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very same issue of a Baltimore newspaper containing a reporter's account of the successful operation on Midshipman Aikin, there is a letter signed by an active anti-vivisectionist agitator, which, among other misstatements and misrepresentations usually found in such publications, asserts that "brain surgery is disregarded.”
If the laws which you and your friends advocate were in force, the conditions for scientific investigation in medicine 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 pre-eminently humane experiments.
Again, when Sir T. Lauder Brunton, in London, started a series of experiments on animals to discover an antidote for the cobra and other snake poisons of India, where every year 20,000 human lives are sacrificed by snake bites, these beneficent researches were stopped by the stringent British laws to protect animals. Meanwhile half a million of human beings have hopelessly perished.
Who, I may ask, is the more humane; he who doubtless with the best and sincerest motives of love for dumb beasts would prohibit experiments upon animals and thereby prevent the acquisition of such knowledge and so compel surgeons to stand with folded arms and see innumerable lives thus needlessly sacrificed, or he who by properly instituted experiments would discover such new truths and apply them to the service of humanity ?
The anti-vivisectionists have frequently denied that surgeons have learned anything from such experiments. I presume that I may be considered a competent witness as to the source of at least my own knowledge, and I state with the greatest positiveness that without the knowledge derived from experiments upon animals, which have demonstrated the facts of cerebral localization, I should never have been able to locate the clot in Mr. Aikin's head and to remove it, nor would I have been able in the last fifteen years to locate numerous tumors and other brain troubles and relieve many of them. What is true of myself is equally true of other surgeons.
In view, therefore, of the evident and positive benefit of such experiments, I trust that you will be willing to desist from further
efforts at such repressive and, as I regard it, most inhumane and cruel legislation.
As this matter is of vital importance to the well-being of the entire community, I shall take the liberty of giving this letter to the press as soon as you have received it.
W. W. KEEN, Professor of Surgery, Jefferson Medical College. December 5, 1902.
SENATOR GALLINGER'S REPLY. Washington, Dec. 14.–Senator Gallinger of New Hampshire (who is a homeopathic physician), gave out the following letter to-night on vivisection, in reply to the published letter of Dr. W.. W. Keen, of Philadelphia, sent him a week ago:
Dear Sir: Reviewing your letter of December 5, 1902, which you gave to the press of the United States, respecting your success in the case of Midshipman Aikin, I note four points :
First—That self-advertisement is prohibited by the ethics of our profession.
Second–That misrepresentation is forbidden by the ethics of mankind. No measure that would prohibit vivisection, or prevent any of the experiments which you claim were necessary to give you the requisite knowledge in the Aikin case, has ever been introduced by me in the Senate; nor has any such legislation been recommended by me to the Senate. Your statement that I have been engaged in efforts to secure "inhumane and cruel legislation," is without the slightest warrant in fact. I have been engaged in efforts to secure humane legislation that would prevent cruelty. The bilis which I favored would, if enacted, only regulate vivisection in the District of Columbia, so as to prevent admitted cruelty, and should have the support of every humane person.
Third–That your argument turns entirely on an assumption which cannot be maintained, namely, that the localization of the functions in the brain of man has been determined by experimentation on animals. The brains of animals differ from the brain of man and also differ from one another, so that stimulation of a certain part of the brain will produce a certain effect in one animal and another effect in another animal. The long history of experiment on the brains of animals has shown that it is not only
not safe to reason from the brains of animals to that of man, but that such reasoning is not safe as between the brain of one animal and that of another. It has been so in general with animal experimentation.
When such experiment had established a fact with regard to any species of animal the next thing was: “Now, let us see if it is the same in man.” The experimenters, therefore, "saw" by experiment in some form upon man, and sometimes the result was similar, and sometimes not. That such experiments upon man, as results of reasoning from the lower animals, have been to a great extent disastrous, is certain, for it is the testimony of great surgeons and physiologists. By “experiment" upon man, I mean, in general, operations upon human beings, with the exception that they would have the same result as they had had with animals.
*Fourth—That you ignore, in your direct appeal to selfishness, that altruism which is the principle of moral progress. To practice cruelty, even in the hope of helping humanity, is to hurt it and to delay the advance of civilization.
Recurring to the suggestion already made that I have never introduced into the Senate or advocated any bill that would prohibit vivisection, I beg to say that the purpose has been to regulate the practice, thereby removing from it the "inhumane” and “cruel” features which have shocked the moral sense of our people.
You will doubtless recall the fact that when you gave testimony before the Committee on the District of Columbia, February 24, 1900, I asked you if you thought it improper for Congress to enact a law saying that a dog or a horse should be put under the influence of an anæsthetic before being cut to pieces or the nerves torn from the brain, and that you promptly replied: “I think it would be most unwise legislation.” In view of that reply, do you not think that your charge against me that I am engaged in efforts to secure inhumane and cruel legislation should be withdrawn, and especially so when we have undoubted testimony to the fact that one experimenter is in the habit of plunging dogs for thirty seconds into boiling water; that another fastens a dog to the dissection table, and, discarding the use of anæsthetics, stands above it with a large empty stone bottle, with which he strikes with all his strength a dozen blows on the head; while the same experimenter says that he dislocates both the shoulders, doing it with difficulty ?
Another experimenter claims that he has "consecrated" more than eighty large animals, mostly horses and mules, to the extremest torture possible, not, as he expressly tells us, to solve any problem in medical theory, but simply to see what degree of pain can be inflicted through irritation of the spinal cord.
Another still says that he has invented a new machine, which he calls his “tormentor,” and in this fiendish device, which had first been quilted with long, thin nails," animals are moved about, racked with torment, torn and twisted, crushed and lacerated, hour by hour, until crucified nature could no longer endure, and death comes as a tardy release.
That experimenter says: “I can take an ear, a paw, or a bit of skin of the animal, and by turning the handle squeeze it beneath the teeth of the pincers; I can lift the animal by the suffering part; I can tear it or crush it in all sorts of ways," and he adds that these experiments are repeated day after day “with much delight and extreme patience for the space of a year.”
If, sir, to attempt to prevent such barbarous practices brings me under your condemnation, I am willing to have the case submitted to the judgment of the American people.
Are you sure, sir, that you “saved” the life of Midshipman Aikin? Are not blood clots frequently absorbed by the processes of nature, and is it not a fact that in many such experiments death has resulted because of the operation ?
Your claim that you located the blood clot because of experiments upon animals may or may not be true, as we have the highest possible authority for believing that such experiments are oftentimes misleading and absolutely without value.
You are doubtless well aware of the fact that many distinguished scientists have asserted that experiments on animals in the matter of localizing brain functions have led to nothing of value, inasmuch as the human brain differs immensely from that of the highest animals.
Professor Ferrier has asserted that “the greatest disagreements imaginable” exist among experimental physiologists on that point, adding: “It seems to me a matter of essential importance that in generalizing as to the functions of the cerebral hemispheres we should be careful lest the hypothesis we adopt, however well it may seem to accord with the facts of experiment on the order of animals, should not stand in flagrant contradiction to facts, equally well established, obtained by experiments on others."
On the general question of the value of vivisection, which I have never undertaken to interfere with, when humanely practiced, it may be well for me to say that I am fortified in my position by the opinions of many of the leading scientists of the world, including such well-known names as that of the late Lawson Tait, the greatest ovariotomist of the last century, and by Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson, the distinguished English physician, surgeon and scientist, author of a remarkable book on “Biological Experimentation," who acknowledges himself to be a vivisector, but who gives warning to the profession that modern experimentation tends to unfit the physician for the discharge of his duties, summing up his opinion in these words: “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 and painless from beginning to end.”
What I have advocated is in precisely that line, and in support of the contention that, even if everything you claim in the Aikin case is true, students should be taught the facts that you claim have been established, precisely as they are taught the theory of the circulation of the blood, and not through unnecessary torture on dumb animals. Very respectfully yours,
J. H. GALLINGER.
GERMAN MEAT INSPECTION.
Ambassador Andrew D. White reports from Berlin, July 12 and 14, 1902, that according to an official proclamation the meatinspection law will go into force in its entirety on April 1, 1903, with the exception of the section which relates to doing away with the second examination of meat once officially inspected. This paragraph will not go into effect until October 1, 1904.
The following report on the new regulations has been received from Consul-General Richard Guenther, of Frankfort :
As the time is approaching when the new regulations concerning the importation of meat and its transportation in transit through Germany will go into force, it will be well to note the following: It is prohibited to import into Germany
Meat in hermetically sealed boxes and similar vessels, as well as sausages and other mixtures of chopped meats ; dog meat; also prepared meat of horses, asses, mules, and other solipeds; meats which have been treated with one of the following substances or