports
regarding its financial standing.  Every experimenter should therefore
be required to state what he has done during the three preceding
months; to give the number of animals of each species which have been
delivered to him, the object of each experiment, and the cases in
which curare was employed.  Especially should a careful distinction be
drawn between original investigations made in private and experiments
made before students or by students themselves, solely for the
illustration of well-known facts.  An outline of a report that would
cover these facts will be found in the appendix.

And yet this is hardly enough.  It is not sufficient to have the
results of individual experience; we should have a summary of all
experimental work made upon the higher animals in each laboratory
given us by the responsible head of that institution.  An outline of a
report that would give us the information desired is not difficult to

[1] See Appendix.

There is little doubt but that violent objection will be made to any
such reports.  But in the opinion of very many persons the truth about
a vivisection laboratory is quite as desirable as the truth about a
country bank.  Verification in either case implies the same.  It would
mean that the statement was not made carelessly, but with a due
appreciation of the solemnity of an oath.  Any gross misstatement on
the part of a bank cashier would almost certainly subject him to a
rigid examination, and to the penalty of dismissal.  It should be the
same with a laboratory.  If gross missatements should be made with
apparent design to hide something that should have been made known, it
seems to me that those who thus offend should have their licences
suspended or revoked.  We cannot forget that Society is here dealing
with a peculiar institution, where secrecy is regarded as a virtue.
If one could imagine a bank or an insurance company, where every
official or employee, from the president down to the scrub-woman, was
seeking in every way to keep its affairs hidden from the general
public, we should in one respect have the counterpart of the
physiological laboratory of to-day.

On the other hand, when the law asks for the truth, whether it be of a
bank or a laboratory, under penalties for concealment that cannot be
easily disregarded, we may be very certain that in the vast majorty of
instances compliance will be accorded to its demands.  Instances of
attempted concealment will, of course, occur; the cashier who has
speculated with the funds of the bank will endeavour to conceal his
crime, and the vivisector who has carried his private experiments or
his demonstrations before students to cruel and unwarrantable lengths
will seek by all possible means to prevent revelation of his
transgression.  In both cases there will be occasional success.  But
as regards vivisection, it cannot be questioned that whenever in
future the law makes a demand for such reports as are here outlined, a
vast amount of information, now carefully concealed from the
possibility of public judgment, will become known.  We shall obtain
it, too, withut crossing the threshold of a single laboratory, without
hindering in any way whatever the least important investigation of a
single scientific inquirer.

Ought we not to go beyond this and require reports to state the facts
regarding anaesthetics? Eventually such information should undoubtedly
be required.  So far as the immediate present is concerned, it would
seem perhaps the wiser course not to complicate the inquiry in this
way.  There are vivisectors who would declare that "anaesthetics are
always used" when ether or chloroform has been given in quantity and
in time absolutely insufficient to secure for the vivisected animal
immunity from pain.  Sometimes we shall ask how many animals and of
what species are subjected to mutilations and observations that last
for days and weeks, and how many, if any, have had "nerves torn out by
the roots," as one American physiologist connected with a medical
school tells us he has repeatedly done.  Into the thousand and one
phases of experimentation Society must one day make inquiry.  But may
it not be best to wait till some knowledge of the leading facts are
secured? A report regarding anaesthesia might be utterly useless,
except to keep hidden the very facts we wish to know.  What some of
these facts are may be indicated hereafter, but it would seem best not
to include them in any present demand.

What may we conceive will be the attitude of the laboratory interests
toward any attempt to secure information concerning the practice, not
by State inspection, but by and through reports made by themselves? If
the popular conceoption of physiological investigation were true,
should we not be sure of the hearty approval of all physiologists
regarding any measure so calculated to remove misunderstanding and
distrust? Here would be the wished-for opportunity to demonstrate the
vast importance of the problems pursued, and the wonderful results
attained compared with the small cost of animal life, the humane and
ever-present solicitude of the experimenter, the immunity from
suffering.  Here, too, we should have that "organized, systematic, and
absolute frankness" in regard to the practice of vivisection, for
which one of its greatest American defenders once appealed.  But, on
the other hand, suppose that the laboratory in England and America
dare not permit the whole truth to be known? Suppose that it would not
willingly permit the general public to know even the number of animals
which are now sacrificed in the demonstration of well-known facts?
Then assuredly the laboratory interests will unite to prevent any
legislation that could tend to destroy the secrecy that now exists, or
to bring the facts of vivisection to the light of day.  Which
hypothesis is the true one, some day will reveal.  We shall then
discover whether the laboratory will yield to a demand for publicity,
or whether, contending for continued secrecy, faithless to Science, it
will resist every attempt to make known the whole truth, and cling to
the ideals and traditions of the Spanish Inquisition of three hundred
years ago.

                        CHAPTER XIV


It is necessary to make a distinction between societies aiming to
destroy animal experimentation, root and branch, and those which hope
only to prevent abuses and cruelties.  Antivivisection societies have
been organized in different States.  Of their activities it is not
necessary here to speak.  But another kind of organization has made
its appearance, societies aiming solely at the prevention of abuse and
the restriction of the practice within limits compatible with humane

The first society in America organized for the express purpose of
prevention of cruelty in animal experimentation appears to have been
the American Antivivisection Society, founded at Philadelphia in
1883.  The object of the society, as defined by its first charter, was
"the restriction of the practice of vivisection within proper limits,
and the prevention of the injudicious and needless infliction of
suffering upon animals under the pretence of medical or scientific
research." To Mrs. Caroline Earle White of Philadelphia, more than to
any other, was due the credit of bringing this first society of
protest into being over thirty years ago.

It was believed by the founders of this society that the medical
profession--so many members of which had recognized the reality of the
abuses and the necessity of reform--would join in some common endeavor
to restrict and to regulate the practice.  But attempts in direction
of any legislation met with decided opposition from the principal
laboratories in the State, and although a few physicians of eminence
lent their influence to the promotion of reform, the great body of
medical practitioners stood aloof.  And gradually the founders of the
society came to believe that their position was wrong; that the policy
of concession and compromise ought to be abandoned, and that instead
of asking that any experimentation be legalized, the society should
demand the total abolition of all experiments upon living animals.

At a meeting held in 1887 a resolution was brought forward favouring
the change of the name of the society and the aim which hitherto they
had had in view.  Opposition merely to experiments of a painful
character was not sufficient; from that time forward every phase of
experimentation was equally to be condemned.  The resolution was
carried.  And now for more than a quarter of a century the society has
striven to influence public sentiment in favour of its ideal, the
total suppression of all scientific experiment upon living animals,
whether painful or otherwise.  It is needless to say that they have
done this in the face of innumerable obstacles, and doubtless with a
recognition of the impossiblity of present success.  Three times they
have introduced into the Legislature of the State of Pennsylvania a
Bill for some restriction of animal experimentation, and always
without avail.

Other antivivisection societies in different parts of the country,
adopting the same ideal, were organized shortly afterward.  So far as
legislation is concerned, their efforts have met with uniform
failure.  They have succeeded, however, in keeping the subject before
the world in making known the abuses of the practice and voicing a
condemnation of its cruelties wherever discerned.  I have elsewhere
expressed the opinion that, even if their ideals are beyond present
possibility of attainment, the constant, persistent, and unwearied
protest of these societies against the cruelties and abuses of
vivisection have helped, more than anything else, to keep the question
a living issue.

In 1896 was organized the first society having for its object solely
the repression of abuse, the American Society for the Regulation of
Vivisection.  Its object was distinctly stated in its title, and its
work was confined almost entirely to the publication of literature.
In 1903 the Vivisection Reform Society, organized to advance the same
moderate views, was incorporated under United States laws, and the
earlier society became merged therein.  The president was Dr. David
H. Cochran of Brooklyn, a distinguished educator, and the secretary,
upon whose shoulders fell nearly all the work of the organization, was
Sydney Richmond Taber, Esq., a member of the legal profession.  Among
its supporters were Cardinal Gibbons, Professor Goldwin Smith, Senator
Gallinger, Professor John Bascom, ex-President of the University of
Wisconsin, Professor William James of Harvard University, and men of
standing and influence in the medical and legal professions.  For
several years its work was carried on with efficiency and enthusiasm,
chiefly by the propaganda of the press.  It has always seemed to me
that the name of the society was especially felicitous, for it
expressed tersely the object of the organization, not the abolition of
all scientific utilization of animal life, but the repression and
elimination of abuse.  A year or two later there was incorporated at
Washington the National Society for the Humane Regulation of
Vivisection, the objects of which were identical with those of the
earlier societies.  For many reasons it did not appear expedient to
keep in activity two societies with precisel the same objects, and
into the new organization the Vivisection Reform Society was finally

Another American society which has done particularly good work is the
Vivisection Investigation League of New York.  The object of this
association is fairly expressed by its name; it seeks to investigate
the practice, so far as inquiry is practicable, and to make known from
the writings of experimenters themselves exactly what is done in the
name of scientific research.  In this direction the League has already
done work of exceptional value and interest.

An organization which more than any other has distinguished itself for
persistent, unwearied, and vigorous attempts to secure reform by legal
enactment is the Society for the Prevention of Abuse in Animal
Experimentation, organized in Brooklyn, New York, in 1907.[1] From the
first it repudiated the suggestion that it was opposed to scientific
experimentation upon animals under all circumstances; it has never
denied that some benefits have accrued through animal experimentation,
even though such benefits have been exaggerated, but it has bent all
its energies toward securing such legislation in the State of New York
as should limit the practice to competent men, place it under such
legal control, render its abuse a misdemeanour, and all unnecessary
and wanton cruelty a legal offence.  Bills were therefore introduced
for the appointment of a Commission of inquiry regarding the extent
and nature of the practice at each annual session of the Legislature.
Some of these Bills were reported out of the Committee, and one
reached debate in the Senate.  But investigation of the practice was
precisely what the supporters of the modern laboratory do not seem to
desire.  They were strong enough to influence the Legislature against
such inquiry, and their attempts to open the laboratory have so far
failed.  Will it be possible for ever to maintain this secrecy? That
is the question for the future.

[1] To the discriminating and energetic work of Frederic P. Bellamy,
Esq., the counsel of the society, and of Mrs. William Vanamee, the
secretary, the success of this society is particularly indebted.  In
the public journals, on many occasions, they have definitely and
comprehensively outlined the aims of the organization, and in this
respect there has been no excuse whatever for any misunderstanding or

In its early efforts to secure investigation an attempt was made by
this society to secure the co-operation of members of the medical
profession, and in union with a large number of persons belonging to
various professions over seven hundred physicians in the State of New
York signed a petition in 1907-08 in favour of a measure that would
have tended to elicit the facts.  As soon as the Medical Society of
the State of New York became aware of this endorsement, it sent out to
each of these physicians a request that he would withdraw his name.
What Dr. William James called "the power of club influence to quell
independence of mind" could hardly have been more significantly
exercised, yet less than forty signers were willing to accede to such
demand.  Upon the files of the society are now the signatures of over
six hundred physicians in the State who have favoured legislation
restricting the practice of vivisection to competent men, and
providing against cruelty and abuse.

In the fall of 1911 the Society circulated a petition throughout the
State.  It asked the Legislature of the State of New York to provide--

"an immediate and impartial investigation by a non-partisan commission
into the practice of animal experimentation as conducted in this
State.  In view of the inherent possibility of cruelty in the
practice, and the obvious inadequacy of the existing laws to prevent
such cruelty, we deem the existing status of vivisection in this State
to be a menace to the community, which calls for legislative

To this petition more than twelve thousand signatures were obtained.
Again the influence of the laboratory was effective in preventing the
Legislature from granting the investigation desired.

Some of the most scholarly editorials which have appeared in the
newspaper press in favour of inquiry have been those of Hon. St. Clair
McKelway, the Chancellor of the Board of Regents of the State of New
York and editor of the Brooklyn Eagle, the leading evening newspaper
in the United States.  Referring to one of the Bills introduced by the
Society for the Prevention of Abuse in Animal Experimentation,
Dr. McKelway said:

"The Bill ought to be passed.  It would secure an unpaid
representative Commission to investigate animal vivisection,
protecting it from abuses, and allowing it to be properly pursued
within safeguards of necessity and mercy.... The regulation of
vivisection is not the abolition of it, but the civilization of it.
Such of the medical profession as are a Trade Union on a large scale,
as afraid of one another as they are deaf to the voices of humanity
and to public opinion, should be forced by the State to courses that
should long ago have been volunteered by themselves.  The beginning of
the end of licensed cruelty has come.  The struggle may still take
time, but the time will be well spent and the result is as certain as
the triumph of every other benign movement for the Kingdom of God in
the hearts of men and in the laws of the State."

Of another bill introduced by this society, Chancellor McKelway wrote:

"The Society for the Prevention of Abuse in Animal Experimentation
necessarily has an awkwardly long name; necessarily, to state just
what the Society is, and to show just what it is not.  It is not to
prevent animal experimentation, but only to prevent the abuse of it.
It is not an antivivisection body, ut it is a body to control the work
of vivisection within the confines of actual necessity, and to bring
the work under accountability to law as affected by a relation to
reason, to humanity, and to the mercy which is mightiest in the
mighty, and which becomes a State more than its sovereignty, and a
monarch more than his crown.

"The Legislature again has before it a Bill to bring animal
experimentation, or the infliction of pain on animals, in the interest
of the treatment of human beings, within law and under responsibility
to law.  Not for the first time is this Bill brought.  It will be
brought again and again until the Bill becomes law.  The instinct of
mercy and justice backs this measure and annually augments its
supporters.  That instinct will not become extinct until God abdicates
or creation reverts to chaos.  The movement is on the gaining hand.
Doubt of its eventual and nearing success is unthinkable, for in its
favour are all the forces that maintain and advance justice and mercy
in the hearts of men and in the action of States.

"State-regulated vivisection should be differentiated from
antivivisection or from no vivisection, just as civilized and
necessary war should be from the impossible abolition of all war.
Between reulation and prohibition is a difference.  Between
responsibility and wantonness is a difference.  Yet regulated
vivisection has been confounded with antivivisection by the union of
zany cranks and trade-unionized men of medicine, who have not
refrained from the coercion of patients, from the deception of the
public, from the inoculation of legislators with mendacity, capsuled
in sophistry, and from the direct or indirect corruption or
intimidation of not a few public journals.  The discovery of the ways
and means and men is bringing the evil to an end.

"That discovery coincides with the arousal of the public conscience
against political corruption, party corruption, and interparty as well
as intraparty bribery and tyranny.  There is accord between all the
forces for betterment.  Barbarism and cruelty toward the brute
creation are as certainly doomed as polygamy and human slavery were.
The needs of surgery will be preserved from wanton slaughter in the
name of surgery, in times past, and now wrought by men called doctors
and by cub-boys called students.  The statesmen in politics are
realizing this.  The demagogues and opportunists in Legislatures are,
too.  So are the men of mercy, conscience, and vision in medicine
itself.  The impact of banded pretension in trade-unionized medical
schools and societies is resented and resisted by teachers and
practitioners, who are becoming ashamed not to be free, and who are
abetting those who would free them.

"There is a good time coming around the whole circle of uplift.  The
time will not be long coming; but when it shall come, its duration
will have no end, and its progress will be perpetual."[1]

[1] Editorial, Brooklyn Eagle, April 4, 1910.

It is an interesting fact that the American Society for the Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals, founded by Henry Bergh, the first organization
of its kind in America, joined in the demand for further
investigation.  Under the heading, "The Facts Demanded," the editor of
its periodical makes known its position regarding vivisection:

"The above caption defines the attitude of the Society to-day toward
the practice of `animal experimentation.' In the common phrase, `we
want to know,' and we are not to be deterred from what we believe to
be a duty by being told from sources more or less reputable that it is
none of our business.  For many years this Society has been the chief
representative in this country and in this city of that large class
among our people who feel and cherish an interest in and a sense of
humanity for what are called the `dumb animals.' One great life--that
of the founder, Henry Bergh--was spent in this service, and
prematurely sacrificed in his devotion to these interests.  With
faults and failures to reach his ideal, with stumbles and falls,
freely admitted, but with a persistent purpose to attain it in the
end, this Society has never faltered in its effort to follow the path
where he had blazed the way.  It has never been seriously accused of
acting from fear or favour or from other than altruistic motives, and
by so doing it has gained and kept the confidence and respect of a
great part of what is best in our community.  It is far too late in
the day for any newspaper or anay group of citizens, no matter how
influential in the one case or highly respected in the other, to say
to this Society: `You shall not do the work for which you were
chartered, and which for forty-five years you have performed in this

"Now, what is that work in the present instance? Expressed in its
simplest terms, it is a demand that the practice of animal
experimentation shall be investigated by the State to determine what
is actually being done, and that thereafter legislation shall be had
that shall place it under such supervision and restriction as shall
insure differentiation between scientific investigation performed for
wise and adequate ends and purposes on the one hand, and on the other
acts of a painful and brutal character performed from unworthy
motives, with no adequate benefit possible as a resultant, and which
clearly come within the classification of cruelty.

"We submit that this is an eminently fair proposal, and one that
should not be opposed by any friend of scientific work, and least of
all by the physicians of this city.  Yet what do we find? The attitude
of that profession is clearly shown by the letter of Mr. Bergh, which
we reproduce in our columns, and which will unquestionably receive
credence from its frankness and from the eminent name attached to it,
now borne by a worthy and devoted descendant of our first president.

"The attitude of the medical profession on this subject is this: `We
know what we are about.' `We practice vivisection for wise purposes.'
`We surround it with as humane conditions as the object sought will
permit.' `We have made great and beneficial discoveries by its means.'
`We assert that we con trol it within the above limits.' `But we will
not state what we do, or how.' `We will not permit our assertions to
be verified if we can help it.' `We will oppose any movement in the
Press or the Legislature looking to this end.' `And we will encourage
the Press to defeat such an effort, not only by ridicule and irony but
by a definite misrepresentation of the motives and views of the
Society that seeks "to know."'

"We do not at this moment question the truth of the assertions as to
the practice and control which we have put (accurately, we think) into
the mouths of the medical profession; but it is startlingly evident
that these assertions can only apply TO THAT PART OF ANIMAL
part? Will those who champion unrestricted, uninvestigated,
unsuperintended vivisection assert that they will guarantee to the
people of this city that no act of cruelty or wantonness is or ever
shall be committed here by a medical practitioner under the guise of
scientific investigation? Will they guarantee that such acts are not,
and never shall be, committed in this State? Will they guarantee the
humanity and the practice of the thousands of medical students who
annually graduate from the colleges? Will they enter into bonds to the
community for the acts of those who, from time to time, they expel,
for cause from the medical societies? Will they place their own great
reputations and highly esteemed characters behind, and as vouchers
for, many a practitioner with whom they would not meet in
consultation, and whom they would not allow to practice or malpractice
in the house of a friend or a patient? We think not--we KNOW they
would not, for such endorsements and guarantees would be impossible of
fulfilment.  And if they will not and cannot, they wshould cease to
stand between the society that seeks `to know' and the evils it seeks
to expose and eliminate.

"Gentlemen of the medical profession, understand once for all that
this Society does not seek to abolish vivisection.  It recognizes the
good, the great good, that has and that may come to the human race
from its careful, humane, and scientific use.  But it aims to abolish
its ABUSES, and in that aim it is entitled to your advice and

Enough has been given to indicate the purpose of the present movement
for vivisection reform.  It is not the same as antivivisection, and
although it has been persistently misrepresented as such by the
advocates of unrestricted freedom in the physiological laboratory,
perhaps we have no reason to expect from that quarter any other
course.  Yet in expressing appreciation both of purpose and
accomplishment, it may perhaps be well to suggest a single caution.
The time is probably coming when those who have most persistently
opposed all appeals for more light concerning vivisection will
announce willingness to accede to the public demnad, provided the
vivisector may himself appoint the investigators, and define the
limitations of the inquiry.  It needs but little discernment to
foresee that an inquiry so conducted may be no better than a farce,
and conduce to no real change in the present obscurity.  To be of any
value the commission of inquiry regarding vivisection must be so
intelligent regarding all phases of the practice that it shall know
how to penetrate to hidden recesses, where things not desired to be
revealed shall be concealed; capable, too, of distinguishing between
the work of the expert scientist and that of the ignorant and careless
student, untouched, it may be, by any sense of pity or compassion for
the creature in its power.  The greatest cruelties may yet be found,
not in the laboratory of the investigator, but in that of the
demonstrator of well-known facts.  Perhaps no investigation of the
practice of vivisection can be expected until public opinion shall
have been educated to demand it, and then, in point of thoroughness,
let us trust it may leave nothing to be desired.  Meantime the work of
agitation for reform must continue; no matter how slight the
accomplishment, surely something is done. "All work," said Carlyle,
"is as seed sown; it growns and spreads, AND SOWS ITSELF ANEW, and so
in endless palingenesia lives and works."

                        CHAPTER XV


One phase of the vivisection controversy is of singular significance.
It is the peculiar tendency to unfairness which the advocates of
unrestricted experimentation seem to display in every discussion
regarding the practice.  In all controversy there is something to be
said on both sides of the question, yet it would seem to be impossible
for anyone writing in advocacy of unlimited and unrestricted
vivisection to state fairly the views to which he is opposed.
Statements, the inaccuracy of which may easily be ascertained, are
again and again repeated, until it would almost seem that upon
reiteration of error and untruth a certain degree of dependence has
been placed for the creation of prejudice against reform.

To demonstrate the truth of such a charge would require a volume.  Let
it here suffice to mention a few instances of what may at least be
termed an unfairness in controversy.  Partly, of course, it is the
result of ignorance, and of imperfect acquaintance with the past
history of vivisection; partly it is due to that enthusiasm of youth
which sometimes prefers a seeming victory to any close fidelity to
truth.  Other instances cannot be thus explained.  Some of them are
worth consideration as problems for which no solution is easily to be

In January, 1913, a Bill was introduced into the New York Legislature
providing for an inquiry into the practice of animal experimentation.
There was no suggestion of any restriction of vivisection; it was
simply an attempt to get at the real facts concerning the practice as
now carried on.  If it be assumed that no objectionable practices
exist, it would seem difficult to oppose such inquiry upon any
reasonable grounds.  It might possibly have been expected that the
Laboratory would welcome the opportunity to demonstrate to the general
public that nothing deserving censure could be found to exist.

For reasons not difficult to understand, the proposal to investigate
the laboratory and its methods has been resisted quite as strongly as
if it had been an attempt to prohibit experiments altogether.  To
justify rejection of inquiry would not appear to be an easy task.  To
create a sentiment of approval of the policy of secrecy it doubtless
seemed necessary to make an appeal to the general public by editorial
utterances, in journals supposed to be impartial and of high standing
in other directions.  In a New York daily paper which claims to be
conducted with special regard for respectability and avoidance of
unseemly sensationalism, there appeared, therefore, an editorial
opposing all inquiry on the part of the legislature into the methods
of animal experimentation.  It is worth while to see how matters of
history were placed before its readers by one of the most reputable of
New York journals:

"... An outcry was raised against the English doctors in the early
seventies, and it was decided to investigate their laboratories.  A
Royal Commission was appointed in 1875 by Queen Victoria.  The
Commission took elaborate testimony, and found no material abuse; but
owing to the inflamed state of the public mind, and the attitude of
many members of the medical profession, who at that early date did not
appreciate the importance of the experimental method, a restrictive
law was recommended, which resulted in the calamitous measure of 1876.

"Far from allaying the British agitation, as was expected, the
investigation only served to stimulate it....  A demand was made in
1906 for a second full investigation of laboratory methods.  Again a
Royal Commission was created, which took testimony for a year and
half.  Its report, submitted in March last year, overwhelmingly
disproved the charges that the medical experiments upon animals are
immoral and unjustifiable.... THE DOCTORS OF ENGLAND HAVE FOR A
GENERATION HAD TO FLEE TO THE CONTINENT to prosecture their necessary
labours.  Is the experience of Great Britain to be repeated in the
United States at the hands of persons who have become deluded into
insensibiity to human suffering?"[1]

[1] Editorial in New York Times, January 28, 1913.

Now, this editorial utterance is not exceptionally misleading.  In
scores of newspapers throughout the United States just as ignorant and
as prejudiced statements find editorial expression every year.  It
aims to justify the closing of the laboratory to all investigations
whatever, and it attempts to do this by misstatements regarding
historical facts.  It tells us of an "outcry raised against the
English doctors in the early seventies," forgetting to mention the
attacks made by the British Medical Journal, the Lancet, and other
medical periodicals, against the terrible cruelties of the practice
long before the "early seventies." The Royal Commission of 1875, we
are told, "found no material abuse." What is meant by the qualifying
adjective "material"? Let us see how the inquiry impressed an
impartial observer, the Lord Chief Justice of England.

"Is, then, the present law reasonable? It is the result of a most
careful inquiry, conducted by eminent men in 1875, men certainly
neither weak sentimentalists nor ignorant and prejudiced
humanitarians, men among whom are to be found Mr. Huxley and
Mr. Erichsen, Mr. Hutton, and Sir John Karslake.  There men
unanimously recommended legislation, and legislation, in some
important respects, more stringent than Parliament thought fit to
pass.  They recommend it on a body of evidence at once interesting and
terrible.  Interesting, indeed, it is from the frank apathy to the
suffering of animals, however awful, avowed by some of the witnesses;
for the noble humanity of some few; for the curious ingenuity with
which others avoided the direct and verbal approval of horrbile
cruelties which yet they refused to condemn.... Terrbile the evidence
is for the details of torture, of mutilation, of life slowly destroyed
in torment, or skilfully prolonged for the infliction of the same or
diversified agonies, for days, for months, in some cases for more than
a year."[1]

[1] Fortnightly Review, February, 1882.

This was the view of the Lord Chief Justice of England of that day;
and yet the unknown scribe, writing in a New York newspaper, without
adducing a particle of evidence, would have his readers to believe
that the Commission of 1875 "FOUND NO MATERIAL ABUSE."

Equally unfair and inaccurate is the editorial reference to the report
of the Royal Commission of 1906.  The conclusions set forth in this
report cannot possibly be stated in a single sentence without leaving
essential matters unstated.  The six principal recommendations of the
Royal Commission were all in the direction of reform, AND OF REFORM
subject has been treated in a previous chapter, and need not occupy
attention again.

But the worst misstatement in this editorial intended to incite
prejudice against any inquiry in the State of New York was that which
referred to the effect of the English law governing the regulation of
vivisection.  It is now nearly forty years since this law came into
force.  The editor speaks of it as "the calamitous measure of 1876";
and after declaring that "the doctors of England have for a generation
had to flee to the Continent to prosecute their necessary labours,"
asks his readers whether "the experience of Great Britain is to be
repeeated in the United States?" If this assertion were true, then
assuredly the law would have been regarded with detestation and
abhorrence by the medical profession of England, and by the teachers
of medical science throughout the land.

Now, it so happens that the impression given is wholly false.  It did
not originate with the editorial writer; for many years the assumed
evil results of the English law have been held up for our warning by
those who desire a free hand in vivisection in America.  But is it
true that the law of 1876 is regarded in England as a calamitous
measure, which Parliament should hasten to repeal? On the contrary, so
far from being thus regarded, a large majority of the representatives
of medical science in England are in favour of the law.  Of course,
every authority can suggest modifications for its betterment, but the
principle which underlies the measure, of inspection of laboratories
and the restriction of vivisection, they do not condemn.  That it is a
perfect measure, the leaders of the medical profession do not assert,
but they evidently consider it as better than no law at all.  It
certainly is not considered, as the American editor calls it, "the
calamitous measure of 1876."

The proofs of this attitude of the English medical profession may be
found in the evidence given before the Royal Commission on
Vivisection, the final report of which appeared in 1912.  The
misapprehension concerning the working of the English law is so
widespread in America and is so sedulously cultivated by those who
oppose any reform, that it seems worth while to show just how the law
is regarded in the land to which it applies.

Sir Douglas Powell, President of the Royal College of Physicians, the
physician to the King, and Senior Physician to Guy's Hospital, was
asked whether the laws at present governing vivisection "have been in
any way noxious to Science?" "No, I do not think so," was his reply.
"I think, as administered at the present time, they have not
interfered with the advance of Science." Sir Henry Morris, President
of the Royal College of Surgeons, being asked substantially the same
question, replied: "I think the present Act of 1876, under which
vivisectional experiments are done, WAS AMPLY PROTECTIVE AGAINST
source, are not these remarkable testimonies concerning what is the
fashion in America to designate as "the calamitous measure of 1876"?

What is the opinion of the law held by men engaged in teaching in the
medical schols of England? Do they demand its repeal?

Dr. Pembrey, the Lecturer on Physiology at Guy's Hospital, London,
does not like many of the restrictions; yet, being asked if he
advocated the abolition of the Vivisection Act, replied: "No, I would
not do that.... I think only people interested and people who are
competent should be allowed to make vivisection experiments." The
professor of physiology in the University of Cambridge,
Dr. J. N. Langley, told the Commissioners: "I WOULD MUCH RATHER HAVE
THE ACT THAN NO ACT.  I think it would not be fair to the animals to
allow anyone to experiment upon them without control." Dr. Francis
Gotch, professor of physiology in the University of Oxford, being
asked whether the law had restricted scientific research in
experiments upon warm-blooded animals, answered: "No, I do not think
it restricts it.  I THINK IT HAS OPERATED WELL." Dr. Lorrain Smith,
professor of pathology in the Univesity of Manchester, when asked if
he had any objection to the present restrictions placed by law upon
operations on living animals, answered, "No." Dr. E. H. Starling, a
Fellow of the Royal Society, and professor of physiology at University
College, London, declared that at the present time, the physiological
school in England occupied a very high place in the world, "not
inferior to that of any other nation"--surely a strange fact for a
country suffering from what the American editor calls "the calamitous
measure of 1876"!

Everywhere we find substantially the same testimony.  Sir James
Russell, being asked whether the law had operated in way of preventing
legitimate research, replied in the negative, giving it as his opinion
that "the Act has worked with substantial smoothness." Sir Victor
Horsley, widely known as an experimenter and as a surgeon, criticized
many of the details of the law, yet when asked whether or not he was
opposed to the Act altogether, answered: "Oh, no.  I look upon the Act
as necessary in view of public opinion.... To the purpose of the Act,
that experiments should only be done in registered places and only by
persons who hold a licence from the Home Secretary, there can be no
objection whatever; at least, I cannot see any." Sir John Rose
Bradford, professor of medicine at University College Hospital in
London, being asked if it might not be better if the Act were
abolished altogether, replied: "No; I think experiments on animals
should be regulated by an Act." Whether there were any alterations
that might be valuable, was a subject to which he had given no thought
during recent yeaars.  Dr. Dixon, a professor in King's College,
declared that in his opinion "THE MEDICAL PROFESSION WOULD BE STRONGLY
AGAINST THE ACT BEING REPEALED NOW." Dr. Thane, one of the Government
inspectors, admits that science has not suffered materially by any
restrictions, and has no recommendations to make.  And Dr. Martin, a
director of the Lister Institute, being asked if English scientific
men "are less advanced than their brethren on the Continent in
consequence" of the regulation of vivisection, answered very promptly,

It is impossible here to quote the evidence in full; to do that would
require a volume.  No one of these experts claimed that the law was
perfect; each representative of English science was doubtless able to
indicate some detail capable of improvement and pertaining to the
better working of the law.  But when it came to repealing the law
altogether, not one of the distinguished men here quoted was in favour
of it.  The principle of State regulation, against the adoption of
which in America every art of prevarication has been employed, that
principle is fully accepted by the English medical profession to-day.
Was it fair for the editor of a leading journal to misstate so obvious
a fact? Can one imagine that the leading representatives of medical
science in England, the leading teachers and professors in medical
colleges and schools, would have given the evidence just quoted if for
thirty years the "doctors of England" had been flying to the Continent
to escape the stringency of the law of 1876? Should we not have found
some witness before the Royal Commission of 1906 making allusion to
this flight of the doctors of England? It is quite possible that when
the law went into operation, over thirty-five years ago, its working
was less satisfactory than it is to-day.  Was it fair to make these
early criticisms annul the evidence given by a large body of
representative men before this Commission of the twentieth century in
favour of the regulation of vivisection by law? Of course such an
editorial tended to strengthen prejudice against legal regulation in
America.  It did its work.  But can success so achieved ever be worth
of admiration?[1]

[1] The reader may ask why correction of so inaccurate a statement
concerning the English law was not sent to the journal in question.
This was done.  A synopsis of all the medical opinions here given and
taken from the evidence given before the Royal Commission was sent to
the editor of the periodical.  So fafr as seen, it did not appear.

An editorial in a morning paper would hardly seem worth noticing.
Upon the opinions of its readers it makes its impress, and is quickly
forgotten.  But the same untrue assertions will be made again more
than once in order to create prejudice against any legal regulation of
vivisection in America.  It has seemed worth while, therefore, to set
forth the evidence of the absolute untruth of such statements,
regarding the English law.[1]

[1] In demonstrating that the English law for the regulation of
vivisection is not there regarded with the disapprobation alleged by
certain writers in this country, I must not be taken as claiming that
the law from a humane standpoint is satisfactory.  Until amended as
advised by Dr. Wilson, a member of the Royal Commission, it cannot
adequately protect animals liable to experimentation from hte
possibility of abuse.

The extent to which an untruth concerning vivisection may be worked to
create prejudice against reform is afforded by a curious legend
concerning the late Lord Lister, one of the most eminent men of the
last century.

So far as I have been able to discover, the first appearance of the
story was in an address delivered before the Women's Medical College,
and reprinted in the Popular Science Monthly of May, 1885, nearly
thirty years ago.  It thus appears:

"Lister himself, no tyro, but the great master, is still searching for
further improvements.  But when, lately, he desired to make some
experiments on animals, still further to perfect our practice, so many
obstructions were thrown in his way in England that HE WAS DRIVEN TO
TOULOUSE to pursue his humane researches."

"He was driven to Toulouse." The phrase is worth remembering.  Fifteen
years later the author of this statement appeared before the Senate
Committee at Washington, D.C., to oppose a Bill regulating the
practice of animal experimentation in the District of Columbia.  In
course of his address, delivered February 21, 1900, he again repeated
the story:

"When Lord Lister, whose name is the most illustrious in the history
of surgery, wanted to carry out some further experiments in Great
Britain, where, as Dr. Leffingwell has expressed it, the `very
moderate restriction of the law applies'--experiments for the direct
EXPERIMENTS for the benefit of the human race BECAUSE HE COULD NOT DO

Can one imagine any argument against the legal regulation of
vivisection more weighty than this assertion, that the most
illustrious man in English medicine was "obliged to go to France"
because he could not make his researches on English soil? Could doubt
of the story exist when it was related by the President of the
American Medical Association before a committee of the United States
Senate? This story alone may have indused the rejection of the
proposed legislation.

The legend again found expression nearly three years later, in a
letter written by the same person to Senator Gallinger, and
telegraphed to the newspaper press throughout the country.  In the
Philadelphia Medical Journal of December 13, 1902, it appeared as

"If the laws which you and your friends advocate were in force, the
conditions for scientific investigation in this country would be quite
as deplorable as those in England.  For example, when Lord Lister, who
has revolutionized modern surgery, largely as a result of such
experiments, wished to discover possibly some still better way of
operating by further experiments, HE WAS OBLIGED TO GO TO TOULOUSE TO
CARRY THEM OUT, as the vexatious restrictions of the law in England
practically made it impossible for him to continue there these
eminently humane experiments."

Nearly a quarter of a century after the first appearance of this
story, we meet it again.  In an article entitled "Recent Surgical
Progress," appearing in Harper's Monthly for April, 1909, we are told
the same tale:

"To complete his beneficent work, LORD LISTER WAS COMPELLED TO GO TO

The law of 1876 has now multiplied into "laws" which obstruct and
hinder even the researches of a Lister.  And yet two years before, in
his testimony before the Royal Commission, the President of the Royal
College of Surgeons in England--Sir Henry Morris--had stated: "I think
the present Act of 1875, under which vivisectional experiments are
done, was amply protective against cruelty to animals AND SUFFICIENTLY
PHYSIOLOGICAL INQUIRY."[1] But of the readers of Harper's Monthly
probably not one in ten thousand had ever seen this evidence in the
Vivisection Report.

[1] Minutes of Evidence, Question 7,805.

It will be seen that no two of these accounts are precisely the same.
They agree, however, in stating that one of the most distinguished of
English scientists was compelled to leave England in order to do his
work; he "was driven to Toulouse."

It seemed to me worth while to investigate the truth of this story;
and accordingly I wrote to Lord Lister, asking him, among other
things, if it was true that he had been obliged to go to France to
carry out experiments looking to the improvement of surgical methods,
because the restrictions of the English law had made it impossible for
him to carry out his investigations in England? The reply to my
inquiry was clear and definite.  The italics are mine.

                                        "12, Park Crescent,
                                              "Portland Place,
                                                  "December 23, 1910.

"It is not strictly true that I was compelled to go out of the country
to perform the experiments in question.

had to be on large animals; and the Veterinary College, in which, I
dare say, I might have had opportunity given me for the
investigations, is a long way from my residence, and it would have
been inconvenient to have worked there.  Thus, my going to Toulouse
was a matter of convenience rather than of necessity.

"The circumstance was of course of no interest to anyone but myself,
your question frankly, but I must beg you to understand that it is not
intended for publication.
                                "Believe me,
                                     "Sincerely yours,

From every man's correspondence Death at last removes the seal; and
Lister's true story surely may now confront the distorted fiction
which in America for many years has been given so wide a publicity.

The facts are indeed different from the legend which for more than a
quarter of a century has been repeated as a convincing argument
against reform.  Of the malign influence of such a tale upon public
opinion in preventing legislation in America, we can form no adequate
estimate.  For any intentional deception we may, of course, absolve
the distinguished professional man who has made himself responsible as
transmitter of the myth; no man with any conception of honour would
state as facts what he knew to be false.  But from the charge of
carelessness, of gross inaccuracy, is one as readily to be freed? For
a quarter of a century the statement has been in circulation--that
when Lister desired to make most important researches, "so many
obstructions were thrown in his way in England, that HE WAS DRIVEN TO
TOULOUSE to pursue his humane researches"; and now Lister's letter
shows us that he "could, no doubt, have obtained a licence to do them
here"--showing that he did not even ask permission to experiment.  In
1900 the public was informed that Lister "was obliged to go to France
to carry on his experiments"; the readers of Harper's are told that
"Lord Lister was COMPELLED TO GO TO FRANCE by reason of the stringency
of the English antivivisection laws"; and now Lister writes that going
to France was a matter of convenience, and not of necessity; that at
the Veterinary College "I dare say I might have had the opportunity
given me for the investigation"--showing that the opportunity had
never been sought! Yet the influence of the untruth will continue for
many a year.

Of Lister's extreme antipathy to the antivivisectionists and to th
erestriction of animal experimentation there can be no doubt.  That he
misapprehended the effect of the law of 1876 we know; he imagined that
even the observation of the circulation of the blood in a frog's foot
under the microscope by an unauthorized investigator would render the
student liable to a criminal prosecution.  We can be very sure that if
this were true, the Act of 1876 would never have escaped the
condemnation of the scientific men whose opinions have been quoted
from evidence given before the Royal Commission, men who found in this
Act no impediment to any reasonable investigation.  But when the
reports of personal experience were brought to Lister's notice, he was
willing to correct their gross exaggerations; yet--to avoid
controversy, perhaps--he desired that the facts should not be
published, and during his lifetime, compliance was given to his wish.

The phase of untruthfulness in the defence of unrestricted
experimentation deserves far more attention than can here be
accorded.  One is loth to regard as possible any intent to deceive;
the inaccuracy and exaggeration are undoubtedly due chiefly to
ignorance on the part of men who ought to be well-informed, because
the world looks to them for statements of fact concerning the benefits
claimed to be due to experimentation.  Take, for instance, an
assertion made in testimony given before the Royal Commission by Sir
Victor Horsley, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and the representative
of the British Medical Association.  Referring to pyaemia, or blood-
poisoning, he was not content to affirm the disappearance of these
formidable maladies from the hospital to which he was attached, but
went on to declare their disappearance altogeher. "Anybody," said Sir
Vitor Horsley, "who would now be asked to write an article on pyaemia
or blood-poisoning in a dictionary of surgery, COULD NOT DO IT; THE

[1] Evidence before Royal Commission, Question 15,669.

This statement is a most remarkable one.  The witness was once widely
known as a ruthless experimenter upon living animals, and he was now
defending the  practice by an enumeration of its gains.  Apparently,
no member of the Commission questioned his evidence; the
representative of the British Medical Association solemnly affirmed
that as a result of vivisection certain diseases had so completely
disappeared that present observation or description was impossible,
and the Royal Commission accepted his word.  The statement that these
septic diseases had disappeared crossed the Atlantic, and nearly six
years afterward, in the columns of a New York journal, it again
appeared.[2] Yet the statement was untrue.  It is indeed difficult to
believe that any educated medical man in England or America could have
read it without recognition of its untruth.  Let us glance at the

[2] New York Times, July 28, 1912.

If it were true that the septic diseases which relate to blood-
poisoning had really been so completely abolished that description of
them were now impossible--as Sir Victor Horsley declared--it is
evident that as causes of any part of English mortality they would
cease to appear.  The report of the Registrar-General of England and
Wales tells a very different story.  Sir Victor Horsley gave this
testimony in November, 1907.  During the five years preceding, and
ending December 31, 1907, NO LESS THAN 2,933 PERSONS DIED FROM BLOOD-
year 1907, the year that testimony was given, the tribute of 604 lives
was exacted by these diseases which had "GONE"! Even during the year
following (1908), the recorded deaths due to blood-poisoning in
England and Wales were 560; and yet the disease had been solemnly
declared to be non-existent by the leading defender of English

Nor is this all.  In proportion to the total population the death-rate
BEFORE.  In 1868, in England and Wales, to a million persons living,
the death-rate from septic diseases, or blood-poisoning, was fifteen;
the year following it was sixteen.  In 1870 it rose to eighteen,
falling, however, to sixteen for the next two years.  Nearly forty
years go by, and we find a leading English vivisector assuring a Royal
Commission that blood-poisoning had so completely disappeared that a
medical writer could not describe it; and the Registrat-General
charging this extinct disease with a death-rate of nineteen in 1906

[1] For these statistics see reports of the Registrar-General of
England and Wales, 54th Report, Table 16, and 73rd Report, Table 22.

These are officially stated facts.  At the cost of half a crown Sir
Victor Horsley might have learned that the diseases he so glibly
declared had "gone" were still responsible for a part of English
mortality, and a greater proportion even than during thirty-five to
forty years before.  It is this gross ignorance on the part of those
who would teach us, this willingness in the defence of all phases of
vivisection, to make assertions which are without foundation in fact,
that justly tends to create distrust of every such statement,
unsupported by proof.  We are not questioning the value of asepsis,
which is only a learned phrase to express absolute surgical
cleanliness.  The time may come when these septic forms of disease
will entirely disappear.  That day, however, has not yet arrived.  Why
declare that it is already here? Why proclaim that diseases had "GONE"
which still existed, or that an enemy had been utterly exterminated
which still was responsible for hundreds of deaths?

Nor are English medical writers alone guilty of blunders and
exaggerations concerning the effect of experiments on animals.  In the
number of Harper's Monthly for April, 1909, to which we have referred,
an American writer blunders quite as badly as his English confre`re.
He tells us that "the friends of experimental research have almost
completely abolished the dangers of maternity, reducing its death-rate
every hundred."

A more ignorant statement was never put forth by an intelligent
writer.  Where are statistics to be found going to prove that among
any people, in any land, at a ny time, 10 PER CENT. of all mothers
giving birth to offspring perished from the accidents or diseases
incident to child-birth? No such statistics can be produce, for the
simple reason they do not exist.  In the United States we have no
official statistics of mortality covering the entire country or
reported from year to year.  England, however, has recorded the
mortality of its people for over half a century.  What support does it
afford to the assertion that at any time one in every ten mothers,
bringing children into the world, perished either from accident or
disease? During a period of sixty-two years, from 1851 down to th
epresent time, there was not a single year in which mortality of
Englishwomen from septic diseases connected with child-birth EVER
REACHED EVEN ONE IN A HUNDRED.  But this is the figure for all
England.  Then take the forty-four counties into which England is
divided, and from the downs of Devon to the slums of Lancashire, one
cannot find a county in all England in which the mortality of mothers
from diseases pertaining to child-birth has reached even a quarter of
the ratio stated by this medical writer. "From all causes together NOT
FOUR DEATHS IN A THOUSAND BIRTHS and miscarriages happened in England
and Wales during the first year, seventy-five years ago, that official
statistics were gathered; it was a death-rate of five in one thousand
the following year."[1] We are not questioning the value of surgical
cleanliness; we dispute only the justice of exaggerated and misleading
statements concerning any fact capable of scientific demonstration.
There can be no doubt that less than half a century ago, in the
maternity wards of certain hospitals and in the experience of certain
men, there was a death-rate from such ailments far above the average
experience of the country; but it was solely due to the ignorance, the
criminal blindness and obstinacy of certain men in the medical
profession.  But a little over seventy years ago, when Dr. Oliver
Wendell Holmes pointed out that this saddest place of mortality was
due to want of care on the part of medical men, it was two professors
in two of the largest medical schools of America who opposed him; it
was Professor Charles Meigs, of Jefferson Medical College in
Philadelphia, who laughed to scorn his warnings, and held up to the
ridicule of the medical profession the theories that are now accepted
as facts.  With such men as teachers of medical science, what wonder
that for women about to become mothers certain hospitals of that day
were little better than slaughter-houses, to enter which was to leave
hope behind?[2] But the experience of such hospitals is not the basis
upon which Science rests conclusions when they may be ascertained by
reference to the statistics of a nation.  The murder-rate of
Philadelphia is not to be determined by that of one of its slum
districts.  If, a century ago, a slave-owner of Jamaica owning ten
negroes, whipped one of them so severely that he died, should we be
justified in declaring that in the West Indies the murder-rate of
slaves was 10 per cent., or "ten in a hundred"? Its absurdity is
manifest.  When, therefore, a reputable writer for a magazine largely
read by wives and mothers puts forth the statement that by reason of
some experiments the death-rate of diseases incident to maternity has
been reduced "from ten or more mothers out of every hundred," leaving
it to be inferred that such rate of mortality was once general, what
are we to infer concerning his ideals of scientific accuracy?

[1] "Medical Essays of Dr. O. W. Holmes," Boston, 1899, p. 156.
[2] "Polk told us that when he graduated in medicine, delivery in a
lying-in hospital was far more dangerous than an engagement in the
bloodiest battle, for during his internship at Bellevue, he saw FORTY-
MONTH."--Williams; Jour. Am. Med. Association, June 6, 1914.

Equally mistaken is the implication conveyed by the passage quoted
that some vast reduction of mortality has been accomplished in regard
to this special form of disease.  This belief is doubtless entertained
by a majority of medical practitioners, accustomed to accept
statements of leaders without investigation or questioning.  But it is
not true.  We need to remember, as Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes tells us,
"how kindly Nature deals with the parturient female, when she is not
immersed in the virulent atmosphere of an impure lying-in hospital."
To demonstrate the exact facts, I have tabulated all the deaths in
England and Wales from diseases incident to child-birth, as compared
with the number of children born, for sixty years from 1851 down to
1910.  It will probably surprise many a medical practitioner to know
that so far from having vastly diminished, the death-rate from
diseases of this character in England and Wales WAS ACTUALLY LESS HALF
facts are beyond question; they not only rest upon the official
reports of the Registrar-General, but they show a uniformity year
after year which it is impossible to regard as due to chance.  In
England and Wales, during twenty years (1851-1870) the total number of
births reported by the Registrar-General was 13,971,746.  The total
deaths from puerperal fever during the same period were 21,935--a
mortality-rate per 100,000 births of 157.  This was the period between
forty and sixty years ago.  During the ten years between 1901 and
1910, the births in England and Wales numbered 9,208,209; and the
deaths from puerperal sepsis were 16,341, a mortality-rate per 100,000
births of 175--GREATER THAN THAT OF HALF A CENTURY AGO! The mortality-
rate may now be going downward; it was in 1910 but 142 per 100,000
births, but in 1860 the corresponding death-rate was 140, and in 1861
it was 130--considerably less than at the present day.[1]

[1] These figures have been compiled from the annual reports of the
Registrar-General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages in England and
Wales.  Each Annual Report furnishes the number of births and the
number of deaths from puerperal sepsis.

Nor is it true that recognition of the origin of this terrible disease
was due to experiments upon animals.  It was Dr. Oliver Wendell
Holmes, in America, who indicated, in 1843, the distasteful truth that
the medical attendant was chiefly responsible for the deaths from this
disease; and the great lights of the profession in Philadelphia made
him and his theory the butt of their ridicule and scorn.  It was
Semmelweis, a young assistant in the Lying-in Hospital of Vienna, who
in 1847 pointed out the same truth, drawn, not from any experiments,
but from rational observation in the hospital wards; and his discovery
was received with contempt, he was hated and despised in his lifetime,
and he died, as an American author has phrased it, "with no other
reward than the scorn of his contemporaries." It was not by laboratory
experiments upon living animals that the methods by which this
terrible disease is transmitted became known to Science; it was common
sense in the sick-chamber that discerned its clue.

The decreased and decreasing mortality of tuberculosis is not
infrequently claimed as a triumph of vivisection; in the article in
Harper's Magazine to which reference has been made, it is intimated
that experimentation has reduced the mortality of tuberculosis "from
30 to 50 per cent.," by treatment springing from the discovery of

Do facts support this assertion? On the contrary, the decline in the
mortality due to this dread destroyer of the human race BEGAN MORE
GERM which was the cause of the disease.  In his report for 1907, the
Registrar-General of England and Wales tells us that "throughout the
last forty years there has been a steady decline in the fatality of
tuberculous diseases"; and he illustrates the figures by a diagram,
showing, for both men and women, the steady fall in the death-rate
from this disease from a period long before its bacillus was
recognized.  Here are the exact figures for England and Wales:


        For five years, 1850-1854   ..   ..   ..  2,811
           "      "     1855-1859[1]..   ..   ..  2,647
           "      "     1861-1865   ..   ..   ..  2,528
           "      "     1866-1870   ..   ..   ..  2,449
           "      "     1871-1875   ..   ..   ..  2,219
           "      "     1876-1880   ..   ..   ..  2,042

           "      "     1881-1885   ..   ..   ..  1,830
           "      "     1886-1890   ..   ..   ..  1,635
           "      "     1891-1895   ..   ..   ..  1,462
           "      "     1896-1900   ..   ..   ..  1,322
           "      "     1901-1905   ..   ..   ..  1,218
           "      "     1906-1910   ..   ..   ..  1,106
[1] For statistics relating to period, 1850-1859, see Registrar-
General's 34th Report, p. 249.  For years, 1861-1880, see 48th Report,
Table 27.  For later period, see 73rd Report, p. 21.

This table is very significant.  The death-rate of consumption in
England for the year 1853 was 2,984 per 1,000,000 population.  From
that year, down to the five-year period, 1881-1885, there was a steady
decline in the mortality of this disease, amounting to a fraction less
than 39 per cent.  On March 24, 1882, Koch announced his discovery.
The fall of the death-rate from 1881-1885 to 1906-1910, was almost
precisely the same--a fraction over 39 per cent.  NOW WHAT WERE THE
UNKNOWN? Is it conceivable that they suddenly became inoperative
thirty years ago? Is it not more than probable that the chief reason
why the "great white plague" has steadily and almost uniformly
decreased during sixty years, not only in England, but probably in all
civilized lands has been the increased recognition of the value of
sanitary laws and of personal hygiene? No one questions the importance
of the discovery of Koch; it has given Science the knowledge that a
definite enemy exists, whose insidious invasion she strives to
prevent, and whose ultimate conquest may one day be accomplished--more
by prevention than by cure.  But when a medical writer ascribes the
decrease in mortality of this disease to the discovery of Koch in
1882, and makes no reference to the steady fall in the death-rate
which went on for a quarter of a century before that discovery was
known, what is to be said of his fidelity to scientific truth? Is this
the ideal of fairness which the laboratory of to-day inculcates and

Why does it seem worth while to dwell upon these exaggerations and
untruths? Was it necessary to go through the mortality records of a
nation for more than half a century merely to prove the falsity of a
single laboratory claim? I think so.  These are not ordinary blunders
or trivial mistakes.  They are affirmations made in opposition to the
slightest step toward reform of great abuses, by honoured and
distinguished writers; by men who are regarded as absolutely reliable
in all statements of fact.  Their assertions of the vast benefits
conferred  upon the human race by experiments upon living animals are
made in the journals of the day, in popular magazines--in periodicals
which refuse opportunity of rejoinder, and which therefore lend their
influence to securing the permanency of untruth.  There are problems
of science concerning which such affirmations would be of
comparatively little consequence; if they concerned, for example the
weight of an atom or the distance of a star, the controversy would
excite but a languid interest, and the correction of inaccuracy might
safely be left to time.  But here, on the contrary, we touch some of
the most vital problems of life and death, problems that concern every
one; and in defence of practices, the cruelty of which has been
challenged as abhorrent to the conscience of mankind, we have
distorted and exaggerated claims of utility; we have assertions that
have no basis in fact; we have covert appeals to woman's fears in her
greatest emergency, and to that sentiment, the noblest almost that man
himself can entertain--his solicitude for the mother of his children
in her hour of peril.  To the malign influence of untrue suggestion no
bounds can be placed; in the creation of a public sentiment, its
influence extends in ever-widening circles.  It is against this
unfairness and exaggeration that those who take moderate ground in
this question of animal experimentation have the duty of protest and
complaint.  We do not ascribe the unfairness to intentional
mendacity.  Such motive may be discarded without hesitancy, so far as
concerns any reputable writer.  But surely there has been a
carelessness regarding the truth which even the plea of ignorance
ought not wholly to condone.

And the lesson? It is the reasonableness of doubt.  Every statement
put forth by the Laboratory interests in defence of the present system
of unrestricted and secret vivisection should be regarded with
scepticism unless accompanied by absolute proofs.  In an experience of
more than a third of a century, I have never read a defence of
vivisection without limitations, which did not contain some
exaggerated claim, some misstatement of fact.  To doubt is not to
dishonour; it is the highest tribute we may pay to Science; for
"without doubt, there is no inquiry, and without inquiry, no

                        CHAPTER XVI


No phase of modern science so closely touches the welfare of humanity
as the studies which concern the prevention of disease.  Up to a very
recent period, well within the lifetime of many now living,
practically the entire energy of the medical profession was given up
to the treatment of human ailments, with an almost complete disregard
of problems of prevention or studies of origin.  To-day, in great
measure, all this has been changed, and the importance of preventing
disease has come well to the front.  It is permissible to doubt
whether the "cure" of any of the principal infectious diseases is
likely to be so thoroughly accomplished as to eliminate it as a cause
of mortality, and we may regard with greater promise attempts to
discover the mysterious causes of our diseases, and the best methods
by which their spread may be prevented.  It is certainly a great gain
that during the last hundred years mankind has learned that
deliverance must come through human activity, and has ceased to regard
typhoid or consumption as a dispensation of Providence.

For the conquest of some of the principal maladies affecting the human
race at the present time I have long questioned whether the laboratory
for experimentation upon animals offers the opportunity for the surest
results.  The average man has his attention fixed upon mysterious
researches which are being carried on in this or that "Institute";
rumours of impending discoveries and almost certain cures are
published far and wide; and gradually one gets the impression that
notwithstanding abundant disappointments, it is only by yet more
vivisection that the mystery will be solved.  Is this a valid
conclusion? In many cases, might not scientific research have a better
chance to discover the secret of origin were it directed into other
channels? I propose to suggest one method of scientific research with
which vivisection is in no way concerned--an investigation into the
cause of one of the most terrible and most threatening of human
maladies--cancer, or malignant disease.

The subject is a vast one.  Within the limits of a few pages it cannot
be treated with any approach to the completeness which its importance
demands.  The utmost that can now be attempted is the suggestion of
certain lines of research independent of animal experimentation,
which, if carried out with completeness, might lead to results of
incalculable benefit to humankind.

Outside the medical profession there are few who have the faintest
realization of the facts pertaining to malignant disease.  One reason
for such ignorance is the lack of any organized system, in the United
States, for recording the annual mortality.  Except among barbarous or
semi-civilized people, no such condition exists.  When, during the
autumn of 1912, Dr. Bashford, the Director of the Imperial Cancer
Research Fund of England, was invited to lecture in New York, he
confessed that he had tried in vain to obtain American statistics
concerning cancer which might be compared to those of other nations;
they simply did not exist.  There are a few states and a few cities
for which mortality records exist, but in some of the principle states
of America there is no official record showing even the total number
of deaths from murder, from accident, or disease.  Once in ten years
the Federal Government resents us the mortality report of the census
year, but even here the information is not available until a
considerable period after it is collated.  There is, however, one
nation whose official registers for many years have recorded the
mortality from each cause of disease, for either sex, and for each
ten-year period of life.  These records have no equal elsewhere, and
are only approached by the mortality records of the Empire of Japan.
The figures concerning cancer upon which we may chiefly depend are
those which pertain to the English people.  There can be no doubts but
that the mortality from cancer in America exhibits the same phenomena,
though the rate may be higher.

The first thing to impress the student is the immensity of the tribute
of mortality exacted by this disease, from those in the maturity of
life, and in large measure at the period of greatest usefulness.
During thirty years, from 1881 to 1910 inclusive, there perished in
England and Wales from cancer no less than 703,239 lives.  Figures
like these, for the average intelligence, are practically
incomprehensible; for this thirty-year tribute to malignant disease in
a signle country represents more human being than all estimated to
have perished on the battlefields of Europe for two hundred years.
And if we were able to add the mortality from this one disease on the
Continent of Europe, it might represent a total of several millions.

Another significant circumstance is the uniformity of the tribute
exacted by cancer, year after year.  We can see that best by taking
the actual number of deaths from this cause, in a single country, and
observing with what slow, implacable, and ever-increasing steps the
great destroyer advances.


|          Year.           |  Males | Females |
| 1905  ..      ..      .. | 12,470 | 17,761  |
| 1906  ..      ..      .. | 13,257 | 18,411  |
| 1907  ..      ..      .. | 13,199 | 18,546  |
| 1908  ..      ..      .. | 13,901 | 18,816  |
| 1909  ..      ..      .. | 14,263 | 19,790  |
| 1910  ..      ..      .. | 14,843 | 19,764  |
| 1911  ..      ..      .. | 15,589 | 20,313  |
| 1912  ..      ..      .. | 16,188 | 21,135  |
|                          |        |         |

The terrible thing about these figures is their uniformity from year
to year.  With as great a degree of certainty as the farmer foretells
the produce of his fields and the results of his seed-sowing, so the
statistician can calculate the tribute that cancer will exact from the
human race in future years.  How many persons in England and Wales
will die from some from of cancer during the year 1917? Unless some
great catastrophe shall vastly lessen the total population, the number
of victims destined to perish from malignant disease during that one
year will hardly be less than 38,500, and in all probability will be
more.  And we have no reason to doubt that in the United States the
mortality from cancer would be found equally uniform were it possible
to know the facts.

Nor does uniformity pertain to numbers of either sex only.  Each
period of life has to furnish its special toll.  If we look at the
mortality among men or women for a period of years, we shall see this
phenomenon very clearly.  In the following table we see the deaths of
men from cancer, in England, at each ten-year age-period.

                       AGE-PERIODS OF MALES

|YEAR|Under|25-35.|35-45.|45-55.|55-65.|65-75.| Above |Total.|
|    | 25. |      |      |      |      |      |  75.  |      |
|1906| 250 |  322 |  927 | 2,454| 4,087| 3,651| 1,566 |13,257|
|1907| 305 |  277 |  921 | 2,392| 4,041| 3,675| 1,588 |13,199|
|1908| 274 |  317 |  925 | 2,594| 4,147| 3,957| 1,687 |13,901|
|1909| 262 |  296 |  921 | 2,581| 4,319| 4,174| 1,710 |14,263|
|1910| 283 |  337 |1,001 | 2,778| 4,377| 4,315| 1,752 |14,843|
|1911| 309 |  317 |  978 | 2,901| 4,627| 4,602| 1,855 |15,589|

Precisely the same phenomenon is to be found in the cancer-mortality
of women.  Each ten-year period of life exacts its own proportion,
with an increasing death-rate out of proportion to the increase of

Another fact, attainable only by the study of English statistics, is
the singular regularity with which malignant disease selects different
parts of the body year after year.  If proclivity to this mysterious
ailment were a matter of chance, or dependent upon the irregular
action of certain forces, we should certainly fail to find such
uniformity, or such approach to uniformity, as exists.  One year, for
instance, there would be, let us say, a preponderance of attacks upon
the skin; another year the digestive organs would be the principal
sufferers; a third year the joints and muscles would be chiefly
involved.  The actual experience proves that we are subject here to
forces of incalculable stress, which nevertheless press steadily and
uniformly upon humanity, where the habits and environment are the
same.  In the year 1901, for example, of the total number of fatal
cases among men, the seat of the disease was the stomach in a little
over 21 per cent. of the total number of cases.  In 1910 the
proportion was also 21 per cent.  During the ten years 1901-1910, of
the total mortality, the stomach was the organ involved in but a
fraction over 21 PER CENT. OF THE TOTAL CASES.

Is cancer increasing? This is a question of vast importance to the
human race.  That in proportion to total population more die from the
disease to-day than twenty or thrity years ago, is a fact about which
there can be no doubt.  Dr. Stevenson, in the Report of the Registrar-
General for the year 1910, tells us that in "all countries from which
returns have been received the mortality has shown a general tendency
to increase in recent years." Speaking on the "Menace of Cancer," the
statistician of the Prudential Insurance Company of America affirmed
that "the cancer death-rate in the United States is increasing at the
rate of 2.5 per cent. per annum, and a corresponding increase is
taking place practically throughout the civilized world." The cancer-
rate among men in the United States has increased, according to the
same authority, 29 per cent. during the last decade.  The steady
increase of cancer year after year is strikingly shown by a curve
diagram, based upon the English mortality for several years.

A significant illustration of the steady increase in the mortality
from cancer is shown by its fatality among women in England between
the ages of forty-five and sixty-five.  In the year 1875, of all
deaths of women at this period of life, one in ten (in round numbers)
was due to some form of malignant disease.  In 1890 the tribute
exacted by the disease had become one in eight.  Ten years later--in
1900--of all women dying in England during this period of middle life,
the toll of cancer was one in seven; and in 1910 the corresponding
proportion was one in five! At this rate of increase it will not be
many years before a full third of all the deaths of women at this time
of life will be due to malignant disease.  There can be little doubt
that the same phenomenon would be found to pertain to American
experience, were it possible to disentangle the facts from the
obscurity in which they are now permitted to lie.  It is a curious
fact that in England until the year 1900--and, so far as we know, for
thousands of years--the death-rate from consumption among women was
considerably higher than that of malignant disease; that in 1903, for
the first time, the cancer-mortality of women exceeded that of
phthisis; and that in 1910 it had so far surpassed it that they are
not likely ever again to be equal, unless we shall discover the cause
of the more fatal plague.

The theory has been put forth by certain writers that the increased
death-rate from cancer is due, not to any increased frequency of the
dissease, but rather to improved methods of detection.  It is quite
certain that fifty years ago, for instance, surgeons were less able
and less willing to pronounce judgment regarding obscure cases of
internal tumours.  But if the better diagnosis of to-day accounts for
some part of this increase since 1860, it does not seem probable that
it can explain the rising death-rate of the last ten or fifteen
years.  The medical practitioner of 1900 was certainly as well
qualified to pronounce upon the character of the disease as the
surgeon or physician of to-day.  Nevertheless, the cancer death-rate
of England in 1910 had increased 16 per cent. above that of ten years
before, and during the fifteen years 1895-1900 it had increased fully
28 per cent.  Certainly in these last few years there has been no such
increased ability to detect the disease as would account for all
this.  Yet another fact suggests doubt of this optimistic hypothesis.
If the increased cancer death-rate were due merely to the increased
ability of the physician or surgeon to recognize the ailment, we
should certainly find that the increase of cancer would be seen only
in those parts of the system, such as internal organs, where some
degree of doubt might perhaps be entertained; while, on the other
hand, there would be little or no increase discernible in the
mortality of cancers affecting parts of the body where its nature
could not be mistaken by any intelligent physician or surgeon.  Now,
for a number of years, perhaps with this hypothesis in view, the
Registrar-General in England has tabulated all deaths from cancer of
either sex, not only by different age-periods, but also by the part of
the body affected by the fatal disease.  A study of the facts thus
made known is extremely suggestive.  It is true that a marked increase
in the death-rate has occurred in cancer affecting internal organs, as
we should naturally suppose; but it is also true that malignant
disease affecting parts of the body where little or no doubt of the
character of the ailment could be entertained by the physician,
exhibit in some instances as marked an increase in the death-rate as
in some other cases, where doubt of malignancy might be justifiable.
For example, cancer of the tongue among men showed a death-rate of 32
per million population in 1897; it went up to 47 per million in 1910--
an increase of nearly 50 per cent.  Cancer of the female breast showed
a death-rate of about 142 per million population in 1897; it had
arisen to a rate of 190 per million only thirteen years later; and
here, assuredly, the nature of the disease in fatal cases cannot be
mistaken.[1] Cancer of the stomach in its final stages does not
present insuperable difficulties in way of diagnosis, but the
death-rate increased for men about 40 per cent. in fifteen years; and
although some of this increase may be due to more careful
discrimination between cases of malignant disease affecting the liver,
yet this explanation cannot account for the increase when both organs
are considered together.  The subject is worthy of careful and
extended investigation, but even a cursory examination of the facts
now available indicate a real increase in the death-rate from cancer
in England, and probably in every other civilized country in the

[1] "During fourteen years ... the mortality from mammary cancer has
increased by about 29 per cent., NOTWITHSTANDING LIVES SAVED BY
IMPROVED METHODS OF OPERATION."--Registrar-General's Report for 1910,
p. 69.

But all these phenomena are of secondary importance compared with the
great problem of medical science--the yet undiscovered cause of
malignant disease.  During recent years the study of cancer has been
conducted with scientific enthusiasm in many laboratories.  Vast sums
of money have been given, in the hope that these studies may one day
lead to the discovery of a cure.  One whom I knew in his youth became
the heir of great wealth; lived to see one whom he loved perish from
the disease; was struck down himself, and dying, left a fortune for
the purpose of promoting research concerning cancer.  And yet to-day
the problem, as attacked in the various laboratories of Europe and
America, is apparently as far from solution as it was forty years
ago.  Sir Henry Butlin, ex-President of the Royal College of Surgeons,
England, is said to have operated on as many cases of cancer as any
surgeon of his day.  Yet, speaking in October, 1911, he said:

"I have been associated with the Imperial Cancer Research and in touch
with its staff from the foundation of the Research, and have been a
member of the publication committee of all its scientific reports.  IT
USEFUL.  It has not unfolded the life-history of a single variety of
cancer, so that we can base our operations on the information.  It has
not even discovered whether spontaneous cancer of a particular part of
the body in the rat or mouse runs a similar course to spontaneous
cancer of the same part of the body in the human subject.  These
problems are not suited for experimental investigation; they are
determined by observation."[1]

[1] Lancet, London, October 7, 1911.

No "serum," no drug, no curative agency of any kind, has thus far been
discovered upon which the slightest dependence may be placed.  The
only measure of relieve which medical science can now suggest is early
and complete extirpation.  Of what proportion of cases even this
insures immunity we cannot tell.

Without decrying what has been done in the laboratory, may it not be
that we have gone in that direction as far as there is any hope for
success, and that all effort should now be directed TO THE DISCOVERY
still eludes us, but until we can penetrate that mystery, it is
difficult to perceive how we may hope to prevent the increasing
prevalence of the great destroyer . Yet there is one method of
investigation which (speaking from a study of cancer statistics for
more than twenty-five years) seems to me to offer, more than all
others, a reasonable hope of ultimate success. It is independent of
all sacrifice of animal life.  It involves, however, an expenditure
far greater than is possible for any private investigator, and
probably only by the co-operation of the Government can it be
undertaken with any chance of success.  Yet, if Society can once be
aroused to a recognition of the need for the completest possible
investigation concerning malignant disease, and particularly the
reasons for its differing prevalence among people of different
nationalities, habits, and general environment, that inquiry will take
place, even though it cost the price of a battleship.

The subject is so vast and involved that it cannot be discussed with
any approach to completeness in a single essay.  Suppose, however,
that we glance at the theory which regards cancer as due to a microbe
which in some mysterious ways gains admission into the human body,
lying for a time dormant, but liable under appropriate stimulation to
be awakened into malignant activity.  We know at the outset that if
any such germ of disease exists, it has thus far escaped visual
recognition.  No human eye can be said with certainty to have seen it,
even when aided by the most powerful microscope; but this may be due
to the fact that, like the germ of certain other diseases, it is so
minute that it lies beyond the range of human vision.  There are,
however, certain facts pertaining to the disease which have
significance.  We have already seen that in a given country there is a
kind of uniformity in the number of those dying from the disease from
year to year; but another phenomenon relates to the unequal pressure
in difference countries of the causes of the disease.



|    Five-Year Periods.    | Switzerland. | England. | Italy. |
| 1886-1890     ..      .. |      114     |    63    |   43   |
| 1891-1895     ..      .. |      122     |    71    |   44   |
| 1896-1900     ..      .. |      127     |    80    |   51   |
| 1901-1905     ..      .. |      128     |    87    |   55   |

Here is the record of a period of twenty years.  These differences of
proclivity to cancer are exceedingly curious.  Can the reader perceive
why they exist?

The rate in England is quite 50 per cent. higher than that of Italy.
If we explain this by the hypothesis of greater skill in detecting the
disease, what are we to say of the cancer-rate in Switzerland, which
is 50 per cent. higher than that of England?

But here is another curious fact.  The United States census of 1900
permits a contrast of the mortality of cancer according to the
birthplaces of mothers of those attacked.  Here, for instance, is the
death-rate from cancer and tumour of persons of different nationality,
calculated in three sections of the country--the rural districts of
the registration area, the cities of the same section, and the cities
outside the registration area.


|                          |                      |           |
|                          |  Registration Area.  |   Other   |
|      COUNTRIES.          |----------------------|  Cities.  |
|                          |   Rural    | Cities. |           |
|                          | Districts. |         |           |
| Italy ..      ..      .. |     20     |    24   |     39    |
| Russia and Poland     .. |     26     |    30   |     26    |
| England and Wales     .. |     79     |    77   |     80    |
| Ireland       ..      .. |     90     |    82   |     86    |

How are these facts to be explained? What is there about the habits,
the environment, the dietetic peculiarities of the Italians in
America, which tends to confer upon them a greater immunity from
cancer than is possessed by those whose maternal ancestry goes to
England or Ireland? Assuredly this immunity is not due to chance.  It
is governed by some law, even though that law be unrecognized to-day.
If the low cancer mortality of Italy made itself manifest only in that
country, we might suspect it indicated a lack of skilled diagnosis;
but here we find it just as prominent in three different section of
the United States.  Not only that, but the difference is seen in
comparison of parts affected by cancer.  For persons whose mothers
were born in Ireland the death-rate in cancer of the stomach per
million population was 184; the corresponding rate for Italians was

Does the poverty of the people have anything to do with proclivity to
cancer? In one way this is a probability.  If we could compare the
general prosperity of men and women whose parents were born in the
United States with the entire population of which the parents were
born in other countries, it seems to me that we should find the second
class, taken as a whole, to be financially less prosperous than the
first.  Now, in 1900, the census reveals that in the United States the
class to suffer chiefly from malignant diseasewas that which included
THE FOREIGN-BORN POPULATION, alike in cities, in rural districts,
within or without the registration area.  This is certainly a fact of
tremendous import.  In America the population is a blend of every
European nationality.  Why, taken as a whole, should the native
American suffer from one mysterious disease less than some of those
who have come more recently to the United States?

In another work I have ventured to suggest that if we are to discover
the cause of cancer, we must study the habits and customs of those
still living who have become the victims of some form of this
mysterious disease.  A theory held by some is that cancer is due to
the consumption of meat.  If one means that the flesh of perfectly
healthy animals is liable to cause cancer, the hypothesis is one for
which it seems to me that the evidence is far from being sufficient to
justify belief.  But if, on the other hand, it is suggested that
malignant disease may be due to germs derived from animals which were
suffering from som form of cancer when they were killed for the food
of human beings, then much that is otherwise obscure becomes plain.
We should expect in such cases to find cancer more prevalent among the
poor than among the rich, and especially prevalent among those who,
from carelessness, or ignorance, or seeming necessity, consume the
cheaper kinds of meat.  And since, both in their native land and in
America, the Italian population consumes less meat than peoples of
other nationalities, we should expect them to be less liable to be
infected by the germs of malignant disease.

A few years ago a medical writer who has given much attention to this
disease published some of his investigations into the cancer
death-rate of Chicago.  Taking the figures for a single year, he
discovered that the "cancer death-rate among the Irish and German
residents of Chicago is the highest in the world, being nearly 300 per
cent. higher than in their native countries."[1] Of each 10,000
population of each nationality living at the age of forty years and
over, he found that the deaths from cancer among the Germans was 76,
among the Irish 70, among the Scandinavians 52, and among the natives
of Italy 24.  It was found that, while the staple diet of Italians in
Chicago was macaroni and spaghetti, the people of other nationalities
among whom the cancer-rate was exceedingly high, "consume large
quantities of canned and preserved meats and sausages, OFTEN EATEN
UNCOOKED." He discovered that a large part of the fresh meat prepared
at the establishment of a certain slaughtering establishment in
Chicago was derived from animals which had been condemned on the ante-
mortem inspection, but the flesh of which was perimitted TO BE SOLD AS
cheaper price, such meat was chiefly consumed by the poorer classes of
the foreign population.  And while Dr. Adams does not adopt the
hypothesis of the cancer-germ, he does not think there can be "the
slightest question but that the increase in cancer among the foreign-
born over the prevalence of that disease in their native countries is
due to the increased consumption of animal foods, PARTICULARLY THOSE

[1] See article by Dr. G. Cooke Adams in Chicago Clinic of August,
1907, pp. 248-251.

A statement like this is calculated to induce serious reflections.
The average reader finds it difficult to believe that, according to
the present interpretation of the law, the flesh of animals found to
be suffering from cancer at the time of their slaughter would be
permitted to pass into the world's food-supply.  We are int the
presence of a great mystery.  We do not know how the gret plague
originates.  But no reflecting man or woman can be insensible to the
significance of possibilities when he learns that cancer affects
animals which are killed for food; that in the majority of cases the
disease affects some part of the digestive tract; that it chiefly
prevails among the very poorest classes of the population, excepting
only those like Italians, who use but little meat; and that, according
to the official regulations of the United States Government in force
affected parts, must indeed be cut away, and carefully condemned.  The
disposition of the remainder of the meat is left to the decision of
the inspector!

The regulation so far as it applies to meat of this kind, is as

"ANY ORGAN OR PART of a carcass, which is badly bruised, or which is
affected by tumours, MALIGNANT or benign, ... shall be condemned; but
when the lesions are so extensive as to affect the whole carcass, the
whole carcass shall be condemned."[1]

[1] Regulations governing Meat Inspection, U.S.A. Regulation No. 13,
section 23.  See also Appendix VIII., p. 362.

The meaning of this regulation would seem to be perfectly clear.
There is no demand by the Government that the entire carcass of an
animal affected by malignant disease shall be utterly destroyed for
food purposes, unless the disease has involved the entire body,--a
condition as rarely found among domesetic animals, as among human
beings.  Otherwise than this, what is there in the official
regulations of the bureau governing meat inspection to prevent such
use of the flesh of diseased animals as the inspector may authorize?

It seems to me that if science is ever to discover the cause of
malignant disease, there should be a careful study of all the
conditions under which the disease now manifests itself.  The
mortality from cancer in the state of New York, in 1912, amounted to
8,234; in England, the number of those who perished from the disease
in 1911 was nearly 36,000.  By what figure must we multiply this
mortality in order to ascertain the number of persons living who have
been affected, or who now are suffering from cancer? Nobody knows.
What has been the success of surgery in securing immunity from a
recurrence of the disease? So far as the entire country is concerned,
we are entirely ignorant.  Is it true that among the class of people
in such cities as Chicago, where cancerous animals are used for food,
cancer is especially prevalent year after year? If true, it should be
fully known.  Such facts must be ascertained, if ever we are to
penetrate the secret of the dissease.  Even the number of victims of
each sex is not given in the mortality reports of the state of New
York at the present day.

Let us suppose that the time comes, when with a realization of peril
pertaining to ignorance, public sentiment shall urge the attainment of
knowledge concerning cancer as it now affects the general population.
In what way is information of this character to be secured? Assuredly
not by any of the ordinary census methods, implying publicity.  The
only practicable enumeration would be one conducted privately, by
members of the medical profession.  Nor can it be done
parsimoniously.  In the state of New York, there may be, to-day,
50,000 cases of malignant disease.  To have every case, completely
reported, might cost the state half a million dollars.  Perhaps even
the patient should be compensated.  Certainly some method could be
adopted whereby the reports should be absolutely confidential, the
patient being known only by a number.  But all this is of minor
consequence.  When the necessity of the inquiry is everywhere
recognized, the details pertaining to accomplishment will be easily

Assuming the willingness of patients and friends to assist in making a
State-wide inquiry concerning the prevalence of malignant disease, let
us see in what directions the investigation will be conducted.

FIRST.  After securing the name, age, and place of birth of each
individual sufferer, and the particulars which would suggest
themselves to every physician or surgeon, inquiry should be made
concerning the parents; the names, nationality, religious faith, place
and date and cause of death.  Especially should inquiry be made
whether there have been other cases of cancer in the family, and their
termination or present state.

SECOND.  What is the location of the suspected ailment? When were the
first symptoms manifested? To what cause, if any, were they ascribed?
Has any surgical operation been performed, and if so, what are the
details of time and place? Has recurrence followed operation? For what
period was there freedom from symptoms?

Whatis the social position of the patient? Does he belong to that
class which is enabled always to select the best food, the most
sanitary dwellings, and all the conveniences of well-ordered and
comfortable existence; or, on the other hand, to the extremely poor
class, which disregards cleanliness, indulges to excess in the use of
stimulants, and consumes the poorest and cheapest kinds of meat? I
deem it of great importance that the completest possible information
be secured concerning the usual diet of every sufferer from this
disease.  Is he a vegetarian? Are viands invariably well-cooked, or
eaten sometimes rare or raw? Is there a liking for the canned products
of the packing-house, or for sausage that comes from the same
source?[1] What is the water-supply? Within the knowledge of the
patient or friends, has there been any other case of malignant disease
in the same house? Is residence near any fresh-water lake or stream?

[1] The relation between diseased meat and human ailments is treated
at length in my work on "American Meat," New York, 1909.

These are suggestions only.  They constitute merely an outline of the
information that is necessary, concerning the living sufferers, in
whom the disease has made its appearance.  Doubtless the average
reader will discern no reason for all these inquiiries.  Yet each one
has some pertinency to the possible discovery of the great secret.
Does inquiry concerning family history seem useless? It should have a
decided bearing on any theory of heredity.  Does the occurrence of
near-by cases have no significance? We are not yet in a position to
state this as a fact.  Does inquiry concerning religion seem
especially impertinent? What if some future investigation should prove
that cancer everywhere, is more prevalent among the Christians than
the Jews? Does the social condition of the sufferer seem to have no
relation to cause? What if we discover, that everywhere,--and not
among the foreign population of Chicago only,--cancer finds an undue
proportion of its victims among the poorest and most poverty-stricken
element of every nationality? Does suggestion of inquiry concerning
diet induce a smile? It should not, as long as meat derived from
cancerous animals is permitted by Government authority, to pass
inspection, and to be distributed throughout the world.  And no
inquiry concerning cancer can be deemed complete which has not fully
investigated the extent to which this atrocious practice has been
carried on for the past quarter of a century.

But this State-wide inquiry is only a part of the work.  Every year,
for a period of at least ten years, the record must be revised, the
result of surgical operations recorded, the deaths enumerated, the new
cases added.  The expense of each annual revision would be far less
than that of the original inquiry; but the inquiry will be costly, and
should be costly, if it is to be accurate and complete.  Here, indeed,
would be the opportunity for the co-operation of organizations devoted
to "cancer research," and particularly of that new foundation, the
income of which for a single year is far more than the original
investigation would cost.

And when the inquiry is completed; when all attainable information
concerning the occurrence of malignant disease shall have been secured
not for a single year, but for a period of successive years, not for
one community, but for an entire state, and for each of its
constitutuent parts, what then? Then I believe a knowledge of the
cause of cancer will soon be attained.  When we know the cause, then
there will be hope for prevention, which is far better than cure.  All
the various experiments upon mice, for example, whatever they may
teach concerning the disease in the lower animals, have not
enlightened us concerning the cause of the malady in mankind.  The
greatest and most promising fields for scientific research, now almost
untrodden, awaits the explorers of the future.  In a world where now
there is comparative unconcern, there may soon be fearful
apprehensions of the increasing prevalence of an almost irremediable
disease.  Within the coming century, the investigation I have here
outlined, will sometime be made; and, as a result, the cause of cancer
may be as well known to medical science, as the causes of typhoid
fever or malaria,--mysteries that seemed insoluble less than a century
ago.  And I venture with assurance to predict, that some time within
the next fifty years, the Governments of England and of the United
States, alarmed, it may be, by a continually increasing mortality from
cancer, will condemn under severest penalties, the sale for human food
of meat deriveed from animals affected by malignant disease,--no
matter how great may be the pecuniary loss to every slaughtering
establishment and packing-house in either land.  The public awakening
to danger that must precede legislation cannot yet be discerned; and
before the national apprehension is aroused and apathy ceases,
probably more than a million lives will be sacrificed to cancer, in
England and America alone.
Note.--"The deaths ascribed to cancer or malignant disease in England
and Wales during 1912, numbered 37,323.  The mortality of males was
913 per million living, as compared with 891 in 1911, and that of
females, 1,117, as compared with 1,098.  IN THE CASE OF EACH SEX,
Registrar-General, 1914, p. lxxxiii.

                        CHAPTER XVII

                THE FUTURE OF VIVISECTION[1]

[1] Address delivered at Washington, D.C., before the International
Humane Congress, December 10, 1913.

Attempts to forecast the future development of Humanity in any
direction have always possessed for some minds a peculiar
fascination.  Plato and Bacon had their visions of a State superior to
that in which they lived; Burton foresaw improvements in the
administration of justice, and the condition of the poorer classes,
which waited for two centuries for some measure of realization; even
Defoe had his list of "projects," some of which, laughed at in their
day, are the realities of our time.  No great reform in any direction
was ever effected which had not been the unrealized vision of a

And such dreams are the romance of history.  For any one to have
imagined two centuries ago, that the African slave-trade and negro
slavery would some day be condemned by every civilized nation, not
because they were pecuniarily unprofitable, but because they
contravened the conscience of Society and its sense of righteousness,
requierd a faith in the ultimate triumph of justice over greed, that
not one man in ten thousand possessed.  For Calvin or Torquemada to
have imagined the coming of a time when the burning of an unbeliever
would not be regarded as pleasing to the Deity, demanded a sublimer
vision than either of them possessed.  Custom and universal acceptance
would sometimes seem to create impregnable barriers against change.
But with the slow lapse of years, the venerated custom is attacked by
doubt; the superstition is undermined, and the great evil gradually
passes from the sight.  No great wrong is so securely entrenched, as
to be absolutely safe from the ultimate condemnation of mankind.

What is to be the future of vivisection, as conducted in America to-
day? Is it to continue, without other limitations against cruelty than
those which are self-imposed, without legal restriction or restraint,
so long as civilization endures, ever widening its scope, ever
increasing the hecatombs of its victims, until uncounted milions shall
have been sacrificed? Is protest against excess to grow weaker, until
the ideal of humaneness in the laboratory shall become a scoff and a
byword? Is approval of any research in the name of Science to become
stronger until it shall cover the vivisection of human beings as well
as the exploitation of animals? Or are we to expect, as the result of
agitation, the legal suppression of all scientific research requiring
animal life, within the limits of the next half-century? It is easier
to ask questions than to answer them.  Yet, as one who for over thirty
years, has taken some part in the agitation for reform, you may be
willing to permit a forecast of probabilities, vague, it may be, as
the vision of a sailor peering through the darkness that environs the
ship,--but the best he can do.

No estimate of the future of vivisection in America can be of value
which does not recognize the power of the laboratory at the present
day.  Half a century ago, the vivisection of animals was rarely
practised; to-day, in the older states, there are few institutions of
higher learning which do not possess ample facilities for animal
experimentation.  Millionaires, many times over, have been induced to
devote some part of their great wealth to the foundation and support
of institutions for exsperimentation upon living things.  Farms have
been established where animals destined to sacrifice, are born and
bred.  It may safely be estimated that in America, to-day, there are
not less than five hundred times as many experiments every year, as
took place half a century ago.

One must recognize, too, the change which has taken place in the
attitude of a majority of the medical profession towards this reform.
During the past thirty years, thousands of young men have entered the
profession, who have been carefully educated to regard all criticism
of animal experimentation as due to a sentimentalism worthy only of
contempt.  I greatly doubt whether even one per cent. of the
physicians in America, under fifty years of age, have ever heard that
half a century ago, the feeling of the medical profession, in the
English-speaking world was almost unanimous in disapproval and
condemnation of methods and of experiments which now pass without
notice, and uncondemned.  When men, educated to come into the closest
of relations with their fellow-beings, are thus prejudiced and
uninformed, should we wonder that their views are so widely accepted?
The wonder to me is rather that so large a minority are not to be
convinced that everything in a laboratory must be right.

Another element of the forces that to-day are marshalled against
reform, is the Press.  Political journals, which even twenty-five
years ago endeavoured to hold an attitude of impartiality, now present
editorials almost every week in ridicule of any legal regulation of
vivisection, or of any opposition to laboratory freedom.  The intimate
knowledge of medical matters sometimes exhibited by the writers, would
seem to indicate a closer relation between the physiological
laboratory of to-day, and the editorial sanctum, than existed forty
years ago.  There are journals, so closely related, apparently, to
laboratory interests, that they do not permit correction of editorial
misstatements or mistake to appear in their columns, even when such
blunders are pointed out.  The old impartial attitude of the Press
seems--except here and there--to have completely disappeared.  Any
forecast of the future must take into account this vast and ever-
increasing influence.

Yet another impediment to the legal repression of any cruelty
pertaining to animal experimentation is one which we all deplore, even
though no remedy appears in sight.  It is not the opposition of
enemies, but division among friends that constitutes, in my opinion,
the greatest present obstacle to any reform.  It is as though against
some strong fortress, different armies were engaging in an attack,
each with its separate purpose, its own plan of campaign, its own
ultimate aim, and now and then crossing and recrossing in each other's
way, to the infinite delight of the enemy.  Some of us make the demand
that ALL such inquiry on the part of Science shall be made a crime;
and some of us take the position of the English-speaking medical
profession of forty years ago, that ABUSES AND CRUELTY ALONE should be
the object of attack.  If opposition from the first, had been solely
directed against ABUSES of vivisection, could any reform have been
achieved? It is not certain.  When Mr. Rockefeller opened his purse on
the vivisection table, he added immeasurably to the strength of the
forces that resist reform.  And yet it is difficult to over-estimate
the loss to any cause of such men as Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson, as
Professor William James and Professor Henry J. Bigelow of Harvard
University, or of Dr. Theophilus Parvin of Jefferson Medical
College,--to refer only to the dead.  Their criticisms of cruelty were
outspoken, but they could not join in universal condemnation of all
such inquiry into the phenomena of life.  Might it not have been
better--even at the cost of a lessened demand--to have kept on the
side of reform that large element in the medical profession which
willingly condemned abuse, but declined to denounce the simplest
demonstration, or the most painless investigation? Of course such an
inquiry will receive different replies.  It is ever the easier task to
make condemnation absolute.  The thing has been done; the past is
beyond recall.  But in looking at the future, we cannot but recognize
the changed attitude of a majority of the medical profession from that
of half a century ago.

The strongest position of the modern physiological laboratory, is its
SECRECY.  It occupies in the popular mind almost precisely the place
which was held for centuries by the Inquisition in Spain.  There were
men who doubtless objected, then, to the secrecy of the dungeon.
"Trust us absolutely," cried the inquisitor. "Ours is the
responsibility of preventing errors that lead to eternal death.  Can
you not leave it to us to decide what shall be done in the torture-
chamber, being assured that NO MORE PAIN WILL BE INFLICTED THAN IS
demands the vivisector of to-day. "Can you dare to question the purity
of our motives, the unselfishness of our aims, the mild and humane
methods of our experimentation? Why should any one wish to disturb the
silence and secrecy in which we carry on our work? Cannot the public
leave it solely to us to determine what pain may be inflicted upon
animals, being certain that no more suffering will be caused than we
deem to be necessary for success?"

The parallelism is complete.  It is a call for implicit confidence.
And that confidence has been given by a too credulous public.  Three
hundred years ago, when the victims were marched in long procession
from dungeon to burning-place, they were accompanied by an approving
mob, eager to inflict every indignity and to applaud every pang.  The
men about the burning-place were not intentionally cruel.  They had
simply given the control of their judgment to the inquisitor.  Is it
so very different, to-day, in the matter of vivisection? Why should we
hesitate to recognize that at the present time, a large section of the
general public have made the same act of surrender, justifying
whatever the laboratory demands, and defending whatever it defends?

It seems to me probable, therefore, that for many years to come, the
laboratory for vivisection, IF ONLY IT CAN MAINTAIN ITS SECRECY, will
continue as serenely indifferent to criticsm, as completely master of
the confidence of modern society, as supreme in power and position as
was the Spanish Inquisition of three centuries ago.  New laboratories
will be founded upon ill-gotten wealth; new inquisitors, with salaries
greater than those of Washington or Lincoln will take the places of
those that retire; new theories, now unimagined, will demand their
tribute of victims to help prove or disprove some useless hypothesis;
even new methods of torment may be invented, and new excuses for their
necessity put forth.  Nor is this all.  If the laboratory of the
present day shall continue to maintain its hold upon the intelligence
of modern society; if it can keep unimpaired that confidence in its
benevolent purpose, that belief in accomplishment, that faith in
utility which now so largely obtains; and if, moreover, it can secure
for the charity hospital that absolute power and secrecy which it has
gained for itself in animal experimentation, then, within the lifetime
of men now living, human beings will take their place as "material"
for investigation of human ailments.  Upon the living bodies of
Amerian soldiers, upon lunatics in asylums and babes in institutions
and patients in charity hospitals, experiments of this character have
already taken place.  Is utility to Science to be considered the
standard by which human actions are to be judged? Then, even within
the present century, experimentation upon human beings may be openly
acknowledged as a defensible method of investigation.

Now all this is not a cry of despair, a confession of defeat.  It is
meant only to be rational recognition of existing conditions, and
especially of the forces that now prevent reform.  Perhaps if the
armies were united, a different forecast could be made; but that union
is beyond hope.  The enthusiasm that would expect to eliminate a great
evil on other terms, and within the space of time occupied by a single
generation does not seem to me to be justified by the records of
history.  Of the ultimate triumph of the reform of vivisection, there
can be no more question than of the result of the agitation against
human slavery, against the torment of criminals, against the burning
of the heretic or the witch.  In what way may we anticipate its

We may be certain that a period will yet arrive, when among the more
intelligent classes of society, doubts concerning the practical
utility of all that is done in the name of Science will take the place
of present-day credulity.  It is too soon to expect a general spirit
of inquiry to arise; the closed laboratory has not been so long in
existence but that a request for more time to demonstrate possibility
of accomplishment may seem not unreasonable.  But some time in the
future, long after we have all passed away, the intellectual world may
be moved by the spirit of doubt and unrest; it will ask from the
laboratory a statement of account; it will demand that the books be
balanced; and that against the cost of agony and death, there be made
known whatever gains in way of discoveries of clearly demonstrated
value to humanity, can be proven to exist.

Like the servant in the parable, the modern laboratory has been given
its ten talents.  It enjoys a secrecy which is profound, all that
wealth can procure, and unrestricted opportunity for ever phase of
research.  There is no limitation to the torments which it may
inflict, without impediment or fear of public criticism, if present
secrecy can be maintained.  The conscience of modern society--so far
as vivisection is concerned,--would seem to have "journeyed into a far
country." But some day it may return to its own, and ask for an
accounting of its trust.

And fifty years hence, if pressed for the proof of great achievement,
of grand discoveries, what evidence will then be produced by the
vivisection laboratory? How much of wealth will have been devoted to
fruitless explorations in desert regions? What vast fortunes will have
been paid out to professional explorers, whose work will have been in
vain? What proofs will the laboratory then be able to adduce of
"priceless discoveries" made within its walls, proofs resting not upon
the heated enthusiasm of the experimenter, but demonstrated by
statistical evidence of a decreased mortaility from the scourges of
disease? THAT is the test of utility, which may one day be applied not
merely to Mr. Rockefeller's creation, but to every laboratory in
England and America.  Then, perhaps, it may not suffice to set forth
discoveries, as useless to mankind, as would be the demosntration of
gold and silver in the moon.  Before the tribunal of an intelligent
public opinion,--not of our day, but of some distant epoch, the
justification of secret vivisection will assuredly be demanded.  Will
it be given? Against the vast cost in money, cost in depravation of
the instinct of compassion, cost in the lessened sensitiveness of
young men and young women to the infliction of torment, cost in the
seeming necessity of defending and justifying cruelty, cost in the
temptation to exaggerate facts, cost in the countless hecatombs of
victims, non-existent to-day, yet doomed to perish in pain of which no
record and no use can be found,--against all this, what profit will be
adduced? Something? Undoubtedly.  BUT SUFFICIENT TO BALANCE THE COST?
When that accounting is made, will the enlightened conscience of
humanity then grant condonation, because of great achievement, of all
that will have been done in the name of research, and of demonstration
of well-known facts? I cannot imagine it.

What can we venture to forecast regarding the future of medical school
vivisections, made for the one purpose of fixing facts in memory? No
one qualified by any experience in teaching can doubt the value of
certain demonstrations.  So far as they are performed upon animals
made absolutely unconscious to any senstation of pain, it is difficult
to suggest a condemnation that does not equally apply to the killing
of animals for food or raiment.  But the medical school laboratory
seems to shrink from the public scrutiny.  If there were no need for
secrecy, is it likely that every attempt to penetrate the seclusion of
the laboratory would be so strenuously opposed? OF WHAT IS THE
LABORATORY AFRAID? If the present methods of demonstration or teaching
of physiology are such as would meet general approval so far as their
painlessness is concerned, why fear to make them known? On the other
hand, if animals are subjected to prolonged and extreme torment for the
illustration of well-known and accepted facts; if students not only
witness, but are sometimes required to perform for themselves
experiments as agonizing and as useless as any that ever disgraced the
torture-chambers of Magendie, we can well understand why immunity from
criticism can only be secured by concealment and secrecy.  Opposition
to publicity or to investigation by the Government is quite
conceivable, if there be something which must be hidden out of sight.

In the long-run, the policy of concealment must fail, and the whole
truth be known.  Then, indeed, we may hope for the beginning of
reform.  That fifty or a hundred years hence, all utilization of
animals, whether for food or raiment or scientific ends will have
absolutely ceased in England and America I am not able to believe.
But I am very sure that before this century closes, the subjection of
animals to pain for the demonstration of well-known facts will have
come to an end; that agonizing experiments will have ceased; that
every laboratory wherein animals are ever used for experimental
purposes will be open to inspection "from cellar to garret," as
Professor Bigelow of Harvard Medical School said they should be; and
that except as a shield for crime, the secrecy which now enshrouds the
practice will for ever have disappeared.

We are living to-day in a period of unrest and change, such as the
world has never known before.  A new social consciousness has awakened
throughout the civilized world, a feeling that for those who are to
come after us, life should be happier and better than it is.  Humanity
is advancing toward its ideals by leaps and bounds, where once it
slowly crept.  Every social problem, from the prevention of cruelty,
the suppression of vice, the rescue of the submerged, to the abolition
of poverty itself, is to-day more in the thought of humanity than ever
before in the history of the world.  We are but just beginning to
learn our duties to human beings of other races; may we not be assured
that the more sensitive conscience of the future will define with
authority, our duties to the humbler sharers of this mysterious gift
of life? Already, Science has told us, that far in the past, we had
the same origin; and surely, when some higher ideal than utility to
ourselves, shall dominate human conduct, there will be a new
conception of JUSTICE toward every sentient being.  It may mean
extinction of species; but it will notmean their torment.  You and I
cannot hope for life long enough to see the realization of that
dream.  And yet, sometimes I have wondered whether it be so far
distant as I have feared.  But a little while ago, who of us could
have imagined that in our day, the Government of the United States
would listen to the cries of little birds, starving on their nests in
the swamps of Florida, and prohibit the importation of the egret
plumes? How much of hopefulness for the final triumph of th
eprinciples of humaneness lies in the passage of such a law!

I fancy that one day, all noxious animals, and especially those which
prery upon other creatures, will largely, if not entirely, disappear.
It is calculated that ever grown lion in South Africa kills for food,
every year, between 200 and 300 harmless animals, and each one of
which is as much entitled as the lion to the happiness of existence.
In great museums to-day, we see the remains of creatures, like the
sabre-toothed tiger, that lived probably, over a million years ago.
In a century or two, hence, the skeletons of the panther, the tiger,
the leopard and the lion, will be found in the same halls of science,
with those of other extinct species, that could exist only at the
expense of others' lives.

Some day the question of vivisection will be merged in the larger
problem, the adjustment of man's relations to animals on the basis of
JUSTICE.  We who are assembled here to-day, certainly are not
forgetful of other cruelties than those which pertain to animal
experimentation.  In the awful torment endured for days by animals
caught in steel traps in order that their death may contribute to the
adornment of women and the luxury of men; in the killing of seals,
accompanied by the starvation of their young; in the great variety of
blood-sports; in the slaughter of animals, destined for human food, in
all these, as well as in the cruelties that have pertained to
physiological inquiries, we see exemplified man's present indifference
to the highest ethical ideals.  We do not oppose one phase of cruelty;
WE OPPOSE THEM ALL.  And we may be assured, that when the day dawns in
which humanity shall seek to govern conduct by the ideal of universal
justice, then in some more blessed age than ours, the evils of
vivisection not only, but all phases of cruelty and injustice will for
ever cease.

                        CHAPTER XVIII


There is one phase of scientific research which cannot be passed in
silence.  It is experimentation upon human beings.  That "no
experiments on animals are absolutely satisfactory unless confirmed
upon man himself," a well-known vivisector has asserted; and no one
acquainted with the trend of events, could doubt the coming of a time
when opportunity for such "confirmation" would be given, and when a
more precious and a less costly "material" than domestic animals would
be used for investigations of this kind.  Writing many years ago, a
distinguished jurist declared that "to whomsoever in the cause of
Science, the agony of a dying rabbit is of no consequence, it is
likely that the old or worthless man will soon be a thing which in the
cause of learning, may well be sacrificed."

It is necessary at the outset, however, to draw a careful distinction
between those phases of experimentation upon man which seem to be
legitimate and right, and those other pases of inquiry which are
clearly immoral.  It is, of course, to be expected that certain
experimenters upon human being will endeavour to confound both phases
of inquiry in the public estimation; and yet there is no difficulty in
drawing clear distinctions between them.  Let us see what differences
may be perceived between the experimentation upon human beings which
is laudable and right, and the other phase of inquiry which Society
should condemn.

I. Any intelligently devised experiment upon an adult human being,
conscientiously performed by a responsible physician or surgeon solely
for the personal benefit of the individual upon whom it is made, and,
if practicable, with his consent, would seem to be legitimate and
right.  In the practice of medicine, there must always be a "first
time" when a new method of medical treatment is tested, a new
operation performed, a new remedy employed.  Whether the procedure
pertain to medicine or surgery, so long as the amelioration of the
patient is the one purpose kept in view, IT IS LEGITIMATE TREATMENT.
The motive determines the morality of the act.

II. Now human vivisection is something quite different.  It has been
defined as "the practice of subjecting to experimentation human
beings--men, women, or children, usually inmates of public
institutions--by methods liable to involve pain, distress, injury to
health, or even danger to life, without any full, intelligent,

The distinction is a perfectly clear one.  Under the term "human
vivisection" only those experiments are included which have some of
these characteristics:


2. The experiment is liable to cause some degree of pain, discomfort,
distress, or injury to the health, or danger to the life of the person
upon whom it is performed.  The defence often made that no real injury
resulted from the experiment, cannot palliate the offence against
personal rights.

3. The experiment is performed without the intelligent, and full
consent of the individual experimented upon.  Such legal consent of
course is impossible to obtain from children, from the feeble-minded,
or from lunatics in public institutions.

It is the purpose of this chapter to demonstratte that such
experiments upon human beings have been performed.  Naturally, it will
be impossible to quote the cases in full.  Enough, however, will be
given to prove that the charge of human experimentation is not the
exaggeration of ignorance or sentimentality; that such methods of
research have been practised upon the sick, the friendless, the poor
in public institutions, without their knowledge or intelligent
consent; that they are in vogue even in our own time; and that
hospitals and institutions, founded in many cases, for charitable
purposes, have lent their influence and aid in furnishing either
victims or experimenters.

Commenting upon certain human vivisections in Germany, the British
Medical Journal declared in its editorial columns:

"Gross abuses in any profession should not be hushed up, but should
rather bemade public as freely as possible, so as to rouse public
opinion against them and thus render their repetition or spread
impossible.  And therefore we have reason to thank the newspaper
Vorw"arts for dragging into light the experiments made by Dr. Strubell
on patients.... The whole medical profession must reprobate cruelties
such as these perpetrated in the name of Science."[1]

[1] British Medical Journal, July 7, 1900, p. 60.

It is this sentiment which justifies present publicity.  The cases to
which attention will be directed are not many; but they suffice to
illustrate the practice, and to enable the reader to decide whether
such experiments should meet approval or condemnation.

                    I. The Case of Mary Rafferty

An instance of human vivisection which ended by the death of the
victim, occurred some years ago in the Good Samaritan Hospital in
Cincinnati.  It would be difficult to suggest a name for a hospital
more suggestive of kindly consideration for the sick and unfortunate:
and to this charitable institution, there came one day a poor Irish
servant girl by the name of Mary Rafferty.

She was not strong, either mentally or physically.  Some years before,
when a child, she had fallen into an open fire, and in some way had
severely burned her scalp.  In the scar tissue an eroding ulcer--
possibly of the nature of cancer,--had appeared; and it had progressed
so far that the covering of the brain substance had been laid bare.
No cure could be expected; but with care and attention she might
possibly have lived for several months.  We are told that she made no
complain of headache or dizziness; that she seemed "cheerful in
manner," and that "she smiled easily and frequently,"--doubtless with
the confidence of a child who without apprehension of evil, feels it
is among friends.  The accident, however, had made her good
"material"; she offered opportunity for experimentation of a kind
hitherto made only upon animals.  "It is obvious," says the
vivisector, "that it is exceedingly desirable to ascertain how far the
results of experiments on the brain of animals may be employed to
elucidate the functions of the human brain."[1]

[1] This case, under the significant title, "Experimental
Investigations into the Functions off the Human Brain," is related at
length in the American Journal of the Medical Sciences, vol. 93
(N.S., 67).

At the outset the experiments seem to have been somewhat cautiously
made.  Nobody knew exactly what would be the result.  The experimenter
began by inserting into Mary Rafferty's brain, thus exposed by
disease, needle electrodes of various lengths, and connecting them
with a battery.  As a result, her arm was thrown out, the fingers
extended, but in the brain substance no pain was felt.  Presently, as
the experimenter grew bolder, other phenomena appeared.  The
vivisector shall tell the story in his own words:

"The needle was now withdrawn from the left lobe, and passed in the
same way into the (brain) substance of the right. ... When the needle
entered the brain substance, SHE COMPLAINED OF ACUTE PAIN IN THE
current was increased by drawing out the wooden cylinder one inch.
When communication was made with the needles, HER COUNTENANCE
EXHIBITED GREAT DISTRESS, and she began to cry.  Very soon, the left
hand was extended as if in the act of taking hold of some object in
front of her; the arm presently was agitated with clonic spasms; her
eyes became fixed with pupils widely dilated; lips were blue, and SHE
minutes, and was succeeded by coma.  She returned to consciousness in
twenty minutes from the beginning of the attack."

The experiment was a success.  Upon the body of the poor servant girl,
the distinguished vivisector had produced the "violent epileptiform
convulsion" which Fritsch and Hitzig and Ferrier had induced in
animals, by the same method of experimentation.

There are those who feel that further vivisecting should have then
ceased, and that Mary Rafferty should have been allowed to die in
peace.  Such views, however, were not permitted by the experimenter to
interfere with his zeal for scientific research.  Other "observations"
were made, and the needles were again passed into the brain, evoking
almost the same phenomena.  The final experiments were thus described
by the vivisector:[1]

"Two days subsequent to observation No. 4, Mary was brought into the
electrical room with the intention to subject the posterior lobes (of
the brain) to galvanic excitation.  The proposed experiment was
numbness.... On further examination, there was found to be decided
PARESIS and rigidity of the muscles of the right side.... She became
very pale; her eyes closed; and she was about to pass into
unconsciousness, when we placed her in the recumbent posture, and
Dr. S. gave her, at my request, chloroform by inhalation.

"The day after observation No. 5, MARY WAS DECIDEDLY WORSE.  She
remained in bed, was stupid and incoherent.  In the evening she had a
SIDE.... The pupils were dilated and motionless."

[1] Italics not in original.

When did death come to her release? We do not know; the omission is
significant; it may have been within a few moments.  The next sentence
in the report is headed by the ominous word, "AUTOPSY." The brain was
taken out, and the track of the needles traced therein.  One needle
had penetrated an inch and a half.  There was evidence of "INTENSE

In cases like this, the investigation of a coroner apparently is not
required.  The experimenter himself was the physician to the
hospital.  He tells us of course that Mary's death was due to an
extension of the disease, for the relief of which she had been led to
the "Good Samaritan Hospital." Of the real cause of death, there was
apparently but little doubt among scientific men.  An English
vivisector, Dr. David Ferrier, whose experiments upon monkeys had
perhaps first suggested their repitition on a living human brain,
questioned somewhath the propriety of the American experiments.  In a
letter to the London Medical Record, he referred to "the depth of
penetration of the needles"; the "occurrence of epileptiform
CONVULSIONS AND ULTIMATE PARALYSIS are clearly accounted for by the
inflammatory changes" thus induced.

That the experiments had been to some extent injurious to his victim,
the vivisector himself, in a letter to the British Medical Journal,
very cautiously admitted.[1] He regretted, he said, that the new facts
which he had hoped would further the progress of Science were obtained
at the expense of SOME injury to the patient.  She was, however,
"HOPELESSLY DISEASED,"--as if that fact tended to justify her
not this excuse the very height of hypocrisy? Twice, he had stated in
his report of the case, that the young woman was "RATHER FEEBLE-
MINDED"; he suggests that this poor, ignorant, feeble-minded servant-
girl was mentally capable of giving an intelligent consent to repeated
experiments upon her brain, the possible result of which even HE could
not foresee!

[1] British Medical Journal, May 30, 1874, p. 727.

Who made these experiments? It was Dr. Roberts Bartholow, at that time
the physician of the "Good Samaritan Hospital" in Cincinnati.  His
biographer says that he gained no credit "for his candour in reporting
the whole affair,"--a hint, the significance of which for future
experimenters, it is not very difficult ot perceive.  Yet his
treatment of Mary Rafferty was no bar to his professional
advancement.  Not long after his victim was in her grave, one of the
oldest medical schools in the country,--Jefferson Medical College of
Philadelphia--offered him a professor's chair; and for several years
he was Dean of the medical faculty of that institution.

It might seem impossible that any physician of the present day would
care to come forward in defence of this experiment.  Yet forty years
after the deed was perpetrated, such justification was apparently
attempted in an American journal, and republished in a pamphlet issued
by the American Medical Association.[1] It would seem at the outset
that only by suppression of the worst facts relating to the case,
could any defence be essayed.  WAS THERE ANY SUCH SUPPRESSION OF

[1] "The Charge of Human Vivisection," by Richard M. Pearce, M.D.,
Journal of the American Medical Association, February 28, 1914.

Did any injury to Mary Rafferty result from these experiments upon her
brain? Bartholow himself admits some injury; he says that to repeat
the experiments "would be in the highest degree criminal." The modern
apologist, however will have it otherwise.  At the beginning of the
experiment, she smiled as if amused; and this, he tells us, "whows
that she did not object, that the pain was not severe, AND THAT NO
HARM WAS DONE HER." Is this a fair summary of the symptoms elicited
during these experiments upon the brain? Why did the apologist mention
only the "smile," and neglect altogether to mention the other symptoms
reported by Dr. Bartholow? Why does he pass in silence her complain of
BREATHING, THE VIOLENT CONVULSION lasting for five minutes and the
succeeding unconsciousness lasting for twenty minutes? Why does the
apologist leave unmentioned the symptoms following the subsequent
experiments,--the pallor and depression, the blue lips, the difficulty
in locomotion, the decided paresis and rigidity of muscles, the
profound unconsciousness, THE FINAL PARALYSIS? Do omissions like these
suggest an ardent desire to present the whole truth of the matter for
the information of the public?

The defender of the experiments tells us:

"It is not an uncommon procedure in neurologic surgery, to stimulate
after operation, in conscious patients, certain areas of the brain.
This procedure is a familiar one to all neurologists, and it is
THEREFORE DIFFICULT to understand why so much has been made of these
early observations in Cincinnati."[1]

[1] Italics not in original.

Aside from the astounding confession contained in this admission of
familiar procedure, it is difficult to understand what is meant by
this paragraph.  Is it a suggestion that these experiments upon Mary
Rafferty were observations following a remedial surgical operation?
It is surely impossible that this can be the meaning; for in the
original account of the "Investigations into the function of the human
brain," there is not a line in support of such hypothesis.  The reader
may make his own interpretation of a paragraph which seems exceedingly

No apology for these experiments could be complete, which did not
refer to the alleged "consent." It is thus presented:

"If the patient under these circumstances consented to the
observations described, it would appear to be a matter between herself
and the physician making the observations."

This is the view of the matter which the apologist invites us to
accept.  On the one side, stands a poor, ignorant, feeble-minded Irish
servant girl, full of faith and implicit trust in the benevolence of
those about her; on the other a learned scientist, eager, as he says,
"to ascertain how far the results of experiments on the brains of
animals may be employed to elucidate the functions of the human
brain"; and her "consent" to procedures the purpose and dangers of
which she knows nothing,--to experiments involving her life, are
suggested as a justification of whatever was done, and as a matter
with which Society need have no concern!

Upon such methods of vindication every intelligent reader may form his
own judgment.  He will doubtless reach the conclusion that such vital
omission of essential facts,--no matter whether accidental or
intentional,--absolutely nullifies the value of the entire apology.
Let us hope that the next defender of these experiments, writing not
only for the instruction of the medical profession but also for the
general public, will proceed along somewhat different lines; that
every symptom which Bartholow mentions, he will mention also; that if
he speaks of the "CONSENT" of the victim, he will frankly tell us that
it was consent of one whom the experimenter himself called rather
"feeble-minded"; and that if he thinks other palliating circumstances
exist, he will at least graciously furnish us with references to the
evidence presented by the experimenter, upon which he grounds his

                II. Experiments with Poison.

Of all experiments upon patients in hospitals, probably one of the
boldest was Dr. Sydney Ringer, physician to the University College
Hospital in London.  His position in this institution gave him a
peculiarly favourable opportunity for the utilization of the human
"material" under his care.  The experiments upon his patients were
frankly reported by himself, and were published in his well-known work
on Therapeutics.[1] For the most part these experiments were made with
poisonous drugs.  Are we justified in classing them as human
vivisections? If in any case, the drug can be shown to have been
administered for the welfare of the patient, it was legitimate medical
treatment, to which criticism does not apply.  Were the drugs so
administered?  The experimenter shall describe his work in his own

[1] "Handbook of Therapeutics," by Sydney Ringer, M.D.  Eighth
edition, William Wood and Co., New York.

                    Poisoning with Salicine

"In conjunction with Mr. Bury, I have made some investigations
concerning the action of salicine on the human body, USING HEALTHY
CHILDREN FOR OUR EXPERIMENTS, to whom we gave doses sufficient to
produce toxic (poisonous) symptoms.  We tested the effects of salicine
in three sets of experiments ON THREE HEALTHY LADS.  To the first two,
we gave large doses, and produced decided symptoms.... Under toxic
(poisonous) but not dangerous doses, the headache is often very
severe, so that the patient buries his head in the pillow.  There may
be very marked muscular weakness and tremour...."

Another "set of experiments" was made on a boy ten years old, who had
been brought to the hospital to be treated for belladonna poisoning.
"Our observations," said Dr. Rigner, "were not commnced TILL SOME DAYS
AFER HIS COMPLETE RECOVERY." Among effects of the experiment was a
severe headache,--"so severe that the lad shut his eyes and buried his
head in his arm...became dull and stupid, lying with his eyes

Other experiments were made upon a boy only nine years old, almost
well from an attack of pneumonia, the temperature having become normal
over a week before.  Dr. Ringer's experiment went so far as to give
him apparently considerable apprehension.  He speaks of the flushed
face, the trembling hand, and lips, the laboured breathing, the
spasmodic movements of limbs.

"These symptoms were at their height at midday, and were so marked,
and the pulse and respirations so quick, that we must confess we felt
a little relief when the toxic (poisonous) symptoms which became FAR
MORE MARKED THAN WE EXPECTED, abated; not that at any time the boy was
dangerously ill; but as the symptoms progressed, after discontinuing

What shall be said of experiments like these, made upon children who
had almost or quite recovered from ailments for which medical advice
was sought?

                     Poisoning with Ethyl-Atropium.

This drug has no recognized medical use.  In order to make experiments
with it upon patients under his care, Dr. Ringer was obliged to have
it specially manufactured.  He refers to "our experiments upon man,"
and states that the poisonous substance

"produces decided but transient paralysis, THE PATIENT BEING UNABLE TO
STAND OR WALK, and the head dropping rather toward the shoulder or
chest, and the upper eyelids drooping."[1]

[1] Ringer's "Therapeutics," p. 534.

                Experiments with Tartar-Emetic, or Antimony.

Of this poison, an American authority tells us that "the fraction of a
grain" may be followed by a fatal result.  Dr. Ringer states,
nevertheless, that,

"TO A STRONG YOUNG MAN, I gave tartar-emetic in the 1/2-grain doses
every ten minutes for nearly seven hours, INDUCING GREAT NAUSEA AND
VOMITING with profuse perspiration."[2]

[2] Ibid., p. 273

Twenty-one grains of antimony administered to "a strong young man,"
though a fatal result may be inducted by a fraction of a single grain!

                    Poisoning with Alcohol.

With this substance, Dr. Ringer tells us he made a great many
observations "every quarter of an hour for several hours ON PERSONS OF
ALL AGES.... After poisonous doses, the depression (of temperature) in
one instance reached nearly three degrees."

Does this sinister confession mean that even infants were the objects
of his scientific zeal? It is certain that some children were
subjected to this experiment, for he says:

"In a boy aged ten, who had never in his life before taken alcohol in
any form, I found through A LARGE NUMBER OF OBSERVATIONS, a constant
and decided reduction of temperature."

Is there any parent who would be willing to have his ten-year-old boy
subjected to an experiment like this?

                Poisoning with Nitrate of Sodium.

"To eighteen adults, fourteen men and four women, we ordered 10 grains
of pure nitrate of sodium in an ounce of water, and of these,
seventeen declared they were unable to take it.... One man, a burly
strong fellow, suffering from a little rheumatism only, said that
after taking the first dose, he felt giddy as if he `would go off
insensible.' His lips, face, and hands turned blue, and he had to lie
down an hour and a half before he dared moved.  His heart fluttered,
and he suffered from throbbing pains in the head.  He was urged to try
another dose, but declined on the ground THAT HE HAD A WIFE AND

[1] The London Lancet, November 3, 1883, p. 767

When this account of hospital experimentation first appeared in the
Lancet, another medical journal made the following comment:

"In publishing, and indeed, in instituting these reckless experiments
on the effect of nitrate of sodium on the human subject, Professor
Ringer and Dr. Murrill have made a deplorably false move, which the
ever watchful opponenets of vivisection will not be slow to profit
by.... It is impossible to read the paper in last week's Lancet
without distress.  Of eighteen adults to whom Drs. Ringer and Murrill
administered the drug in 10-grain doses--all but one avowed they would
expect to drop down dead if they ever took another dose.  One woman
fell to the ground, and lay with throbbing head and nausea for three
hours; another said it turned her lips quite black, and upset her so
that she was afraid that she would never get over it.... One girl
vomited for two hours and thought she was dying.  All these
observations are recorded with an innocent naivete as though the idea
that anyone could possibly take exception to them were far from the
writers' minds.  But whatever credit may be given to Drs. Ringer and
Murrill for scientific enthusiasm, it is impossible to acquit them of
COMES OUT that officers of a public charity are in the habit of trying
SUCH USELESS AND CRUEL EXPERIMENTS on the patients committed to their

[1] Medical Times and Gazette, November 10, 1883.

a medical journal of the day.  Any stronger condemnation now is hardly

What is the judgment of the reader upon investigations of this
character? Here we have a physician making use of the bodies of his
patients for the testing of poisonous drugs, apparently without the
slightest regard for the poor and ignorant fellow-beings who had
confidently placed themselves under his care.  Can such
experimentation as this be termed anything but human vivisection? Once
we admit that patients in hospitals have no rights superior to
scientific demands, and there is hardly a limit to which such
experimentation may not be carried on the poor, the ignorant, the
feeble-minded and the defenceless.

                III. Experiments involving the Eye

Recent experiments with tuberculin, made upon the eyes of children and
other patients in public institutions, seem in many cases to have been
carried to an extent not easily justified by ordinary ethical ideals.
It is impossible to quote all the cases of this phase of human
experimentation; but enough can be given to afford any reader the
opportunity of judging the morality of the practice.

The experiments in question had one or more of the following
characteristics, distinguishing them from ordinary medical treatment:

1. They were made indiscriminately upon large numbers of children or
adults, who were under treatment for various ailments.
2. They appear to have been purely experimental in character, and
without purpose of individual benefit.
3. They seem to have involved in some cases considerable discomfort or
pain and the risk of irreparable injury to the sight.
4. Dying children apparently were not exempt from experimentation.

A recent medical writer, defding the experiments, points out that the
tuberculin test could not convey the infection.  The test, he says,

"depends on the principle that if a fluid in which tubercle bacilli
have grown, and which therefore contains the chemical products of
their growth is injected into an animal or person suffering from
tuberculosis, a transient increase of temperature occurs, and
constitutes the chief sign of a positive reaction.... Later it was
found that if the diluted tuberculin was placed on the surface of the
eye, there followed in tuberculous persons, a reddening or congestion
of the eye, which might go on to the stage of mild conjunctivitis."[1]

[1] Journal of the American Medical Association, February 28, 1914.

Is this a fair summary of the dangers of the eye-test? Let us see what
the experimenters tell us.

In the Archives of Internal Medicine for December 15, 1908, two
experimenters describe their work.  When a drop of turberculin
solution is instilled into the eye of certain cases, there occurs,
they say, an infetion which varies in intensity in different
individuals, "usually attended by lachrimation and moderate fibrinous
or fibro-purulent exudation WHICH MAY GO ON TO PROFUSE SUPPURATION."
This "profuse suppuration" is something rather more severe than the
symptoms described by the apologist just quoted.

The experimenters say:

"Practically, all our patients were under eight years of age, and all
but twenty-sex of them were inmates of St. Vincent's Home, an
institution with a population of about four hundred, COMPOSED OF
were tested in routine by wards, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE CONDITIONS FROM
WHICH THEY WERE SUFFERING, and in the great majority of instances
without any knowledge of their physical condition prior to, or at the
time that the tests were applied.  We purposely deferred the physical
examination of these children until after the tests had been applied."

Would any medical practitioner, called to the house of a wealthy man
to examine his ailing child, purposely defer its physical examination
until after this eye-test had been applied?

Many of the children were suffering from various ailments at the time
this test was made.  Some had rickets, some typhoid fever, some
whooping-cough, pleurisy, pneumonia or heart disease.  Some of them
were already near their end; in one case we are told that the "tests
were applied within eight days of death"; upon another emaciated
infant, the test was "applied three days before death." Infancy earned
no immunity from experimentation, for the eye-test was said to have
been applied "to seventeen infants, ranging in age from four weeks to
five months." In this group of cases, one infant was tested within the
last twenty-four hours of its pitiful and painful existence.

What were the possible consequences of these tests upon the sight of
the orphans and foundlings of St. Vincent's Home? The experimenters
frankly confess that at the outset they did not know.

"Before beginning application of the conjunctival test, WE HAD NO
disadvantage of producing a decidedly uncomfortable lesion, and it is
not infrequently followed by serious inflammations of the eye, which
not only produce great physical discomfort and require weeks of active
TO ITS COMPLETE DESTRUCTION.... W ehave had a number of verbal reports
of eye complications, some of them relating to very serious
conditions; and we are sure they are much commoner than the references
we have communicated would indicate.... In fact we are strongly of the
opinion that any diagnostic procedure which will so frequently result
in serious lesions of the eye has no justification in medicine...."

The conclusions concernng the occasionally disastrous consequences of
this eye-test were shortly confirmed by other experimenters.  During
the following year, two Massachusetts physicians reported a study made
in "the out-patient clinic of the Carney Hospital and the
Massachusetts Chartiable Eye and Ear Infirmary," and they add: "We are
most indebted to the staff of the latter institution for allowing us
to make use of their material.... We have discarded the conjunctival

In May, 1909, two Baltimore physicians reported their trials with two
forms of the tuberculin tests, "the result of over a year of
experience with patients coming to the Phipps Dispensary of the Johns
Hopkins Hospital." A year later they make an additional report.

"In May, 1909, we reported the results of the conjunctival and
cutaneous test in 500 patients.  The present report deals with 1,000
additional patients to whom these tests were administered, and who
Dispensary of the Johns Hopkins Hospital."

They, too, suggest the necessity for caution in making this
experiment.  If a drop of the tuberculin, first in one eye and then in
the other, produced no reaction,

"we refrained from further instillations, fearing the possible
intensity of a reaction consequent upon a second instillation of
tuberculin into an eye.  Our fear is based on evidence, gathered
accidentally, that a second instillation may give a positive and even
a severe reaction in a case in which a similar test gave a negative

In January, 1909, one of the professors connected with the College of
Physicians and Surgeons, New York, published a "Report upon one
thousand Tuberculin tests in young children." He says:

"The observations included in the following report were all made at
the Babies' Hospital upon ward patients.  Very few of the children
were over three years of age, the majority being under two years....
In the early part of the year, unless some positive contra-indication
existed, some test, more frequently the eye-test, was used as a
routine measure in order to determine whether and under what
circumstances reactions were obtained in HEALTHY CHILDREN, or in those

[1] Archives of Pediatrics, January, 1909.

This is perfectly plain.  Healthy children, or children presumably
without any symptoms of tuberculosis, were experimented upon in order
to see whether a positive reaction could be obtained.  Of 555 cases of
infants subjected to this test, who were presumably not tubercular,
only two gave a positive reaction, although there were seven cases in
which the reaction was doubtful.

We are told by this writer that "care was taken not to use tuberculin
in an eye which was the seat of any form of disease, tuberculous or
otherwise," and to this precaution, he ascribes his freedom "from
unpleasant results." He insists that "on account of the kind of
observation necessary, and the possible dangers connected with the
eye-test, it is not wise to employ it indiscriminately, as among the
out-patients of a hospital." Undoubtedly this is true; and he repeats
the advice: the ophthalmic test "CANNOT WELL BE USED IN AMBULATORY
PATIENTS." Yet we have just seen that the test WAS thus used in the
large number of cases "who formed the unselected material of an
ambulant clinic" from another well-known hospital dispensary.

The final judgment of the experimenter does not appear to be entirely
favourable to the test involving the eye, though he insists that with
proper precautions it is safe.  Taken apart from the physical signs
and general symptoms, the tests may mislead. "Some failures and some
unexplained reactions occurred with all the tests." Even though safe,

"an intense or prolonged reaction sometimes occurs which is not
pleasant to see; besides, in pathological conditions of the eye,

With this sensible conclusion it is quite impossible to disagree.

Another question is of importance.  For these experiments upon the

Apparently, there can be no doubt of the fact.  The experimenter
distinctly states that "DYING CHILDREN, or those who were extremely
sick did not as a rule, react to any of the tests." The assertion is
repeated: "In no case were positive reactions obtained in DYING

In one of the tables, there is also a reference to dying children.

We are told that "the hands of the children were confined during the
first twelve hours, to prevent any rubbing of the eye."

Can it be that dying children were thus treated? We are not told to
the contrary.  Yet it would seem that impending death might well have
conferred immunity, not merely from such restraint but from the entire
experiment.  The thought of a dying child with fettered hands, is not
a picture upon which the imagination would willingly dwell.

Upon these experiments involving the eye, what judgment is a plain man
entitled to make?

In the first place, he should draw a clear distinction between the
experiments made upon tuberculous patients, and those made upon
healthy children.  Among the large number of experiments, it is
possible that some were made upon carefully selected cases for the
personal benefit of the individuals concerned.  Regarding these,
opinions may differ as to expediency; but they belong to the rightful
province of medical tratment,--wise or otherwise.  But if these tests
were applied without discrimination, without previous inquiry into
their condition; if they were made only upon the eyes of the orphans
and foundlings, and the poor in hospital and dispensary, and not upon
the children of the wealthier classes; if in large numbers, men,
women and children were made "the unselected material" for tests
wherein their individual welfare was not sought, in experiments which
not only "produced great physical discomfort" but were liable also to
"permanently affect the vision, and even lead to its entire
destruction," it would seem impossible to regard them with admiration
or approval.  Would any of us care to have his own dying child,
separated from its mother, and with hands confined, made the
"material" for any such experiment? Should we care to have anyone dear
to us, subjected to the risks which seem to have been so freely
imposed upon the unfortunate, the ignorant, the poor? That is the test
by which ultimately these experiments will be judged.

  IV. The Rockefeller Institute, and Experimentation on Human Beings

In public esteem, the Rockefeller Institute undoubtedly occupies an
exceptionally hight position.  It would seem to be generally believed,
that by reason of experiments made within its walls upon the lower
animals, discoveries of the utmost value to the human race are bing
added to the resources of medical science.  Possibly, a careful
analysis of its work might disprove this belief, but that is aside
from present inquiry.  A more important question confronts us,--the
extent to which under the authority of this Institution, human beings
as well as animals have been used as "material" from researches
altogether unconnected with their personal benefit.  If such
experiments have in truth been made under the authority of the
Rockefeller Institute, it would seem to be of the utmost importance
that the exact truth be made known.  It is not always easy to state
medical facts in popular language, but the attempt shall be made.
When Columbus returned from his discovery of a new world, it is now
generally believed that he brought to Europe the germ of one of the
most terrible diseases which have ever afflicted the human race.  The
extent of its malignancy has only been known within the past century.
The unborn infant may be touched by it with the possibility of great
suffering, and the probability of an early death.  There is not an
organ of the human body which may not become the seat of its ravages.
The majority of other infectious diseases leave their victim after a
time; this makes its home within the body and may manifest its
malignity after almost a lifetime of quiescence.  In its contribution
to the sum total of suffering which disease has occasioned the human
race, it is probably that with one exception, syphilis stnds above
every other human ailment.

On March 3, 1905, a young German biologist by the name of Schaudinn
discovered under the microscope what is now generally believed to be
the germ of this terrible disease.  It is a minute, spiral-shaped
organism, with six or eight curves, and capable of movement in space.
Its place in the scheme of existence is not wholly certain, but the
probability seems that it is a protozoan, belonging to the lowest form
of animal life.  Its very simplicity makes it appalling; we do not
understand how anything so innocent in appearance, can occasion such
terrible ravages.  In the course of the evolution of life how came it
into being? We can only surmise.  But once having gained a foothold in
the body of a human being, the minute organism begins to multiply: and
penetrating to any part of the body, it induces the ravages of a
destroyer espite all the opposing defences which Nature may raise
against it.  The discoverer first called it the "Spirochaete
pallidum," but later invented a new name--"Treponema pallidum"--by
which it is at present generally known.  It is almost ceratin that in
this minute organism, invisible to the naked eye, we have the
causative agent of one of the great destroyers of the human race.

A Japanese physician, connected with various phases of research work
in the Rockefeller Institute (Dr. Hideyo Noguchi), believed it would
be possible to device a method for detecting the existence of these
germs of syphilis in certain latent and obscure cases, where the
disease was merely suspected.  He had no though of inventing a cure
for the disease; it was a method of detection only.  By ingenious
procedures which it is unnecessary here to describe, Dr. Noguchi
succeeded in cultivating these germs OUTSIDE THE HUMAN BODY; and after
grinding them in a sterile mortar, and subjecting them to heat with
other manipulations, he found himself finally in possession of an
extract or emulsion to which he gave the name of "luetin." It contains
the germs of syphilis; but they are intended to be DEAD GERMS.  The
experimenter himself says:

"I have proposed the name LUETIN for an emulsion or extract of pure
culture of Treponema pallidum, which is designed to be employed for
obtaining in suitable cases, a specific cutaneous reaction that may
become a valuable diagnostic sign in certain stages or forms of
syphilitic infection."

Now, if a drop of this luetin be introduced beneath the skin of a
child who has inherited the disease, or of a person who has suffered
from its obscurer symptoms, there may be produced a "reaction." This
may take the form of "a large, indurated, reddish papule" which in a
pew days become of a dark, bluish-red colour; or the inflammation may
be of a severer type, resulting in a "pustule." A positive result is
more frequently obtained when the disease is of long standing, or
comparatively inactive.  But may not this "reaction" occur in every
case, whether or not the individual has ever been affected by the
diseas? Anyone can see that if this "reaction" manifests itself in ALL
cases, the luetin test has no value whatever.  And it was in the
prosecution of this phase of research that certain experiments upon
human beings were made, which have been criticized.  Dr. Noguchi and
other physicians injected this luetin emulsion containing the dead
germs of syphilis, not only into persons presumed once to have been
affected by the loathsome disease, but also into the bodies of 146
would seem that he was advised by an American physician  to make his
experiments on human beings rather than upon animals.  He tells us:

"...In 1910-11, I commenced my experimental work on rabbits.... While
I was still working with the animals, PROFESSOR WELCH SUGGESTED THAT I
MADE THE TEST ON HUMAN SUBJECTS.  Through his encouragement, I
commenced the work at once at different dispensaries and hospitals,
with the co-operation of the physicians in charge."

Whatever criticism may attach to these experiments, it ought not to
fall upon the Japanese investigator, encouraged and supported as he
was, by both Christian and Jewish physicians.  In appreciation of the
assistance afforded him at various charitable institutions,
Dr. Noguchi says:

"Through the courtesy and collaboration of--

  Dr. Martin Cohen  .. Harlem Hospital, Randall's Island Asylum, and
                       New York Ophthalmic and Aural Institute;
  Dr. Henderson     .. State Hospital, Ward's Island, N.Y.;
  Dr. Lapowski      .. Good Samaritan Dispensary;
  Dr. McDonald      .. King's County Hospital;
  Dr. Orleman-Robinson North-Western Clinic, New York Polyclinic;
  Dr. Pollitzer     .. German Hospital;
  Dr. Rosenoff      .. King's Park State Hospital;
  Dr. Satenstein    .. City Hospital, Blackwell's Island, N.Y.;
  Dr. Schmitter     .. Capt., U.S. Army, Fort Slocum;
  Dr. Schradieck    .. King's County Hospital;
  Dr. Charles Schwartz California;
  Dr. Smith  ..     .. Long Island State Hospital;
  Dr. Strong ..     .. Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital;
  Dr. Swinburn      .. Good Samaritan Dispensary;
  Dr. Windfield     .. King's County Hospital;
  Dr. Wiseman       .. King's Park State Hospital;

 And the Hospital of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research,
I was enabled to apply the skin reaction to a number of human cases...
The total number of cases was 400."[1]

[1] Journal of Experimental Medicine, vol.xvi.  In the original, the
names of the hospitals are somewhat obscured by being placed in
brackets, and the paragraph made continuous; they are here printed in
capitals, to afford the reader a better opportunity of giving these
charitable institutions whatever credit is due them.

Four hundred patients in hospitals and dispensaries including the
hospital attached to the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research,
were used as "material" for determining the value of a test for latent
syphilis.  Of these, 146 were healthy individuals, used as "controls."

Dr. Noguchi states that these "controls"

"include 146 normal individuals, chiefly children between the ages of
two and eighteen years; and 100 individuals suffering from various
diseasess of a non-syphilitic nature.... In none was a positive luetin
reaction obtained."

Other experimenters upon human beings have made reports of their
investigations in the same direction.  A physician of St. Louis in a
medical journal, tells us of forty-four cases in which the Noguchi
luetin was applied, and he expresses his obligation to eight
physicians of that city (naming them), "for the privilege of using
THEIR CASES FOR THE WORK."[1] Whether these "CASES" were the private
patients of the accomodating physicians, we are not informed.  This
experimenter had not completed his investigations and announced his
intention of "trying it out thoroughly" in a certain St. Louis
hospital, which he names.

[1] New York Medical Record, May 25, 1912.

The same experiments appear to have been made in other institutions.
In the Bulletin of the Johns Hopkins Hospital for August, 1912, there
appears an account of this luetin test, made upon patients suffering
from such ailments as rheumatic fever, typhoid fever and consumption.
We see that the practice has extended to some of the leading hospitals
of the United States.

The defence of all hospital experimentation upon children and adults,
other than procedures for their own benefit, is usually grounded upon
(1) the absence of any severe injury, and (2) the value of the results
obtained.  The defenders of the Noguchi experiments insist that the
disease was not transmitted; that there was no severe pain or
permanent injury; and that the inoclation with dead germs of syphilis
could not have caused an infection with the dread disease.  This is
probably true; although the excuse of painlessness cannot be fairly
put forward regarding the tuberculin experiments upon the eye.  But
should we overlook the fact that these tests, at first were purely
experimental in character? No absolute assurance of results could have
been declared in advance; if certainty existed beforehand, what would
be the use of experimenting upon so many human beings? Are experiments
upon man only reprehensible when injury follows? Do we apply this rule
to the engineer of a passenger-train, who again and again runs by a
danger-signal, and yet escapes a tragedy?

The utility of experimentation is urged.  Only by experiments upon
human beings, it is said, could the value of either the tuberculin
test or the Noguchi emulsion be definitely determined.  But surely
every thinking man must realize that utility cannot exculpate, or
justify the use of any method which is otherwise wrong in itself.  A
murder is not regarded as pardonable, because thereby the interests of
religion are advanced.  Dr. Noguchi for instance, admits that although
it is almost certain that the germs which Schaudinn discovered and
which he has isolated and grown outside the human body, are the cause
of specific disease, yet scientific certainty can only be acquired by
producing the ailment from the artificially cultivated germs.  He

"While there are few, to-day, who would deny that the Treponema
pallidum is the causitive agent of syphilis, YET THE FINAL PROOF CAN

[1] "Studies of the Rockefeller Institute," vol. xiv., p. 100.

A scientific experiment upon a human being of greater interest than
this it is hardly possible to imagine.  With germs invisible to the
naked eye, grown in a flask, will some future experimenter be able to
produce in a human being all the terrible symptoms of this worst
scourge of the human race? That the experiment will be tried, there
can be no doubt; experiments involving the inoculation of the same
horrible disease, have been made both in America and in Europe.  But
does anyone think that the utility of this suggested experiment of
Dr. Noguchi would justify its being made upon an unsuspicious patient
in a charity hospital? Would it be likely to meet general approbation,
even in our day, if it were performed upon an infant in a Babies'
Hospital? And yet why should it be criticized, if utility to science
is a sufficient excuse?

It is a significant fact, that every writer who attempts to defend or
to excuse the experiments here described and others of the same type,
always evades the principal reason for their condemnation.  The
condemnation of what may be called "human vivisection" rests chiefly
upon its incurable injustice.

Every man, not a criminal, has the inherent right to the inviolability
of his own body, except for his own personal benefit.  Apply this to
the experiments herein described.

THEY IMPLY A SUPPRESION OF THE TRUTH.  Is it probably that any mother,
bringing to a hospital her ailing child, would leave it there without
apprehension if she were distinctly informed that when it had partly
recovered, it would be used for experimentation relating to a test for

THEY IMPLY A PHASE OF DECEPTION, so far as a formal "consent" is ever
obtained without a full and complete statemnet of possible dangers.
Can we imagine Mary Rafferty to have consented to Bartholow's
experiments upon her brain, if, in full possession of her intellectual
faculties, she had known--as he knew,--what risks they involved? It is
the performance of experiments upon dying children, upon infants for
no urpose of individual benefit, upon men and women all unconscious of
the character of the investigation; the imposition upon the ignorant
and confiding of unknown risks; the utilization for experimentation
under cover of treatment for their ailments, of the poor, the feeble-
minded, the unfortunate, without their full, intelligent and adequate
consent, that makes the practice abhorrent to every conception of
morality, and every ideal of honour.

How such experiments are coming to be regarded, we may see in a recent
article from the pen of Dr. Francis H. Rowley, president of the
Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:

"The use of children in hospitals, or anywhere else, as material for
experimentation is not to be tolerated for a moment, in our judgment,
by any right-minded man or woman.  Whatever is conscientiously done
for the benefit of the child itself, to save it from disease or to
lessen its suffering, though it may cause it temporarily more or less
pain, is nothing against which objection should be made.  But to use
the child, even when no permanent harm may result to it, as a subject
upon which to try out certain theories, or to test the efficacy of
certain drugs, so long as this is not absolutely for the good of the
individual child treated rather than for children in general, is
abhorrent to the most of us.  To cause a helpless baby one hour's
distress, to say nothing of suffering, for the sake even of other
children, when that baby has been brought to the hospital by its
parents or guardians solely for what may be done for its benefit, we
hold to be a breach of trust on the part of hospital authorities and
physicians that hasn't the slightest defence either in morals or in

"We write these words not because we believe that any physician is so
far fallen below the lowest levels of our common humanity as to inject
into a defenceless child the active germs of a loathsome or possibly
fatal disease, but because our moral sense is outraged at any
treatment of the child such as we should refuse to permit were the
child our own.  We believe he universal assertial of parents would be
that, if having taken their child to a hospital for tratment, they
learned that it had beenused for experimentation, though no lasting
harm could come to it from the experiment, someone would pay the
penalty for the unwarranted deed, if money or influence or, these
failing, muscle, could reach far enough to find the offender."

Does such condemnation of experimentation upon the hospital patient or
children tend to block scientific advance? Not at all.  A recent
writer tells us that "once it is evident that man himself must be the
experimental animal, the scientist volunteer is always ready." If this
be so, why should not the human "material" be acquired always in a way
to which the charge of unjust procedure would never be applicable? If
assurance could have been given that the luetin test implied no risk
of any kind, might not the Rockefeller Institute have secured any
number of volunteers by the offer of a gratuity of twenty or thirty
dollars as a compensation for any discomfort that might be endured? Of
the thousands of medical students in the State of New York, are there
not hundreds who would have offered with eagerness to submit to a test
devoid of peril, in the interests of scientific research? And even if
an experiment implied danger, might there not be sufficient
compensation for all risks? Every year firemen lose their lives in the
flames, and policemen are murdered.  The compensation they receive
induces them to incur risks that might not otherwise be assumed.  A
great theologian is said to have affirmed that a man, perishing from
starvation, had the moral right to take a loaf of bread that did not
belong to him, if only thus he could preserve his life.  Is Science
ever in such straits of necessity that in a single instance it is
obliged to take from any man his supreme right of inviolability, and
to make its experiments within the wards of the hospital, upon the
eyes of the dying, upon the bodies of the ignorant and the poor?

There is yet another method by which perhaps we may test the morality
of the practice.  A great philosopher of another century seeking to
find some criterion of man's duty toward his fellow-men, based
obligation upon a universal law.  "Act," said Kant, "as if the motive
of thy conduct were to become by thy will a universal law." Suppose we
apply this maxim of Kant to the use of human beings for research
purposes.  An experimenter in a hospital makes dying children his
material.  Is he willing that the maxim of his act should be
universal, and apply to experiments upon his own child, when it lies
at the point of death? He plunges needle-electrodes into the brain of
a simple-minded and perhaps friendless servant-girl.  Can we imagine
him willing that the motive of his deed should govern and justify
experiments of the same kind made upon his mother or his wife?
Following Ringer, he tests the actions of poisons upon patients in
some hospital under his control.  Would he be willing that the law be
universal, and that the action of such drugs should first be tested
upon himself? He suggests the use of healthy children as "controls" in
tests with the dead germs of a horrible disease.  Is there anyone
connected with the Rockefeller Institute, for example, who would be
willing that such act should establish a universal precedent, and that
his own children should be taken, and without his knowledge, made the
"material" for such research?

Admitting that some experiments upon human being may be ethically
permissible, and that other phases of such investigations are morally
wrong, how are we to distinguish between them? May it not be possible
to indicate principles which would be generally accepted, according to
which the line may be drawn? Let us make the attempt.

I. Justifiable Experimentation upon Man

1. All experiments made by intelligent and conscientious physicians or
surgeons upon their patients for some definite purpose pertaining to
the personal benefit of the patient himself, and when practicable, in
case of risk, with his or her consent.
(This rule is intended to include every possible experiment made by a
medical practitioner for the benefit of the patient, with a distinct
ameliorative purpose in view.)

2. All experiments made with an intelligent purpose by a scientific
man or medical practitioner upon himself.

3. All experiments made with their consent upon physicians, surgeons,
pathologists, medical students or other scientific men, who, aware of
the nature of the investigation and of possible results, voluntarily
offer themselves as "material."

4. All experiments made upon men or women of ordinary intelligence
who, having been fully informed of the nature of the investigation and
of whatever distressing or dangerous consequences are obviously liable
to result, acknowledge the receipt of satisfactory compensation for
all risks, and give in writing their full and free consent.

5. All psychological experiments or tests which involve neither fear,
fright, nor mental distress of any kind.

II. Unjustifiable Experimentation upon Human Beings.

Experiments upon human beings which would seem to be immoral, because
obviously a violation of human rights, are as follows:


2. The use of new-born babes as material for research; the use as
material for research of any other defenceless children, in
orphanages, asylums, or in their own homes, for any purpose whatever
other than the direct personal benefit of the child upon whom the
experiment is made.  Especially objectionable would seem to be
experiments of this character made in connection with the study of
syphilis, whether or not any obvious injury is the result.

3. All experiments liable to cause discomfort or distress, made
without purpose of definite individual benefit upon the insane, the
feeble-minded, the aged and infirm or upon other unfortunate human
beings, who, for any reason, are incapable of giving an intelligent
consent or of adequately comprehending what is done to them.

4. All experiments of any kin, upon other adults, whether patients or
inmates of public institutions or otherwise, if made without direct
ameliorative purpose and the intelligent personal consent of the
person who is the MATERIAL for the research.

5. The experimental exploitation without their free consent, of men,
temporarily under command or control of an authority which they have
been led to suppose they are not at liberty legally to disobey.

student, who, out of zeal for Science, offers his body for any
experimental test; the patient in the hosptial, who with adeuqate
compensation for what he is asked to undergo, grants consent to some
investigation which may help others, though not himself; the poor man
who is satisfactorily compensated for all risks, and therefore willing
to aid research,--such varieties of human experimentation do not
necessarily offend the moral sense.  It is the incurable injustice of
experimentation upon infancy that can offer no protest but a cry; of
experimentation upon the dying child, of experimentation upon the
poor, the ignorant, the feeble-minded, the defenceless,--it is
experimentation like this which surely deserves the condemnation of

What is the remedy for human vivisection? It lies in such legislation
as shall protect those who, because of infancy, or by reason of
ignorance cannot effectively protect themselves.  By penalties so
heavy that they cannot be safely ignored, the State must forbid the
iniquitous exploitation of man by man.  No such law need interfere in
the slightest degree with the rights of the true physician to aid his
fellow-beings; nor can we doubt that the medical profession will
finally favour a reform that will indicate the broad line of
demarcation separating the unquestioned privilege from the
unjustifiable abuse.

                        CHAPTER XIX


In the preceding pages, the attempt has been made to throw light here
and there, upon a great and perplexing problem.  It has been seen that
concerning the past history of experimentation upon living beings,
much ignorance still exists; that too implicit and unquestioning trust
in the statements of those favourable to unlimited experimentation
has, unfortunately, not always conduced to the attainment of truth;
that misstatements tinged with inaccuracy have too frequently found
acceptance; and that growing out of the unrestricted use of animals in
scientific inquiry, the extension of the method, by the use of human
material, in certain hospitals has become an accepted procedure.

It is, indeed, an ethical problem, that confronts society, to-day.  It
would be no less a problem, if every claim of utility made in behalf
of human and animal experimentation were proven beyond the possibility
of a doubt.  Even then, the ethical question would persist.  The
ultimate decision regarding it remains the personal duty of every man.

Attention has been called, in the preceding pages, to many statements,
which a close examination would seem to prove to be misleading and
inaccurate.  But every discerning reader should recognize that
inaccuracy or untruth does not imply the moral obliquity that pertains
to intentional falsehood.  An experimenter, for example, makes an
assertion regarding the absolute painlessness of his vivisections.
Such statement may be demonstrated, let us say, to be exceedingly
doubtful, if not quite untrue.  That is as far as legitimate criticism
can easily go.  It is quite impossible to demonstrate a conscious
intent to deceive.  To interpret motives, to impute falsehood is to go
beyond facts into regions where facts are not to be found, except in
exceedingly exceptional cases.  One of thet Royal Commissioners
expressed this position very clearly. "While I feel bound," wrote
Dr. George Wilson, "to accept the assurances of all the expert
witnesses who appeared before us, as assurances of their honest
conviction that vivisectional or cutting experiments can be, and are
carried out without the infliction of pain from the moment the first
wound is made, ... I can only accept them AS OPINIONS, to which the
greatest weight should be attached, AND NOT AS STATEMENTS OF ABSOLUTE
FACT so far as specific instances are concerned." This is exactly the
attitude for any critic of vivisection to take.  A distinguished
physician, testifying before the Commissioners, declared that it was
entirely possible to keep a dog in a state of anaesthesia for a week,
if necessary.  Experimentation in this direction, in all probability
would prove the assertion to be untrue, but although such
demonstration would be proof of inaccuracy and carelessness, it could
not justify, in any way, the charge of dishonourable motives.  In no
instance, therefore, in the illustrations of inaccuracy given in the
preceding pages, is there any imputation of perverse and intentional

I have made sufficiently clear, I hope, my disagreement with the views
of the extreme antivivisection party concerning all phases of
biological experimentation.  The weakest point in the antivivisection
position has always seemed to me the condemnation of every kind of
experimentation on animals, however painless.  Yet how is it possible
to expect public agreement with this position in every case? A few
weeks ago, it was announced in the public press, that in one of the
departments of Columbia University in New York, a series of
experiments were being made to determine, if possible, the comparative
food value of two articles in general use.  If, for instance, a
certain number of mice were fed from day to day upon pure butter, and
an equal number upon the artificial product known as "oleo-margarine,"
would there be any perceptible difference in growth and general
condition, and, if so, in favour of which group? This is an experiment
upon animals; but it is one against which it would be difficult to
bring forward any objection which the general public would very
eagerly endorse.  Distinctions must be made, between that which is
cruel and that which is humane. "AGAINST PERFECTLY PAINLESS
EXPERIMENT," said Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson, "carried out for
purely experimental and great objects by men who themselves regret the
necessity or expediency, and who only act under a strict sense of
duty, no reasonable mind can raise an objection."

On the other hand, let me reiterate acknowledgment of the vast
indebtedness which the cause of humaneness owes to the opponents of
all vivisection.  Always and everywhere, the extremist helps in the
progress of reform.  But for a few hated and despised abolitionists,
negro slavery might still be a recognized American institution; it was
not Henry Clay or Daniel Webster who did most to hasten its downfall.
That antivivisectionists have made mistakes, perhaps their most ardent
advocate would be willing to concede.  On the other hand, how great
has been their service! But for extremists such as Frances Power Cobb
of England and Elizabeth Stuart Phelps-Ward of America and a host of
others whose hearts were aflame with indignation at cruelty and at the
seeming duplicity which denied its existence, the whole question would
have sunk into the abeyance in which in France or Germany, it to-day
exists.  They kept it alive.  And what have not the antivivisectionists
suffered by detraction, by ridicule, by misrepresentation and personal
abuse! The most eloquent woman to whom I have ever listened, English
only by adoption, faced without flinching some of the most skilled
vivisectors and controversialists of Great Britain, who endeavoured in
vain to weaken the force of her testimony; and the examination of Miss
Lind-ap-Hageby by certain of the vivisecting members of the Royal
Commission seems to me a more brilliant instance of the presentation
of ideals under adverse circumstances than is afforded by any similar
examination of man or woman in modern times.  Personal disagreement
with universal condemnation of all vital experimentation has been
sufficiently stated; but one view of the antivivisectionists applies
equally to the prohibition of painful experiments. "I believe," said
Miss Lind, "that the abolution of vivisection will be accompanied by
great changes and great developments in the whole science of medicine;
that new methods of healing will come in, and higher methods, as we
know that the coarser medication and the coarser drugging are going
out of fashion."[1] The same view was expressed by Dr. Kenealy,
another witness, regarding the prohibition of all animal
experimentation. "I think it would give the finest possible impulse to
medical science; that we are surrounded by all these problems of
disease and degeneration and suffering in human kind; and that if we
were to devote our attention to man, and to all the valuable human
material surrounding us, instead of wasting valuable time and talent
on dogs and guinea-pigs, we should make rapid and immense advance in
the relief of human suffering."[2] Somewhat the same sentiment has
been expressed by others not opposed to animal experimentation. "It
may be admitted," said Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson, whose scientific
zeal, no one can question, "that whether painful experimentation be
useful or useless, it has had one indifferent effect; it has diverted
the minds of men too strongly from methods of research that not only
lie open to the curious mind, but which lie temptingly open." And
speaking of medical treatment for disease, he says: "Treatment at this
time is a perfect Babel.... Two men scarcely ever write the same
prescription for the same disease or the same symptom.  I have watched
the art of prescribing for fifty years, and I am quite sure that
divergence of treatment is at this moment far greater than it ever was
in the course of that long period.  The multiplication of remedies,
begotten of experiment, is the chief reason of so much disagreement...
... The modern student has before him a new duty.  The experiment of
experiment that lies before him therapeutically, is to learn what
diseases will recover by mere attention to external conditions without
any medicines, and what will not."[3]

[1] Evidence before Royal Commission, Q. 7,627
[2] Ibid., Q. 6,776
[3] "Biological Experimentation," by Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson,
F.R.S.  Pp. 73, 109.

The unpleasant accompaniment of all criticism is misunderstanding.  A
protest, a remonstrance of any kind can gain a hearing only after it
has been repeated again and again, and even then it is quite as liable
as otherwise to be wholly misconstrued.  It has been with very great
regret that for many years, I have found myself in disagreement with
so large a number of medical writers, who have left behind them the
conservatism of earlier opinions in the English-speaking world, to
follow the newer lights of Continental freedom and irresponsibility.
The regret is the more poignant, because, speaking from the vantage of
seventy years, I believe that the highest realization of human hopes
for the welfare of our race, must come through medical science.  It
is, however, to preventive medicine that the world must learn to look,
not to the conquest of disease by new drugs or new serums.  There are
ailments, which every year in England and America are responsible for
thousands of preventable deaths.  That fifty years hence, these
scourges of humanity will be curable by the administration of any
remedy, to be hereafter discovered by experimentation on animals,--in
the Rockefeller Institute, for instance,--I have not the slightest
faith.  It is not through the torment of living creatures, not through
the limitless sacrifice of laboratory victims, not through the
utilization of babes as "material" for research, that medical science
will yet achieve for humanity its greatest boon,--the prevention of
disease.  I venture with confidence, to make that forecast of the
future, leaving recognition of its truth to those who shall come after
us, when all now living shall have passed away.


                      SECOND EDITION


                        APPENDIX I

                    PROGRESS"--A REVIEW

By a curious coincidence, two books relating to vivisection were
published in America at almost the same time.  One, under the above
title, was a collection of essays and contributions to various
periodicals from the pen of Dr. William W. Keen, which have appeared
during the past thirty years.  The other was the first edition of the
present work.

The volume to which the reader's attention is called is chiefly an
exposition of the author's views on the scientific value of biological
experimentation.  With some of his conclusions, there will be little
or no dispute among members of the medical profession.  But in
defending the moethods of physiological experiment, has he been
scrupulously accurate and uniformly fair? Is there to be discerned any
tendency to exaggeration, to over-statement or to suppression of vital
facts? Eager as he is to charge inaccuracy upon others, has he been
always accurate himself? Has any authority cited been "garbled," so
that quotation conveys an impression inconsistent with the general
tenor of a writer's views? What cruelties of past experimentation has
this author emphatically condemned? What experimenters upon human kind
has he held up to the reprobation of the public? In the entire volume,
can one find a single instance wherein a cruel experiment has been
censured, or a cruel experimenter been condemned by name? Except in a
volume, it would be impossible to indicate all points to which
attention should be given; it must suffice here, to direct attention
only to a few.


A personal criticism of the writer by Dr. Keen makes necessary a
record of the facts.  Referring to a certain experiment of a German
vivisector, Goltz, Dr. Keen says:

"In 1901 Professor Bowditch called Dr. Leffingwell's attention to the
fact that no such operation was ever done.  In Dr. Leffingwell's
collected essays, entitled "The Vivisection Question," on p. 169 of
the second revised edition (1907), there is, in a footnote a
correction admitting that no such operation was ever done(!), but on
p. 67 of the same edition, A DESCRIPTION OF THIS SAME OPERATION still
remains uncorrected, six years after Bowditch's letter had been
received and the misstatement acknowledged."[1]

[1] Keen's "Animal Experimentation," p. 271.

Truth and untruth are sadly intermingled in this paragraph.  Let us
attempt to disentangle them.

On March 7, 1901, while the collection of essays, known as "The
Vivisection Question" was in the printer's hands and on the eve of
publication, a note was received from Professor Bowditch of Harvard
Medical School, courteously asking the authority for one particular
procedure in the long account of the Goltz experiment--the ablation of
the breast.  In reply to Professor Bowditch, the name of Dr. Edward
Berdoe of London was given as the authority upon which the author of
"The Vivisection Question" had confidently relied.  A letter was at
once sent to Dr. Berdoe--a well-known English physician--telling him
that one procedure mentioned in the description of the Goltz
experiment had been questioned, and asking him for an immediate and
careful study of the case.  Dr. Berdoe's investigation made it evident
that a mistake had been made by the translator upon whose accuracy he
had relied; and in the next edition of "The Vivisection Question" at
p. 169--(the only page to which Dr. Bowditch had invited attention)--
an acknowledgment was inserted.  That it had even the briefest
reference elsewhere, was not recalled by the author of the book, for
he had not seen it for years.

Nor was this all.  To the London Zoophilist and to the Journal of
Zoophily in this country, a communication was at once sent.  In the
latter periodical, the following letter appeared in its issue for
July, 1901:

                To the Editor of the Journal of Zoophily

MADAM,--A German vivisector, Dr. Goltz of Strasburg, reporting certain
experiments he had made upon a dog, declared that it was "marvellous
and astonishing" to find maternal instinct manifested after various
severe mutilations.  One of these operations was reported to have been
excision of the breasts, so that it could no longer nurse its young,
and to this phase of the experiment I have referred in some of my

Recently, Dr. Bowditch of Harvard University has called my attention
to this particular mutlation, questioning its occurrence; and on
referring the matter ot Dr. Berdoe of London, who was my authority, he
finds, after a most painstaking and careful examination at the College
of Surgeons, that a mistake in comprehending a phrase was actually
made by the translator, upon whose accuracy and acquaintance with the
German language dependence seemed secure.

All the details of this Goltz experiment are too horrible to quote;
this is not a case where a single experiment has been magnified into a
great cruelty; the truth itself is bad enough.[1] It is a fact,
however, that one particular mutilation ascribed to Goltz--the
ablation of the breasts--did not in this instance occur.

It has always seemed to me of the utmost importance that in all
criticism of vivisection our facts should be absolutely reliable, and
that whenever inaccuracies occur, they should be corrected.  All that
we want is the truth, without concealment of abuse on the one hand, or
misstatement on the other.  In this case, I am especially glad to make
correction.  For many years I have been acquainted with the writings
of Dr. Berdoe, and I have never found therein the slightest
overstatement or exaggeration of any kind.  In the twenty-one years I
have written in advocacy of some measure of reform in regard to
                                        ALBERT LEFFINGWELL.

     May 31, 1901.

[1] No advocate of unrestricted experimentation, so far as known, has
ever dared to print the full details of this Goltz experiment.

In the only essay to which Professor Bowditch has called attention,
the statement had been corrected; the fact that an allusion of five or
six words in an earlier essay gave an erroneous suggestion, was quite
overlooked.  But Dr. Keen will have it that there was a "REVISED"
edition, and that in this "A DESCRIPTION OF THIS SAME OPERATION" was

There are here two misstatements.  There is not the slightest reason
for calling it a "revised" edition.  Was there a "description given"?
Let us quote the entire passage, written nearly a quarter of a century
ago, in order to see what Dr. Keen ventured to call a "description of
this same operation."

"We are almost at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Civilization is about to enter a new era, with new problems to solve,
new dangers to confront, new hopes to realize.  It is useless to deny
the increasing ascendancy of that spirit, which in regard to the
problems of the Universe, affirms nothing, denies nothing, but
continues its search for solution; it is equally useless to shut our
eyes to the influence of this spirit upon those beliefs which for many
ages have anchored human conduct to ethical ideals.  Regret would be
futile; and here, perhaps is no occasion for regret.  To the new
spirit, which perhaps is to dominate the future, this longing for
truth, not for what she gives us in the profit that the ledgers
reckon, but for what she is herself--this high ambition to solve the
mysteries that perplex and elude us, the world may yet owe discoveries
that shall revolutionize existence, and make the coming era infinitely
more glorious in beneficent achievement than the one whose final
record History is so soon to end.

"But all real progress in civilization depends upon man's ethical
ideals.... What shape and tendency are these hopes and ambitions to
assume in coming years? What are the ideals held up before American
students in American colleges? What are the names whose mention is to
fire youth with enthusiasm, with longing for like achievement and
similar success? Is it Richet, `bending over palpitating entrails,
surrounded by groaning creatures,' not, as he tells us, with any
thought of benefit to mankind, but simply `to seek out a new fact, to
verify a disputed point?' Is it Mantegazza, watching day by day, `con
multo amore e patience moltissima,'--with much patience and pleasure--
the agonies of his crucified animals? Is it Brown-Sequard, ending a
long life devoted to the torment of living things with the investion
of a nostrum that earned him nothing but contempt? Is it Goltz of
Strasburg, noting with wonder that mother love and yearning solicitude
could be shown even by a dying animal, whose breasts he had cut off,
and whose spinal cord he had severed? Is it Magendie, operating for
cataract and plunging the needle to the bottom of the patient's eye,
that by experiment upon a human being he might see the effect of
irritating the retina? ... Surely, in these names, and such as these,
there can be no uplift or inspiration to young men toward that
unselfish service and earnest work which alone shall help toward the
amelioration of the world."

In this passage, there is an allusion of JUST SIX WORDS to one phase
of experimentation which was subsequently found to be inaccurate, and
corrected, as Dr. Keen has shown.  But was it in accord with truth to
refer to this passing reference as "A DESCRIPTION of the same
operation"? No reader of Dr. Keen's pages would be likely to
investigate the statement.  Was it fair to permit his readers to

There is yet another point to be noted.  Referring to the experiments
of Goltz, the impression seems to be given that not only was ablation
of the breast mistakenly ascribed to the Strasburg vivisector, but
that such a vivisection was imaginary: "NO SUCH OPERATION WAS EVER
DONE." This is also untrue.  Experiments of the kind have been done by
other vivisectors, and they are recorded in their own reports.  For
example, de Sinety of Paris tells us in his "Manuel Pratique de
Gynecologie" (Paris, 1879, p. 778), that upon female guinea-pigs, he
had practised "l'ablation de ces glands pendant la lactation."[1]
Another French vivisector, Dr. Paul Bert, states that he had not only
performed "l'ablation des mamelles chez une femelle de cochon d'Inde,"
but that he had succeeded in performing the operation on a female
goat.  The poor creature recovered from the vivisection, and later,
gave birth to a kid, which was placed with the mother.  What would
happen to a new-born animal placed at the side of a mother whose
breasts had been cut off?

"Le petit, animal, voulant teter, et trouvant pas de mamelles, a donne
de violent coups de te^te dans le re'gion mammaire...."[2]

[1] In a reference to de Sinety's vivisections at page 171, in the
present volume, there is a slight mistake.  Although de Sinety, as
shown above, had practised the ablation of the mammary glands during
lactation, it would seem that mutilation rather than complete ablation
preceded his experiments on the innervation of the mammary nerve.  The
sentence should read "cut into the breasts," and not "removed the
breasts." He tells us that he made a considerable number of
experiments of the kind upon female guinea-pigs.  In one of them, for
example, he laid bare the nerve and isolated it with a thread,--"le
nerf mammaire d'un co^te est mis a` nu, et isole," and that when the
electric current was used, extreme pain,--"un douleur tre`s vivre" was
excited, notwithstanding which the excitation was continued for ten
minutes. (Gazette Me'd. de Paris, for 1879, p. 593).
[2] Comptes Rendus de la Soc. de Biologie, Paris, 1883, p. 778.

There is no need of completing the description.  It was an experiment
absolutely useless and without justification.  We may confess that we
read of such useless cruelties of experiment only with infinite

No matter how careful a writer may be, it is very rare that he
escapes, from unfriendly readers, the imputation of inaccuracy.
Against writers of history--men like Froude, Macaulay, or Carlyle--the
same charge has been made.  But a critic whose microscopic eye
discerns inaccuracy in others should be very careful to make no
similar errors himself.  The mistake upon which he has dwelt, was due
to reliance upon the translation of another man.  It may be of
interest to point out that in his own writings Dr. Keen has made a
precisely similar mistake; and that although it was pointed out and
its untruth confessed many years ago, yet the false imputation appears
again in the pages of his book, without correction or intimation of
its utter untruth, on the page where it firs tis given to the reader
of to-day.

In a pamphlet published during the closing years of the last century
by the American Humane Association, there appeared a strong
condemnation of experiments made by a Dr. Sanarelli, apparently upon
hospital patients, temporarily under his care.  In an Italian
periodical, the young scientist described his researches with
remarkable frankness.  He tells of the various symptoms of yellow
fever, which by his serum he had caused his victims to suffer--the
congestions, the haemorrhage, the delirium, the fatty degeneration,
the collapse; and all these, he adds, "I have seen unrolled before my

So terrible a confession of human vivisection, it was eemed best by
some English translator to suppress; and in various medical journals,
both in England and America, the sentence here italicized did not
appear.  Finding it quoted only by the pamphlet that condemned human
vivisection, Dr. Keen, without consulting the original, made the
dishonouring imputation that perhaps it had been "DELIBERATELY ADDED"
by some one of his opponents, and this, too, notwithstanding he had
referred to the original authority where the words were to be
found. "Unfortunately," he explained at a later period, "I am not an
Italian scholar, and have never even seen Sanarelli's original
article"; he had placed dependence for his statement upon a
"friend."[1] Who could have been this "friend" who pretended that he
had read the article of Sanarelli in the original, and deceived him
into making a charge of forgery, for the truth of which there was not
a particle of foundation? But the thing of which his readers have a
right to complain is not that his "friend" deceived him, for that may
happen to anyone.  It is this: that the imputation of forgery, the
untruth of which was admitted long ago, still remains in the essay
where it first appeared, and without there being the slightest
disclaimer of the false insinuation.  Let the reader turn to p. 125 of
the work under review.  There is the suggestion that Sanarelli's
allusion to the poisons fabricated in his laboratory may have been
"DELIBERATELY ADDED"--an imputation of forgery.  WHERE ON THIS PAGE,

[1] "Animal Experimentation," pp. 143-144.


One of the most serious offences against literacy accuracy which this
writer has apparently committed appears in the garbling of the
opinions of Dr. Henry J. Bigelow of Harvard University, on the subject
of vivisection.  The case is of especial interest not only because the
facts are so clear, but because they bring into relief certain methods
of controversy, which by some seem to be regarded as entirely

A sketch of the life of Dr. Bigelow, with extended quotations from his
writings, will be found in the ninth chapter of the work now in the
reader's hands.  The opinions there expressed regarding vivisection
are by no means extreme.  No past writer on this subject has left
behind him more abundant evidence of his position in this
controversy.  It was not animal experimentation that he condemned, but
the cruelty that sometimes accompanies it, and to which, if
vivisection be unregulated by law, it is so often liable.

How may the views of such a writer be attacked after he is in his
grave? A physiological casuist would suggest, for instance, that
although for forty years connected with a medical school, Dr. Bigelow
really knew little or nothing about vivisection except what he had
chanced to see in France, although his writings abound with allusions
indicative of familiarity with laboratory scenes.  It might be
asserted, indeed, that "in his later life," the great advocate of
reform had changed his views; and as a fair exposition of the new
attitude, a brief warning against confounding a painful with a
painless experiment would be quoted, after eliminating from the
paragraph anything that referred to cruelty or abuse.

Is not this exactly what the author of "Animal Experimentation" has
done in his attempt to discredit the weight of Dr. Bigelow's protests?
He tells his readers that "the opponents of research" quote the
Harvard professor's earliest utterances "based on the suffering he saw
at Alfort," but that they carefully omit this expression of his later

"The dissection of an animal in a state of insensibility is no more to
be criticized than is the abrupt killing of it, to which no one
objects.  The confounding of a painful vivisection and an experiment
which does not cause pain--either because the experiment itself is
painless, like those pertaining to the action of most drugs, or
because it is a trivial one and gives little suffering--has done great
damage to the cause of humanity and has placed the opponent of
vivisection at a great disadvantage.... A painless experiment on an
animal is unobjectionable."

This is all true enough.  But can anyone call this paragraph a fair
statement of Dr. Bigelow's "later views" on animal experimentation? It
is merely a wise caution.  Compare this brief quotation with the ninth
chaper of the book in the reader's hands.  Will anyone, after reading
that chapter, maintain that THE THREE SENTENCES JUST CITED AFFORD A

The reader will note that in the passage just quoted from Bigelow,
something appears to have been omitted before the final sentence.  On
turning to Dr. Bigelow's work, we find this sentence was eliminated
from the foregoing quotation.


[1] Anaesthesia, by Henry J. Bigelow, M.D., p. 372.

Precisely! Then immediately following the words quoted by the author
of "Animal Experimentation," the reader will discover another most
significant passage which was suppressed by the author of "Animal

"The extreme vivisector claims the liberty to inflict at his
discretion, PROTRACTED AND EXCRUCIATING PAIN upon any number of dogs,
horses, rabbits, guinea-pigs and other animals.  The interest or
honest enthusiasm he may happen to feel in some subject of physiology,
however important, justifies in his mind THE EXHIBITION OF THIS
reform of any abuse needs remedial measures, such measures have been
inaugurated by permanently organized societies, which, even though
they may not have been always and wholly right and temperate in their

What was the reason for these suppressions? Why this garbling of
Bigelow's "later views"? Do we find it impossible to comprehend why
his comparison of physiological experiments with the painless
procedures of chemistry should have been cut from the contecxt, or why
the references to "PROTRACTED AND EXCRUCIATING PAIN" and the
"exhibition of excessive pain to classes" should have been omitted?
How could a writer, sincerely desirous of presenting his readers with
a fair expression of Dr. Bigelow's opinions, have cut out every
reference to the abuses of vivisection? How could he have omitted to
quote such passages as the following, which appear in essays written
during the last year of his life:

"In short, although vivisection, like slavery, may embrace within its
practice what is unobjectionable, what is useful, what is humane, and
even what is commendable, it may also cover, like slavery, what is
nothing less than hideous.  I use this word in no sensational sense,
and appeal to those who are familiar with some of the work, in
laboratories and out of them, to endorse it as appropriate in this
connection." (368)[1]

"There is no objection to vivisection except the physical pain it
inflicts." (368)

"No society, however extreme in its views or action, can legitimately
object to painless experimentation, provided it is really painless.

"Vivisection will always be the better for vigilant supervision."

"There is little in the literature of what is called the horrors of
vivisection, which is not well grounded on truth.  For a description
of the pain inflicted, I refer to that literature." (363)

The necessity for brevity of quotation, no one can dispute.  But the
ethics of controversy are clear.  One or two detached sentences should
never be given as a fair representation of an opponent's views, if the
general tenor of his writings would convey a contrary impression.
Thus to suppress and eliminate, what is it but to garble? In any young
writer, would not such offences against veracity invite the severest

[1] Henry J. Bigelow, M.D., Anaesthesia.  Figures following quotations
indicate the pages.  Italics not in original.


Another illustration of the unreliability of the volume under review
may be found in its references to the Report of the Royal Commission
on Vivisection.  We are told, in the first place--and the untrue
statement is thrice repeated with slightly different phraseology--that
"on the Commission, the antivivisectionists were represented, and
joined in this unanimous report."[2] It would be difficult to make an
affirmation more notoriously untrue.  In 1906, when the Commission was
first named, it was a matter of common knowledge that NO
anyong, one reading the following paragraph of the Commission's

"After full consideration, we are led to the conclusion that

[2] Keen, "Animal Experimentation," p. 294.  For repetitions of the
erroneous statement, see pp. xviii and 241.
[1] Report of Commission, p. 57, par. 97.

How could Dr. Keen have dreamed for a moment that any
antivivisectionist would have signed such a recantation? Possibly the
words here italicized explain why this paragraph was not quoted by the
author of "Animal Experimentation." It referred to the conditions of
permissible experimentation which, as yet, do not exist in any
American state.

Of this important report, but a single brief paragraph of two
sentences appears to have attracted the attention of Dr. Keen.  It
impresses him so strongly that he parades it no less than three times
in various parts of his book:

"We desire to state that the harrowing descriptions and illustrations
of operations inflicted on animals which are freely circulated by
post, advertisement, or otherwise, are IN MANY CASES calculated to
mislead the public, so far as they suggest that the animals in
question were not under an anaesthetic.  To represent that animals
subjected to experiments IN THIS COUNTRY are WANTONLY TORTURED would,
in our opinion, be absolutely false." (Italics not in original.)

"This clear statement," adds the author of "Animal Experimentation" to
one of his three quotations, "should end this calumny" (p. 241.) To
what "CALUMNY" can he allude? The Commissioners are referring only to
experimentation in England, where unauthorized painful experimentation
is contrary to law--certainly not to America, where no Government
supervision of any kind is to be found.  Even in England, the words
"IN MANY CASES" limit the application of condemnation.  Would the
author have its readers believe that painful or unjustifiable
experiments are never performed? ON THE VERY PAGE OF THE REPORT TO
WHICH HE REFERS US, in a paragraph immediately following that just
quoted, there is reference to a London physiologist of distinction,
who had testified that "he had performed PAINFUL experiments upon
animals both in Germany and in this country." The Commission
unanimously condemned his position as "untenable, and in our opinion,
ABSOLUTELY REPREHENSIBLE." Would the author of "Animal
Experimentation" regard this protest against certain experiments made
by the men named in that paragraph, as a "calumny"?

The unfairness of giving out to the world merely two sentences as
representative of the conclusions of an important Commission will
become evident to anyone who reads other of the unanimous conclusions
of this report.  Take the following: "WE STRONGLY HOLD THAT LIMITS
SHOULD BE PLACED TO ANIMAL SUFFERING in the search for physiological
or pathological knowledge, though some have contended that such
considerations should be wholly subordinated to the claims of
scientific research, or the pursuit of some material good for man."[1]
Does this conclusion bear out the contention that animal suffering in
the laboratory is a MYTH? Or take the recommendations of the
Commission concerning CURARE, a drug which is used in every
laboratory, but which, curiously enough, finds no mention in the index
of Dr. Keen's book.  The Report says: "Some of us are of the opinion
that the use of CURARE should be altogether prohibited; but we are all
agreed that if its use is to be permitted at all, an Inspector or some
person nominated by the Secretary of State should be present from the
commencement of the experiment, who should satisfy himself that the
STATE OF COMPLETE ANAESTHESIA."[2] Why was this recommendation made,
if the use of CURARE is never associated with painful experimentation?
Or read yet further: "We are of the opinion that ADDITIONAL SAFEGUARDS
AGAINST PAIN MIGHT BE PROVIDED, without interfering with legitimate
research." These recommendations are incorporated in the final report
of the Commissioners, not one of whom was an Antivivisectionist.  Why
were they not quoted by Dr. Keen.

[1] Report, p. 57, par. 96.
[2] Ibid., p. 61, par. 114.

The Report of the Royal Commission on Vivisection, together with the
evidence produced before it, constitutes the most important document
relating to the subject which has appeared in a quarter of a century.
It is greatly to be regretted that the author of "Animal
Experimentation" should have given his readers no idea whatsoever of
this report, except a warning of two sentences, that could have been
meant for England alone.  By omission of all its other conclusions,
especially those relating to painful experiments, has the author been
fair to his readers? Do such significant omissions illustrate an
impartial reliability that commands our admiration? Does it denote an
accuracy that should inspire our trust?


What judgment does the author pass upon scientific experimentation
upon human beings? In his volume on animal vivisection, he has
reprinted various articles on the subject written by himself during a
controversy which raged quite fiercely at the beginning of the present
century; of course in his book we find nothing of the points made
against his arguments by his various opponents of that day.  The
subject is an important one, and some day will have a volume devoted
to its discussion.

In the eighteenth chapter of the present work, a careful distinction
is drawn between those phases of experimentation upon man which seem
to be entirely proper, and those other phases which ought to be

"It is of course to be expected, that certain experimenters upon human
beings will endeavour to confound both phases of inquiry in the public
estimation; yet there is no difficulty in drawing clear distinctions
between them.
   I. Any intelligently devised experiment upon an adult human being,
conscientiously performed by a responsible physician or surgeon solely
for the personal benefit of the individual upon whom it is made, and,
if practicable, with his consent, would seem to be legitimate and
right.... So long as the amelioration of the patient is the one
purpose kept in view, it is legitimate treatment.
   II. Human vivisection is something different.  It has been defined
as the practice of submitting to experimentation human beings, usually
inmates of public institutions, by methods liable to involve pain,
distress, injury to health or even danger to life, without any full,
intelligent personal consent, for no object relating to their
individual benefit, but for the prosecution of some scientific

[1] Pp. 289-290.

All distinctions of this kind the author of "Animal Experimentation"
apparently sweeps aside.  A writer suggested that upon natives of
India who, when bitten by poisonous serpents, almost invariably die,
there would be no objection to trying "every variety of antidote that
can be discovered." This humane suggestion the author of "Animal
Experimentation" holds up as "FLAT-FOOTED ADVOCACY OF HUMAN
VIVISECTION!" The absurdity of such pronouncement must be evident to
everyone of common sense.  We should think very little of any surgeon
confronted with the case of a native suffering from a snake-bit, who,
finding ordinary remedies of no avail, refused to try "EVERY VARIETY
vivisection" to which objection is made; for such experimentation is
for the personal benefit of the man himself.

Take, for illustration, the experiments made by the author of "Animal
Experimentation" and other investigators some years since, upon
soldiers in an Army hospital.  The author of the pamphlet which first
brought these experiments on soldiers before the public, states
distinctly that "just so far as the experiments were made upon
suffering men IN THE HOPE OF GIVING RELIEF FROM PAIN, and at the same
time contributing to medical knowledge, THERE CAN BE NOTHING TO
CRITICIZE IN ANY WAY."[2] Surely the experimenters should ask no
clearer exculpation from all blame, so far as relates to permissible
experimentation on man.  The critic, however, suggested that in some
cases, the enthusiastic experimenters went beyond this, and quotes
from the original article the following descriptions of their work:

"We finally entered upon A DELIBERATE COURSE OF EXPERIMENTS with the
intention of ascertaining in what respect ... the two drugs in
question were antagonistic.... The experiments which we shall now
relate were most of them made upon soldiers, who were suffering from
painful neuralgic diseases, or from some cause of entailing pain.  In
OBSERVATIONS, but in no instance were they allowed to know what agents
we used.... SOME WERE MEN IN VERY FAIR HEALTH, suspected of
malingering.  The patient was kept recumbent some time before and
during the observation."

[2] Taber, "Illustrations of Human Vivisection," Chicago, 1906,
pp. 13-14.

It is unnecessary to give the full description of these experiments.
We are informed of "series of experiments," of "two other sets of
experiments," of the "effect on the eye" or "the effect of the two
drugs upon the cerebral functions"; the material was abundant.  The
reviewer of this experimentation says:

"How these experiments will be palliated and excused it is easy to
foretell.  We shall undoubtedly be told that all this happened some
years ago; that the American soldiers, thus used as material suffered
no permanent injury from the experiments to which they were subjected;
that the investigators were purely disinterested; that the scientific
questions involved were of great interest and that results might
possibly have been obtained which would have proved of great service
to medical science.  But even if we grant all this, and accord to
these gentlemen the purest of personal motives, can we say that in
such defence they touch the chief point at issue in this matter of
human vivisection? Here were a number of human beings who, for a brief
period, on account of misfortune, were temporarily in their power.
WHAT MORAL RIGHT had these medical gentlemen thus to experiment upon
the eye, the pulse, the brain of a single soldier of the Republic?
... Even granting the utility, who confers upon anyone the moral right
to test poisons on his fellow-men?

In his recent work, the author of "Animal Experimentation" refers to
these investigations of earlier years, and insists that most of the
patients thus operated on "were sorely in need of relief." What, he
asks, would his critics have had them do? "Sit idly by, and let these
poor fellows suffer torments, because if we tried various drugs we
were `experimenting' on human beings?" Is not this a little
disingenuous, in view of the very careful distinctions made by his
critic concerning the experiments performed for the relief of
suffering men? Assuredly, there was no objection to these; it was
regarding the "deliberate course of experiments," the "series of
experiments" made upon "MEN IN VERY FAIR HEALTH" that criticism was
suggested.  Were all these experiments upon soldiers in the Army
hospital made for the relief of their pains? If so, they undoubtedly
deserve our warmest approval.  Were any of a purely scientific
character, having no regard to the necessities of the individual upon
whom they were made? If so, we may leave the question of condemnation
or approval to the reader's judgment.


What is the attitude of the author toward cruelty in animal
experimentation, or to the secrecy of the laboratory? So far as one
can see, there is no admission anywhere that vivisection ever
transcends the limits of what is entirely permissible.  Except as
regards human beings, the word "cruelty" is not found in the index of
his work.  At one place he tells his readers that "whenever an
operation would be painful, an anaesthetic is ALWAYS given";[1] on
another page, we read that in modern researches, "ether or other
anaesthetics are ALMOST always given."[2] two statements that are
slightly incompatible.  We are informed that certain American
societies have passed resolutions favorable to the "UNRESTRICTED
performance" of vivisections by proper persons;[3] but the writer
neglects to inform his readers that unrestricted and unregulated
experimentation of the kind is not only contrary to the law in
England, but that it is condemned there by the leaders of the medical
profession.  We find it apparently implied--but without positive
statement--that there is little or no secrecy in animal
experimentation, and that anyone may find admittance to a laboratory
at any time.[4] So far as England is concerned, this is untrue; and we
do not believe that in America a stranger would be welcomed at any
physiological laboratory when experimentation by students was going
on, although of course there are times when there would be no trouble
in obtaining admittance.  It would apparently seem that in the opinion
of Dr. Keen, animal experimentation is always practised without
cruelty or abuse.

[1] "Animal Experimentation," p. 232.
[2] Ibid., p. 245.
[3] Ibid., p. xviii.
[4] Ibid., pp. viii-ix.

A considerable part of the volume under review is devoted to the
history of medical progress.  Were it not for the unfortunate tendency
everywhere to magnify or exaggerate, this part of the book would have
had distinct value.  Of the advances made by modern surgery, for
example, there can be no doubt; it is probable also, that without to
some researches upon living animals, the results would not have been
attained.  This by no means justifies everything that has been done.
The members of the Royal Commission--all of them favourable to
vivisection--state the case with scientific restrain.  After giving
the question full consideration they decide:

"1. That certain results, claimed from time to time to have been
proved by experiments upon living animals and alleged to have been
beneficial in preventing or curing disease, HAVE, ON FURTHER

"2. That notwithstanding such failures, valuable knowledge HAS BEEN
ACQUIRED in regard to physiological processes and the causation of
disease, and that useful methods for the prevention, cure and
treatment of certain diseases have resulted from experimental
investigations upon living animals.

"3. That, as far as we can judge, it is highly improbable that without
experiments made upon animals, mankind would, at the present time,
have been in possession of such knowledge."[1]

[1] Final Report of Royal Commision, p. 47.

It is open, of course, to an antivivisectionist to deny the right of
science to profit by the exploitation of animals, but this is not the
position of a large number who seek only to prevent the cruelty which
has often accompanied it.

The greatest defect of the volume, aside from the points to which
allusion has been made, is the exaggerated advocacy that characterizes
the work throughout.  One can hardly find a dozen pages in which a
careful reader would not discover some inaccuracy or over-statement.
If the author had only been content to demonstrate utility within the
limits that scientific accuracy prescribes; if everywhere he had been
ready to concede--what thirty years ago he so frankly admitted--that
vivisection was a "MANY-SIDED QUESTION;"[1] if he had admitted
anywhere that in the past excesses have taken place, and that the
practice has sometimes been carried to unjustifiable extremes which
should be condemned; if he had contented himself with pointing out the
mistakes of the critics of animal experimentation, without impugning
their character, or sneering at their efforts to lessen the infliction
of pain; if everywhere he had made fair distinctions between the anti-
vivisectionists who oppose and condemn all exploitation of animal
life, and restrictionists like Dr. Bigelow, Dr. Wilson, Dr. William
James, and a host of others who share their views; if, in short, the
constant aim of the author had seemed to be, not to secure a polemical
success, but reliability as an authority that time would confirm--it
is certain that his book would have attained some degree of deserved
and lasting repute.  For such a result, no reasonable expectation can
now be entertained.  The unreliability of the volume as an authority
will become more and more evident as time goes on, and in the judgment
of the world it will gradually find its rightful place.

[1] See first page of "Animal Experimentation."

In bringing to a close this inadequate review of the book something
yet remains to be said.  It should be unnecessary to repeat that in
pointing out literary defects and mistakes, we do not touch the honour
of the writer in any way.  How can one measure the weight of a life-
long prejudice, or determine its influence upon conduct or opinion?
"Tout comprende est tout pardonner." Within a few weeks, the author of
"Animal Experimentation," if living, will enter upon his eightieth
year.  The errors of judgment, the inaccuracies of statement, the
tendency to exaggerate utility--these and all other literary defects
of the volume before us must be recognized and deplored, but they
should be ascribed only to causes which do not affect the honour of
the man.  We may be confident that after he has passed away, the world
will quickly forget the too zealous defender of unrestricted
vivisection, and remember, finally, only the wise teacher, the skilled
surgeon, the trusted friend.

                        APPENDIX II

In the acquirement of knowledge concerning vivisection, and for the
prevention of abuses, it is essential that in every institution where
experiments are performed a register of all animals received be
carefully and accurately kept.  Each one should have a serial number,
under which all particulars should be entered.  The book used for this
purpose should have printed in the first column of each double page
the required details concerning which a record is to be kept; the
blanks should be written in ink by someone responsible for its
accuracy.  Some such form as the following outline might perhaps be
used for such register:


| Serial number ..   ..   ..  |      801     |      802    |    803    |
| Date     ..   ..   ..   ..  | Feb. 1, 1920 | Feb. 1, 1920|Feb 2, 1920|
| Species  ..   ..   ..   ..  | Dog          | Dog         |    ---    |
| Variety  ..   ..   ..   ..  | Mongrel      | Spaniel     |    ---    |
| Apparent age  ..   ..   ..  | Two years    | Very old    |    ---    |
| Sex ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  | Male         | Female      |    ---    |
| Colour   ..   ..   ..   ..  | Yellow       | White       |    ---    |
| Condition     ..   ..   ..  | Good         | Poor        |    ---    |
| From whom received ..   ..  | Bradson      | Burns       |    ---    |
| Address  ..   ..   ..   ..  | 45, Canal St.| 22, Mill St.|    ---    |
| Amount paid him    ..   ..  | 75 cents     | 50 cents    |    ---    |
| How acquired by him     ..  | Found        | Founds      |    ---    |
| Kept by us for redemption   | 15 days      | 15 days     |    ---    |
| Delivered to  ..   ..   ..  | Dr. Sharp    | Dr. Ball    |    ---    |
| Redeemed or died   ..   ..  |    ---       |    ---      |    ---    |
|                             |              |             |           |

From such a register as the foregoing, it would not be difficult to
compile a report at the end of each quarter-year, somewhat after the
following form:


|                         |      |      |        | Other  |       |
|                         | Dogs.| Cats.|Monkeys.|Mammals.| Total.|
|                         |      |      |        |        |       |
| On hand, January 1   .. |  20  |   4  |    2   |   14   |   40  |
| Acquired      ..     .. |  91  | 142  |   11   |  132   |  376  |
|                         |------|------|--------|--------|-------|
| Total         ..     .. | 111  | 146  |   13   |  146   |  416  |
|                         |======|======|========|========|=======|
|                         |      |      |        |        |       |
|                         |      |      |        |        |       |
| Redeemed by owners   .. |  11  |   0  |    0   |    0   |   11  |
| Died before use      .. |   2  |   0  |    1   |    0   |    3  |
| Used for experiment  .. |  84  |  76  |   10   |   98   |  268  |
| On hand at date      .. |  14  |  70  |    2   |   48   |  134  |
|                         |      |      |        |        |       |
|                         |------|------|--------|--------|-------|
|                         |      |      |        |        |       |
| Total                   | 111  | 146  |   13   |  146   |  416  |
|                         |      |      |        |        |       |

                                   (Signed)  A. B.,
                                         REGISTRAR OF LABORATORY.


On this 31st day of March, 1920, before me, the subscriber, personally
came A. B., known to me, and he, being duly sworn, declared that the
foregoing report signed by him is a full, true, and complete statement
of all the animals of the species named therein, which were either on
hand on the first day of the quarter, or which have been received at
the Laboratory of the Carnegie Institute for experimental purposes,
and the disposition thereof, for the quarter-year ending March 31,

                                                   NOTARY PUBLIC.

It is necessary not only to know what animals are received at any
laboratory; we must be able to follow them to the end.  Each
individual instructor, professor or assistant-professor, or other
person who performs experiments of any kind should be required to
state what he has done.  The following is an outline of a report which
might be made to the Director in charge of the laboratory.



|                       |      |      | Mon- |Guinea-| Other  |       |
|                       | Dogs.| Cats.| keys.| Pigs. |Animals.| Total.|
|                       |      |      |      |       |        |       |
|  I. Number of animals |      |      |      |       |        |       |
|       used solely for |      |      |      |       |        |       |
|     original research |      |      |      |       |        |       |
| II. Number of animals |      |      |      |       |        |       |
|   used for demonstra- |      |      |      |       |        |       |
| tion before students, |      |      |      |       |        |       |
|of physiological facts |      |      |      |       |        |       |
|III. Number of animals |      |      |      |       |        |       |
|  experimented upon by |      |      |      |       |        |       |
|  students   ..   ..   |      |      |      |       |        |       |
|                       |------|------|------|-------|--------|-------|
|    Total    ..   ..   |      |      |      |       |        |       |
|                       |------|------|------|-------|--------|-------|
|IV.Number of above ani-|      |      |      |       |        |       |
|    mals, in experimen-|      |      |      |       |        |       |
|    tation upon which  |      |      |      |       |        |       |
|    CURARE was used    |      |      |      |       |        |       |
|                       |      |      |      |       |        |       |

                                (Signed)  ........................
                                      ASSISTANT IN PHYSIOLOGY.


On this 31st day of March, 1920, before me, the subscriber, personally
came A. B., known to me, and he, being duly sworn, declared that the
foregoing report was signed by him, and that it is a true, full and
complete statement of all mammalian animals used by him or under his
personal supervision for experimental purposes in the ...........
Laboratory during the quarter ending March 31, 1920.

                                                NOTARY PUBLIC.

Suggested form of report, to be made quarterly by the responsible head
of each Institution wherein animal experimentation is authorized.


ENDING MARCH 31, 1920.

|                                 |      |      | Mon-| Other  |       |
|            Animals.             | Dogs.| Cats.|keys.|Animals.| Total.|
|  I. Number used for original    |      |      |     |        |       |
|       research only, by:        |      |      |     |        |       |
|         Dr. X.   ..   ..   ..   |      |      |     |        |       |
|         Dr. Y.   ..   ..   ..   |      |      |     |        |       |
| II. Number used for demonstra-  |      |      |     |        |       |
|      tions before students, by: |      |      |     |        |       |
|         Dr. A.   ..   ..   ..   |      |      |     |        |       |
|         Dr. B.   ..   ..   ..   |      |      |     |        |       |
|III. Number used by students for |      |      |     |        |       |
|       observation of physiolog- |      |      |     |        |       |
|       ical phenomena, etc. ..   |      |      |     |        |       |
|                                 |------|------|-----|--------|-------|
|         Total    ..   ..   ..   |      |      |     |        |       |
|                                 |------|------|-----|--------|-------|
| Number of above animals to      |      |      |     |        |       |
| which curare was given, in      |      |      |     |        |       |
| course of experimentation  ..   |      |      |     |        |       |

                                    (Signed)  .....................
                                             DIRECTOR OF LABORATORY.


On this 1st day of April, 1920, before me, the subscriber, personally
came C. D., known to me, who, being duly sworn, declared that the
foregoing report signed by him, is a full, true and complete statement
of the disposition of all animals experimented upon in the
laboratories of the Carnegie Institute, during the quarter-year ending
March 31, 1920, to the best of his knowledge and belief.

                                                NOTARY PUBLIC.

                        APPENDIX III

It is exceedingly probably that no young physician or medical student
could testify to cruelties witnessed in any physiological laboratory,
if they involved his instructors or fellow-students, without injuring
and perhaps ruining altogether his professional career.  Only in later
years, when success and independence have been attained, can he
venture to speak freely of what he has seen.  Some men have thus
spoken.  The testimony of two is here given:

Rev. Frederic Rowland Marvin, M.D., Albany, N.Y.:

"Though now a Minister of the Gospel, I was educated to the profession
of medicine, and was graduated from the College of Physicians and
Surgeons (Medical Department of Columbia College) New York, in 1870.
                (From letter to The American Humane Association.)

"All medical students in America know that similar outrages are
perpetrated in our medical colleges every winter.  I have witnessed
                     (From sermon preached at Portland, Oregon.)

Dr. Henry M. Field, Professor Emerituss of Therapeutics, Dartmouth
Medical School, Dartmouth College, writes:

"I well remember my experience as a student of medicine at the College
of Physicians and Surgeons, New York.... I well remember the poor
dogs, brought out from their dungeon, perhaps famished and tortured
with thirst, should the experiment require such condition; their
appealing eyes and trembling limbs, I shall never forget.... Indeed,
SURE TO BE APPLAUDED.... The student who found entertainment in the
unnecessary torture of animals, learned something besides physiology;
his humane nature was perverted...."
                  (From letter to the Vivisection Reform Society,
                                       dated April 28, 1905.)

                        APPENDIX IV

                A LETTER OF DR. JOHN BASCOM,

        To the Editor of the "Springfield Republican."

SIR,--In the complexity of our many social problems, it does not quite
do to extemporize an opinion.  In a recent issue the Republican came
very near falling into this fault.  Taking as its text a striking
example of locating a clot of blood in the brain, and referring the
knowledge by which this was done to vivisection, it spoke lightly of
the limitation which many have sought to put upon this practise.  It
is noot the assertion of the opponents of vivisection, that itis
always useless, but that it has been carried much beyond the demands
of any desirable and humane purpose.  Even the example given is not so
striking if we remember that it has long been known that each half of
the body is governed not by the adjacent, but by the opposite, lobe of
the brain.

Considering the uncertainty, and the costly nature, of the knowledge
gained by vivisection, and the great abuse the practice has suffered,
its opponents demand that animals should not be subjected to this
suffering except in view of some definite and important question to be
answered; that the pain involved in such an investigation should be
reduced to its lowest possible terms; that experiments once
satisfactorily made should not be indefinitely repeated; and that
vivisection should not be left in the hands of every tyro acquiring
the rudiments of knowledge.  These claims are almost as much a demand
of accuracy in knowledge as of humanity in temper.  The pain involved
in vivisection often creates such an abnormal state as to weaken or
invalidate the conclusions drawn in connection with it.  The careless
student may easily confirm, as he thinks by observation, opinions not
well grounded.

Vivisection has been objected to not theoretically or sentimentally
simply, but on account of the monstrous abuses that have been
associated with it.  In Europe men of distinguishing ability have
seemed to revel in this form of inquiry and to have prosecuted it
without the slightest reference to the cruel and revolting features
associated with it.  They have made of it a school of Nero in which
brutality became a passion of the mind.

One of the most deadly sins of men has been cruelty, cruelty to
animals, to children, to women, to men.  The basest of these forms is
in some respects cruelty to animals, since animals are so thoroughly
committed into our hands.  It is not easy to devise a more hardening
process than careless vivisection; and the claim that it is done in
the name of knowledge is, unless it is profoundly and deeply true, an
aggravation of the offence.  Inhumanity is the worst possible temper
for the medical profession to entertain, and the worst possible
suspicion to attach to them.  If the physicians cannot approach all
suffering with an intense desire to relieve it, he is not true to his
calling.  It is with more or less fear that the defenceless human
subject is committed to them lest they should make of him an

                                                JOHN BASCOM.

            December 15, 1902.

                        APPENDIX V

Among American physicians, probably the most distinguished medical
writer of to-day is Dr. George M. Gould, author of several medical
works, and formerly editor of various medical journals.  His
opposition to antivivisection ideals has always been pronounced; but
it has not prevented recognition of the abuses of the unlimited
practice of animal experimentation.  Some extracts from an address
delivered by Dr. Gould before the American Academy of Medicine are
here presented.  The reader should understand that they are extracts
only, and that they represent but one aspect of the speaker's views.
Perhaps they are the more valuable in that they are the utterances of
the most pronounced American critic of antivivisection of the present


The first that strikes one is an exaggeration of the importance and
extent of the vivisection method.  As valuable an aid as it is, it is
not the only, and perhaps it is not the chief, method of ascertaining
medical truth.  It has without doubt often been used when other
methods would have been productive of more certain results.  This has
arisen from what a large and broad culture of the human mind perceives
to flow from a recent and rather silly hypertrophy of the scientific
method, and a limitation of that method to altogether too material or
physical aspects of the problem....

Almost every point over which the controversy has raged most fiercely
has been in relation to one or all of the three or four questions:

1. What is a vivisection experiment?
2. By whom should it be performed?
3. For what purpose should it be performed?
4. By what methods should it be carried out?

In reference to all of these questions, scientific men should unite
and establish a common set of principles or answers.  In my judgment
their failure to do so at all, and besides this, their frequent
exaggeration of logical limits and just calims, has been one of the
unfortunate causes of useless and wasteful wrangling.....

(2) I believe scientific men have made a grave mistake in opposing the
limitations of vivisection (not mortisection) experimentation to those
fitted by education and position to properly choose and properly
execute such experimentations.  No harm can come, and I believe much
good would come, from our perfect readiness to accede to, nay, to
advocate, the antivivisectionist desire to limit all experimentations
to chartered institutions or to such private investigators as might be
selected by a properly chosen authority.... At present the greatest
harm is done true science by men who conduct experiments without
preliminary knowledge to choose, without judgement to carry out,
withoutout true scientific training or method, and only in the
interest of vanity.  It takes a deal of true science and patience to
neutralize with good and to wash out of the memory the sickening,
goading sense of shame that follows the knowledge that in the name of
science a man could, from a height of 25 feet, drops 125 dogs upon the
nates (the spine forming a perpendicular line to this point) and for
from forty-one to one hundred days observe the results until slow
death ended the animals' misery.  While we have such things to answer
for, our withers are surely not unwrung, and in the interests of
science, if not from other motives, we have a right to decide who
shall be privileged to do them.

I have adduced this single American experiment, but purposely refrain
from even mentioning the horrors of European laboratories.  This is
not because I would avoid putting blame where it belongs, but because
such things are peculiarly prone to arouse violent language and
passion, clouding the intellect and making almost impossible a
desirable judicial attitude of mind.  The Teutonic race is to be
congratulated that it is guilty of at least but few examples of the
atrocities that have stained the history of Latin vivisection, and
before which, as before the records of Roman conquest and slavery, or
of the "Holy Inquisition," one shudders at the possibilities of mental
action in beings that bore the human form and feature....

To jeer at and deride "sentimentality" while pretending to be working
for the good of humanity is hypocritic and flagrant self-
contradiction.  This attitude of mind on the part of a few men does
more to arouse the indignation of opponents than any cruelty itself.
Scientific men should root out of their ranks such poor
representatives.  They are enemies in the scientific household.
Dr. Klein, a physiologist, before the Royal Commission, testified that
he had no regard at all for the sufferings of the animals he used, and
never used anaesthetics, except for didactic purposes, unless
necessary for his own convenience, and that he had no time for
thinking what the animal would feel or suffer.  It may be denied, but
I am certain a few American experimenters feel the same way, and act
in accordance with their feelings.  But they are not by any means the
majority, and they must not only be silenced, but their useless and
unscientific work should be stopped.  They are a disgrace both to
science humanity....

And this brings me to what I can but conceive as a grave and profound
mistake on the part of the experimentalists--their secrecy.  A truly
scientific man is necessarily a humane man, and there will be nothing
to conceal from the public gaze of anything that goes on in his

It is a mistake to think our work cannot bear the criticism of such
enlightened public sentiment as exists here and now; if there is
necessary secrecy, there is wrong.  People generally are not such poor
judges as all that.... I would go even further.  Every laboratory
should publish an annual statement setting forth plainly the number
and kind of experiments, the objects aimed at, and most definitely the
methods of conducting them.  At present the public somewhat
ludicrously but sincerely enough grossly exaggerates the amount and
the character of this work, and by our foolish secrecy we feed the
flame of their passionate error.  As organized, systematic, and
absolute frankness, besides self-benefit, would at once, as it were,
take the wind out of our opponents' saiils.  Do not let us have
"reform forced upon us from without" in this contention, but by going
more than half-way to meet them, by the sincerest publicity, show that
as wel as scientists and lovers of men we are also lovers of animals.
Faith, hope, and love--these three.  To faith in knowledge, to hope of
lessening human evil, we add love--love of men, and of the beautiful
living mechanisms of animal bodies placed in our care.

As it appears to me, this most unfortunate controversy, filled with
bitterness, misrepresentation, and exaggeration, is utterly
unnecessary.  Both of the sharp-divided, hate-filled parties are at
heat, if they but knew it, agreed upon essentials and furiously
warring over non-essentials and errors.  I frankly confess that one
side is about as much at fault as the other, and that the whole
wretched business is a sad commentary upon the poverty of common
charity and good sense....

                        APPENDIX VI


A Bill for the regulation of the practice of experimentation upon
human beings in the District of Columbia and elsewhere has been drawn,
and will shortly be introduced in the Senate of the United States.  An
outline of the proposed Bill is here given, but in some respects it
may be enlarged or modified before its final introduction.  It is
believed that a law may be framed which shall prohibit only those acts
which are contrary to justice, and which should be forbidden by common
A Bill for the Regulation of Scientific Experimentation upon
Human Beings in the District of Columbia and in the Territories and
Dependencies of the United States.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled:

SECTION 1. That hereafter no person shall make upon any human being
any scientific, medical or surgical experiment or operation, EXCEPT
intelligent, personal consent of such latter person shall previously
have been obtained.  Every such consent, to be valid, must be in
writing and must be preceded by a full and correct written statement
setting forth to the person whose consent is sought whatever painful,
injurious or dangerous consequences are obviously liable to result
from the proposed experimentation, and such statement shall be signed
both by the experimenter and the person to be experimented upon.

SECTION 2. That experiments or operation of this nature shall be
undertaken only by one of the responsible head-physicians or surgeons
of some hospital or public instiution or by his special written
authorization; provided only that nothing herein contained shall apply
to scientific investigations incapable of causing injury, made by
direction of authorities in charge of any institution of learning,
upon students, with their consent, for the purpose of testing
acuteness of mental action, or for the purpose of investigating other
mental or physical phenomena.

SECTION 3. That no scientific, medical or surgical experiment of any
kind, liable to cause pain or distress or injury to health or danger
to life, shall be permissible under any circumstances upon any
new-born babe, or upon any infirm or aged or feeble-minded person, or
upon anyone whose mental faculties are impaired, either temporarily or
permanently, or upon any woman during pregnancy or within a year after
her confinement, or upon any child under fifteen years of age, unless
it be undertaken for the sole benefit of the person to be experimented
upon; and the consent of any such person to any such experiment or
operation shall not constitute such legal consent as is required by
this act, but shall be null and void.

SECTION 4. That the responsible head of any hospital or public
institution, in which any experiment or operation of any kinds
mentioned in Section 1 of this Act shall have been made, shall on or
before the first day of February in each year make a written report,
attested by oath, to the Commissioners of the District of Columbia of
all such experiments and operations that shall have been made in such
hospital or public institution during the calendar year next
preceding, which report shall contain copies of the statements and of
the consents required by said Section 1, together with detailed
accounts of such experiments and operations and the results thereof;
and such reports shall be printed annually.

SECTION 5. That any person who authorizes, performs or assists in
performing an experiment or operation in violation of any provision of
this Act shall be liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding one
thousand dollars ($1,000) and shall thereafter be incapable of legally
engaging in the practice of medicine in the District of Columbia or in
any territory under the jurisdiction of the United States, and of
holding any official position of any kind under the Government of the
United States

SECTION 6. That all sections of this Act shall be applicable to the
District of Columbia and to all other territory under the jurisdiction
or military control of the United States.

                        APPENDIX VII

                     SCIENTIFIC OPINIONS

A few years ago, Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson, M.D., a Fellow of the
Royal Society and a distinguished sanitarian, was asked to express his
opinion regarding experiments upon animals.  He was a member of the
medical profession; for some years he had been a lecturer on
physiology in a medical school; he had been a practical experimenter,
and his discoveries of new agents and methods for the prouction of
anaesthesia had given him a high place in the scientific world.  His
reply to a series of questions was embodied in a volume entitled:
"Biological Experimentation; its Function and Limits." Certain
extracts from this work,--in some cases slightly abbreviated,--are
here given.  They are of special value, as the views of an eminent
physician, a scientific discoverer, and a practical physiologist.
If in creation there was no pain, if no pain could be extorted except
by a physiologist, a physiologist inflicting pain, even for the cure
of disease would be an accepted criminal by the general voice of
mankind.  But Nature is a laboratory of pain on the most gigantic
scale; she stands at nothing in the way of infliction, spares  nothing
that is sentient.  She inflicts pain for her own purposes, and she
keeps it going....  If man inflicted such painful diseases as Nature
inflicts, he would be a monster.  Man rebels against these
inflictions.  Shall he add to pain by his rebellion?
In Science, there is no one method that can be considered
indispensable.  Attributes are indispensable; observation, industry,
accuracy are indispensable; methods are not.  Methods may be
convenient, they may be useful, they may be expedient, but nothing
more.  Celsus tells us that Erasistratus and the school he founded
laid open the bodies of criminals in order to study by direct
observation, the action of the intestinal organs during existence.
The act at that date of civilization probably shocked no one; it was
no doubt in accord with the spirit of the time.  In a day not very
remote from our own, a criminal sentenced to death for some trivial
crime, was given over to William Cheselden, surgeon to George the
First, for experiment.  The criminal was deaf and the experiment
intended was that of making a puncture through the drum of the ear, in
order to discover if an opening through the drum would enable the deaf
to hear.  At the last moment, Cheselden, a man of fine feeling, and
brilliant as an operating surgeon, declined the experiment, on which
the criminal, whose life had been conditionally spared, was set free.
For his generosity of mind, for shrinking from an experiment on
another human being, Cheselden lost caste at Court, and was considered
pitiable by those who lived on courtly favours.

The argument is taking now the same direction against experiments by
man conducted on the lower animals for the purposes of discovery; and
when from the history of the past we gather what has been achieved by
such experiments, there is but one answer--namely: that such
experiments, although they may achieve what was expected of them, were
not indispensable.  They may have expedited discovery; they may have
led to discovery; but they were not indispensable.
In the discovery of anaesthesia, general and local, painful experiment
on animals has played no indispensable part whatever.

The lower animals have been permitted to share, more than equally with
man, in the blessing of anaesthetic discovery, for by it, many of them
have been saved the agonies of painful death, but they have (not) been
subjected to painful experiment in the course of discovery.... The
instauration of general anaesthesia came from experiments made on man
alone.  There is no suspicion of any experiment on a lower animal in
connection with it....  On the contrary, there is a most notable fact
in relation to experiments under chloroform made on lower animals,
which suggests that if they had ever been relied on,--chloroform would
never have been introduced into practice.  Flourens, the eminent
French physiologist, tried the effect of chloroform on inferior
animals, and in consequence of its powerful and fatal influence on
them, put it aside as an anaesthetic.
There are methods of producing local insensibility to pain which have
been tried, and which deserve notice.

In 1862, I made an attempt to carry out local anaesthesia by
exhaustion of blood from a part.  I noticed that when three round
cupping-glasses were applied to the body very close to each other, the
clear triangular space left free within the rim of the mouths of the
glasses was rendered white, brawny-like and insensible, when the
suction of the glasses was complete.  This was obviously due to the
local abstraction of blood from the part; and I thought, consequently,
that if I could exhaust the blood from the extremity of a limb, the
exhausted part might be operated upon without pain....  I tried the
process on myself, and finding it succeed, the operation of removing
the nail of the greta toe, was tried on a patient, quite painlessly,
the patient looking on and feeling nothing.  But the proceeding was
too long and cumbersome to admit of introduction into practice
generally, though it indicated an important principle which may in
some future day be utilized.  In this research, no experiment on a
lower animal was resorted to; I was myself the victim in all
preliminary experiments.
The most numerous and extensive efforts for local anaesthesia have
been those in which extreme cold has been employed to produce the
benumbing effect.  The earliest applications of cold originated
between two and three hundred years ago in the fencing schools of
Naples.  A Neapolitan professor of training placed crushed ice in a
flash of thin glass, and then applied the chilled glass to the skin,
and held it there until the skin was frozen, in order that the
cautery could be employed, or other small operations performed without
the infliction of pain.  The proceeding must have been most
successful, and why it became lost is one of the mysteries of
scientific research.  It did remain lost until our own time....  I
invented for the same purpose the ether spray process, in which a
benumbing cold was produced by projecting a volatile liquid like ether
or amylene, or a stream of compressed gas ... on the part to be
anaesthetized.  These methods have been so widely adopted that I need
not enter into any description of them.  I have merely to say that
they were made without any aid of experiments of a painful kind on the
lower animals....  The earliest experiment with ether spray was made
on my own arm.
It is fortunate for me that I have been an eye-witness of the progress
made in this department from its practical instauration.  I recall the
days when operations were performed without the aid either of general
or local methods for abolishing pain.  I have myself introduced new
methods of anaesthesia, generally and locally; I have brought to trial
a large number of new anaesthetics.  By the invention of the lethal
chamber I have had the delightful privilege of removing the taste and
pain of death from probably a million of those friends of man, the
faithful dogs.  I write this not boastfully but truthfully.... Painful
experiments have played no indispensible part in the discovery of
It is a curious fact that every method of research which is most
enduring, most intellectual and most free from moral evil is farthest
away from any and every thing that shocks the conscience or raises a
doubt as to necessity, in sensitive minds.  If mathematics had to be
cultivated through experiments on living animals, it would never have
succeeded in unfolding the magnificent mysteries of the universe.  The
same applies to the work of the science of chemistry, of botany, and
of physics generally.  In my opinion, every man who studies natural
things by experiments on living subjects of any species, feels the
truth of what I am saying.  I know in my own case, that my mind during
such experiments has always been in a different state according to the
line of experiment.  When the experiment has been conducted on dead or
inanimate matter, the return obtained from the labour demanded has
always been not only satisfacdtory, but pleasant to the mind.  On the
contrary, when the experiment has been conducted on living or animate
matter, the labour, whether affirmative or negative in its results has
never, at any point of it been pleasant.  The results may, and often
have excited curiousity; they may have been important, and they may
have opened the way to new inquiry, but they have never been free of
anxiety nor of a sense that whatever came from them, THERE WAS
SOMETHING THAT WAS NOT RIGHT.  I do not believe I am more sentimental
than any of my colleagues; yet I never proceeded to any experiment on
a living animal, though to the best of my ability doing everything
possible to save all pain, without feeling--what I think is the proper
In the hands of the teacher, it (vivisection) may be rankly abused; of
scientific pursuits, it is the one most liable to error; it suggests
no end to itself, but seems to grow by what it feeds on, becoming by
repetition and contest more and more extended and multiplied; it is of
all pursuits the most disliked by the educated community; it brings
its best and most self-sacrificing professors into scorn; and for all
such reasons, even if it be occasionally useful, is calculated to lead
to what would be esignated intellectual and moral evil.  At the same
time, let it be understood that I do not include in the criticisms
experiments which being devoid of pain, may cause the death even for
the service of man.  Above all, I could not for a moment object to
experiment by a truly competent man for the purpose of inquiry into
some great theory that has been leisurely formed, and can be proved or
disproved by no other means, as for example, whether an important
surgical operation can or cannot be performed for the saving of human
suffering or human life.
There are some simple and painless experiments which may be
demonstrated to any set of pupils, although living animals are the
subjects of them.  The demonstration of the circulation through the
web of the frog; the demonstration of the different natural
temperatures of the bodies of animals, including man; the influence of
various anaesthetic vapours; the collection of the breath of various
animals for the purpose of analysis,--these are all free from
objection.... In a word, all experiments which are painless and
harmless, are, as I assume the most humane would admit, free from any
charge of error.  But when we come to consider the application of
experiment of a severe kind as a means of education of pupils who are
making a study of physiological problems, there is a reason for
hesitation.  In my student days, such an experiment was never dreamed
of.  The professor of physiology would relate the facts derived from
experiment, on which some important theories were founded; he would,
for instance, explain what experiments were made by Harvey in order to
describe the circulation of the blood, but he would not attempt to
repeat those experiments in the lecture-room.  He would describe, in
his remarks on the functions of the nervous system, the researches of
Sir Charles Bell, ... but he would never think of repeating Bell's
experiment of division of the nerves in the column, alleging forcibly
Bell's own objection to its repetition.  It was the same on every
point.  He would relate the theory; relate the pros and cons; relate
possibly his own independent inquiries, or what he had seen
experimentally performed by other independent investigators; but with
that explanation, he would be content.
When I was teaching physiology as I did teach it in a medical school
for many years, I abstained for a long period from the direct
experimental method.  I found no difficulty, and my classes worked
satisfactorily.  The students had the credit of becoming good
physiologists, and I am sure there was nothing shirked.  In the latter
part of my time, I followed occasionally the plan of making a few
experiments in the way of demonstration; and although these were
rendered painless, the innovation was not the success that was
expected.... Intellectually, I do not think my classes were assisted,
in the main, by the experimental demonstration.  I am sure it limited
my sphere of usefulness, by leading me, in the limited time at my
command, to omit some parts of physiology of a simpler, less
controversial, and more useful kind.  I am bound to say that, morally,
I do not recall the effect as producing all that could be wished.... I
gave up experiments in my classes, not from any sentiment, but BECAUSE
I GOT ON BETTER WITHOUT THEM.  I did not omit the facts derived from
experiment, I did not omit the report of my own experimental
endeavours; but I omitted repeating, for the mere sake of
demonstrating, what seemed to have been proved....  Were I again to
deliver a course of physiological lectures to qualified hearers, I
should make the experimental demonstrations on living animals as few
and far between as was compatible with duty.  They would be
exceptional of exceptional, and painless from beginning to end.
I recommend, as the best method of obtaining the great aims of
medicine,--sanitation and the prevention of disease,--first, to make
medicine the grand master and teacher of universal cleanliness, and to
make everyone of the community a disciple and follower of the same
law.  The minister of medical art should be prepared to devote his
life to this simple duty.  He needs no higher calling, no nobler
vocation, and a world that knew its own interests should sustain him
in the task.  At present, the rage is for experimentation, although it
seems least wanted, for which rage THE SELFISH AND IGNORANT WORLD IS
MOST TO BE BLAMED.  The world now, as in the days of Naaman the leper,
wants to be healed and protected by elaborate processes, when th
esimplest and surest remedy is in its own hands.

From a long experience as a teacher of physiology and of public
health, I am convinced that a school or university of preventive
medicine would fill an important want.  It would tend to make every
man and woman a sanitarian, and would help to bring the principles of
health into every home.  It would be of direct and practical utility;
it would instil an exalted comprehension of natural laws, of the
advantages of following those laws, and of the danger and folly of
setting them at ignorant defiance....  The end would be the
accomplishment of the great aim, the development of the health of the
people; the art of preventive medicine without inflicting pain on any
living thing.

                        APPENDIX VIII

Since the preceding pages were in type, the United States Department
of Agriculture has adopted new regulations governing the inspection of
meat.  The rules ordered to be applicable to meat derived from animals
affected by cancer or malignant disease, are as follows (italics not
in original):

Regulation II.  Disposal of Diseased Carcasses, etc.

CARCINOMA OR SARCOMA shall be condemned.  In case the carcinoma or
sarcoma involves any internal organ TO A MARKED EXTENT, or affects the
muscles, skeleton, or body lymph glands even primarily, the carcass
shall be condemned.  In case of metastasis to any other organ or part
of a carcass, or if metastasis has not occurred, but there are present
secondary changes in the muscles ... the carcass shall be condemned.

SECTION 9.--All slight, well-limited abrasions on the tongue and inner
surface of the lips and mouth, when without lymph-gland involvement,
SHALL BE CAREFULLY EXCISED, leaving only sound, normal tissue WHICH

ANY ORGAN OR PART of a carcass which ... is affected by a TUMOUR, an
abscess, or a suppurating sore shall be condemned; and when the
lesions are of such character or extent as to affect the whole
carcass, the whole carcass shall be condemned.

It will be seen that the criticism suggested (pp. 269-270) concerning
the regulations in force for many years past is not annulled or
obviated by the new rules.  That which formerly was vague is now more
clearly and distinctly set forth.  The new regulation most carefully
condemns for food purposes "ANY INDIVIDUAL ORGAN OR PART" of a carcass
affected with carcinoma or sarcoma (cancer), and such condemnation
applies to the carcass, if the malignant disease has involved other
parts "to a marked extent." The fact that an animal is suffering from
cancer does not of itself compel its rejection for human food.  The
entire rule would seem to have been drawn so as to permit meat
affected by cancer to pass inspection as "sound, healthful, wholesome,
and fit for human food," provided the inspector in charge can declare
that in his judgment the malignant disease had not affected the meat
"to a marked extent."

In view of the mystery that still surrounds the causation of cancer,
this regulation of the Department of Agriculture should be entirely
changed.  Its basis is regard for financial considerations rather than
the public welfare.  No part or portion of any animal found to be
affected by malignant disease should ever be permitted to be sold for
human food.  The regulation should read:

Section 7.--Any animal or carcass of any animal found upon inspection
to be affected, however slightly, with malignant disease (carcinoma or
sarcoma) shall be wholly condemned as unfit for human food.

                        APPENDIX IX

England and Wales: Deaths of Females from Cancer at Different
Age-Periods, and the Ratio to Population, during Twelve Years of this

|Year.|Under 35.|35-44.|45-64.|65 and|Total.|Rate per Million|
|     |         |      |      | over.|      |   Population   |
| 1901|   695   | 1,811| 8,263| 5,827|16,596|       985      |
| 1902|   701   | 1,872| 8,229| 5,972|16,774|       986      |
| 1903|   702   | 1,896| 8,490| 6,202|17,290|     1,006      |
| 1904|   703   | 1,934| 8,511| 6,448|17,596|     1,010      |
| 1905|   719   | 1,904| 8,683| 6,445|17,751|     1,011      |
| 1906|   740   | 1,921| 8,945| 6,805|18,411|     1,038      |
| 1907|   731   | 1,956| 8,841| 7,018|18,546|     1,035      |
| 1908|   658   | 1,943| 9,026| 7,189|18,816|     1,036      |
| 1909|   701   | 1,952| 9,466| 7,671|19,790|     1,082      |
| 1910|   780   | 2,030| 9,376| 7,578|19,764|     1,070      |
| 1911|   730   | 2,080| 9,485| 8,018|20,313|     1,088      |
| 1912|   695   | 2,009| 9,926| 8,505|21,135|     1,117      |

The foregoing table strikingly illustrates the increasing prevalence
of cancer in England during the present century.  Among women it will
be seen that the rate of mortality has increased from 985 to 1,117 per
million living within almost a single decade.  The slow and yet
regular recurrence year after year of a slightly increased mortality
from cancer at each period of life after the thirty-fifth year is
peculiarly ominous.  The connection between increase of cancer and the
permitted utilization for food purposes of animals suffering from
cancerous ailments is a problem that awaits solution.

                        APPENDIX X

In the spring of 1915, the Society for the Prevention of Abuse in
Animal Experimentation decided to ascertain whether certain of the
principal facts connected with vivisection would be freely given if
courteously asked.  Accordingly, to the directors of laboratories in
over a hundred institutions of higher learning in America, the
following letter was sent by Mr. F. P. Bellamy, the counsel for the

                                                Brooklyn, N.Y.

DEAR SIR,--One of the criticisms urged against the practice of animal
experimentation in America at the present time is the laack of any
reliable information concerning its extent.  Believing that the remedy
of this defect lies within the power of the laboratories, I venture to
ask whether you would be willing to fill out the accompanying blank
form, returning it to me as soon as practicable? If so, I should be
glad if you would state whether the figures are based upon a register
giving exact numbers or whether they are simply the best estimate you
are able to give.  If impossible to supply the details asked, can you
not give the total number of each species of animals?

I may add that this Society is not opposed to vivisection when the
practice is properly safeguarded against any cruelty.

I enclose an addressed and stamped envelope for your reply; and
thanking you for whatever information you can afford, I am,

                                        Yours faithfully,
                                            FREDERICK P. BELLAMY.

A few details concerning the result of this experimental inquiry may
be of interest.

The Department of Physiology of the University of Minnesota reported
that the material used for the demonstration of physiological and
pathological phenomena before students consisted of 88 dogs, 74 cats,
and 420 other animals, making a total of 582 for the year 1914.

The Department of Pathology and Bacteriology of the Medico-Chirurgical
College of Philadelphia reported using "about" 124 rabbits and guinea-
pigs, chiefly for research purposes.  No report, however, was received
from the Department of Physiology.

The North-Western University Medical School of Chicago sent a
courteous reply, stating that it would be hardly possible to make any
report "as to the number of animals used in experimental work in our
laboratories." Research work was carried on "in at least four
laboratories of the Medical School, and in the work dogs, rabbits, and
guinea-pigs particularly are used.... As the work of research varies
materially from time to time in the several laboratories, we have no
way of making even an approximate estimate which would be of value" of
the number of animals used.  Probably this is the case with most other
large laboratories in this country.

The Eclectic Medical University reported the use of but six small
animals in its research work.  The director says:

"Our laboratories lead the world in cancer research, yet we have never
used an animal for this purpose.  We are the second laboratory in the
world in research of pellagra, and have used only four animals.... We
have achieved the above results because we believe in clinical and not
in experimental research."

From some thirteen institutions, chiefly belonging to the South or
West, vague or imperfect reports were received.  Some of them
disclaimed the use of living animals in teacher, or the use of animals
higher in the scale than turtles or frogs.

Two institutions refused to give any information whatever.  An
official connected with Rush Medical College of Chicago wrote:

"The statement that your society is not opposed to vivisection may
deceive the uninitiated.  Either vivisection is a good thing and hence
should not be interfered with, or it is a nefarious business and
should be stopped.... You and your society are either honestly
misinformed, suffer from delusions, or are lying bigots.  In my
opinion, mainly the latter.  You are my enemy, and the enemy of every
man of intelligence interested in the well fare (sic) of mankind and
animals.  I will give no information to wilfull (sic) falsifiers, the
insane, or those too lazy or stupid to inform themselves of facts."

Some further study of a primary spelling-book might be recommended to
this representative of an institution of learning.

The institutions making no reply of any kind numbered eighty-eight, or
about 83 per cent. of those addressed.

The inquiry resulted in confirming previous impressions.  It was not
believed that information concerning the number of animals used would
be generally given.  The experiment of courteous inquiry, however, was
deemed worthy of a trial.  The result would seem to demonstrate that
even the simplest facts concerning the practice of animal
experimentation in the United States cannot be obtained except through
inquiry instituted by the authority of the State.

                      AN ETHICAL PROBLEM
                     UPON MAN AND ANIMALS
                        PRESS NOTICES

"Dr. Leffingwell has probably done more than any other one man for the
education of the public to a right attitude on the vivisection
question."--Dallas News.

"The author has studied this question for forty years.  He shows by
the material gathered in this volume and the interesting conclusions
reached, the careful consideration of long years of study."--Detroit
News Tribune.

"The author's moderation in discussing this burning question will
appeal to a much wider circle of scientific readers than a policy that
demands complete annihilation of all animal experimentation."--The
Open Door, New York.

"The volume deals with vivisection, and the author holds that it is to
preventive medicine that the world must learn to look, not to the
conquest of disease by new drugs or new serums.... He enters deeply
into the question, and shows the result of long and careful research
work."--Norwich Bulletin

"In an elaborate discussion of the vexed question of vivisection,
Dr. Leffingwell tries to take a mediating position.  He is strong in
showing that there has been a vast amount of needless and useless
suffering to animals caused by vivisection.... Some of his quotations
are amazing in showing the indifference and even cold-blooded cruelty
of some surgeons."--New York Watchman.

"One of the most thorough books on vivisection yet published is by
Dr. Albert Leffingwell, entitled `An Ethical Problem.' It is not the
book of an extremist or a crank.  Dr. Leffingwell admits the necessity
of vivisection in certain circumstances and for certain purposes.  His
endeavour is not so much to get rid of vivisection as to prove that
the problem connected with it is an ethical one; that the practice
should be regulated and guided by public authority.  His book is
thorough, ingenious, and, for the most part, very temperate in
expression."--The New York Evening Mail.

"Readers of Dr. Leffingwell's earlier books will expect to find this
one written in the same quiet tone, with the same care and accuracy,
and they will not be disappointed.  The book begins with a history of
vivisection in which the reader's chief suprise will be in finding
that medical opinion a generation ago was much more humane than now.
The humane protests of the last generation seem incredible to-day,
when the profession almost to a man stands for the secvret and
unlimited exploitation of animals."--S. N. Cleghorn, in Journal of

"This book is devoted to a study and discussion of medical
experimentation upon both man and animals.  The writer is forced in
his literary style, and has long commanded special attention on this
particular subject.  In a skilful and scholarly manner he treats of
the historical development of the agitation in favour of restricted
and regulated experimentation.  The book should be read by every
person interested in the discussion, whether in favour of restriction
or not.... All who desire to be placed in touch with the latest word
in regard to this important humanitarian question should secure a copy
of Dr. Leffingwell's scholarly book."--National Humane Review.

"Dr. Leffingwell analyzes the results of vivisection in America in a
masterly way.  Many methods of experimentation he finds not only
extremely cruel, but valueless.  For instance, the raising of the
blood-pressure of a dog by scorching its paws, one after the other, so
that the blood-pressure might be maintained for twenty minutes. `Of
what possible value was such an experiment?' he asks. `Does anyone
believe than in a human being, blood-pressure will ever be maintained
by slowly scorching the hands and feet of the patient?' ... The matter
is clearly presented, and is interesting to the layman as well as to
the student of physiology."--Hartford Post.

"The ethical problem of which Dr. Leffingwell writes in his
interesting and instructive book, is that which arises from the
prevailing practice of experimentation for scientific purposes upon
animals and human beings.... The book discusses what vivisection is,
and what have been the mistakes and abuses done in its name, as well
as the present unhappy conditions which surround the practice.  The
author demonstrates that much of all this vivisection work is not only
unnecessary, but absolutely valueless to science.  The book is to be
commended to all who would know something of what vivisection is, what
it does, and what is being done and should still be done to prevent
its present useless cruelty."--The Christian Register.

"Perhaps no other man in America has so good a right to speak on
vivisection, from the standpoint of an expert, as Dr. Leffingwell.  To
our mind, he has here gathered in a forceful way the last sane word to
be said on this sensitive question.  In these nineteen chapters he has
discussed almost every phase of the problem.  Dr. Leffingwell has
occupied a difficult position, standing as he does midway between the
contending parties.... He discovers the law of cruelty, and applies it
mercilessly.  He also discovers the law of sacrifice, and would apply
it humanely.  In short, this book may well be taken as an
encyclopaedia on vivisection, looked at from the standpoint of the
moralist and the physician.  There are illminating appendices giving
technical information, and the chapters are characterized by vigorous
England, and a lively sense of a physician's obligations."
--Chicago Unity

"If nothing else in the book were to be remembered, it would be
valuable that all earnest people should consider the careful analysis
of the various positions which have been taken in regard to this
position, and the critical definition with which Dr. Leffingwell has
striven to replace the varied and unsatisfactory definitions which
have been given for the term `vivisection.' ... The stand taken by
Dr. Leffingwell represents the best-founded position of those
interested in protecting animals from needless pain.  He contends that
vivisection should be restricted rather than abolished.  There should
be no effort made to prevent those experiments which involve no
suffering for animals, and all animal experimentation should be
brought under the direct supervision and control of the State. `The
practice, whether in public or private, should be restricted by law to
certain definite objects, and surrounded by every possible safeguard
against license and abuse.' That this is not an aim impossible of
attainment has been attested by so famous a scientist as Herbert
Spencer, and by a large number of prominent American and English
physicians and scientists."--Boston Transcript.

"It is greatly to be regretted that the general public is not more
intelligent on the subject of vivisection.  It is charged that to-day,
in American physiological laboratories and in medical schools as well,
helpless animals are subjected to torture.... The testimony to this
seems irrefutable; and one is more disposed to give it credence when
he knows of the atrocities that have been perpetrated in other
countries, and learns that the practice of vivisection is unregulated

"It is fortunate that there is available such a book as that just
issued by Dr. Albert Leffingwell, a veteran advocate of legal
regulation, not prohibition, of vivisection.  Persons who would be
conversant with a question that ought to receive much more general
consideration than it does should read `An Ethical Problem.'

"One of the most shocking facts with respect to unlimited
vivisection--and that is the kind we have in this country--is that
man's two most intelligent dumb friends, the dog and the horse, have
been subjected to countless hours of inexpressible agony, and often
not for the sake of investigation, but simply that students might
become proficient in operating on living flesh, or witness the cruel
demonstration of physiological facts already well establish.... The
material presented in the book quoted makes the reader feel that in
some respects scientific men have retrograded till they stand about on
a level with the Iroquois Indian of two centuries ago."
--Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

"The volume is exceedingly precise and well written, fortifying itself
with abundant particulars.  It touches the hideous cruelties and
devilish atrocities which are done upon various animals, and behind
well-closed doors.  One reads it with intense pain and a disgust which
combines nausea with indignation toward the ruthless experimenters
who, disclaiming the hindering use of anaesthetics, exhibit all the
phenomena of nervous torment.  Monsters of research would sneer aside
all critics of such infernal `physiological' laboratories....

"The book is a protest against the careful and subterranean silence
and concealment which seem to conspire to resist all legal
inspection.  To evade or baulk investigation while causing pain in
order to exploit it, to jeer at the humane shudder of the layman, to
utilize feeble-minded paupers and friendless young children, to
sophisticate a too credulous public with an austere formula as to the
sacred secrecy of the laboratory--all this is an attempted HYPNOSIS of
critics who really want to be fair, but who as citizens insists upon
the right to know what is doing.

"The title of the book--`An Ethical Problem'--is indeed justified by
its array of evidence and argument.  Particularly is it shown that on
this question America is still in the dark ages.  Reform demands a
frank exactitude as to the practices which, if Dr. Leffingwell is
substantially accurate, are a disgrace to humanity.  State control
cannot always be avoided by ridiculing the `sentimentality' of those
who insist upon strict regulation.  Painless vivisection for
investigation may have its legitimate place; but to illustrate what is
already well ascertained by exhibiting animals in agony is both
superfluous and debasing, repellant to every mind not seared by a
morbid curiousity."--Hamilton College Record

"`An Ethical Problem,' by Albert Leffingwell, M.D., is by far the most
judicial and unimpassioned contribution to the study of the question
that it has been our privilege to read.  Dr. Leffingwell has long been
known both in this country and Europe, as a writer upon this theme.
No one, so far as we know, has brought to it at once so calm and
balanced a judgment as he, or a more exact knowledge of the whole
field in which biological investigation plays so large a part.  This
latest publication from his pen is the result of years of study, of
unremitting toil in the great libraries of this country and abroad
where every facility was at hand to obtain data and to verify facts.
It is a book written without bitterness ... which seeks to carry
conviction, not by the force of unverified quotations, or the
repetitions of utterances often made in the heat of controversy, but
by arguments based upon demonstrable fact, and supported by
authorities to which you are referred, chapter and verse....

"The time must come when physiologists as a body--as Professor James
declares they should have done long ere this--will meet public opinion
half-way, `and admitting that the situation is a genuinely ethical one
... give up the preposterous claim that every scientist has an
unlimited right to vivisect, for the amount or mode of which no man,
not even a colleague, can call him to account.' When that time comes,
and we believe it is not far distant, some legal regulation of animal
experimentation will be had.  For this end, the book we have reviewed
has been written; and when at last such regulation is attained, none
will have a larger share in the gratitude of all who will rejoice in
it, than the author whose notable book we have been considering."
--Dr. F. H. Rowley, in Our Dumb Animals.
"Dr. Leffingwell's `Ethical Problem' is vivisection, TO WHICH HE IS
IMPLACABLY OPPOSED, and which he describes as antivivisectionists
generally do."--The Syracuse Post-Standard.

"Probably the best-considered treatise on the subject now in print.
The author does not take the position that experimentation upon
animals is always wrong.  He maintains, however, in the most
convincing way, that such experiments should be permitted only by
genuine scientists.... Anyone interested in this vital question will
find much that is stimulating, suggestive, and convincing in
Dr. Leffingwell's book."--Universalist Leader.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "An Ethical Problem - Or, Sidelights upon Scientific Experimentation on Man and Animals" ***

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