Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/182

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try, there appear to be seven in which anæsthetics are not always employed; in them, there is reason to believe that the pain inflicted is either brief or not very severe. There is also reason for believing that there is an annual decrease in the number of such demonstrations.

Mr. Bergh wishes to suppress vivisection by act of Legislature. Dr. Leffingwell would legally restrict painful experiments to original research under rigid surveillance. Professor Dalton seems to think no discussion of the subject is required.[1] Dr. L. S. Pilcher believes[2] it only necessary that "the public should be informed of the truth relating to vivisection in order that there should be secured to science every advantage and privilege which its advancement may need." The writer's communication[3] of two years ago, together with opinions which will be repeated at the close of this article, stated that he had taught physiology for twelve years in a university, and for half that time in a medical school, and yet had never performed a painful vivisection.

Since Cornell University owes its existence largely to the action of the State Legislature, and is bound by its charter to "receive, without charge for tuition, one student annually from each Assembly district," there are peculiar reasons for making known the exact condition of sentiment and practice therein with regard to vivisection. Aside from practical work in the laboratory, the physiological teaching comprises two courses of lectures, special and general. In the former, those who intend to become physicians, or to teach physiology, are made familiar with the details of experimental manipulation. In the latter, the verbal instruction is illustrated by experiments differing little from what are performed in some medical schools. The following are fair selections from these experiments:

1. A frog is killed by "pithing" with a sharp knife, and the brain is destroyed with a piece of wire. The mucous membrane of the roof of the mouth is removed, and the action of the cilia shown in various ways. 2. A frog is rendered motionless by the injection of a little curare under the skin. Two of the toes are tied apart, so as to stretch the intervening "web." The circulation of the blood is then observed under a microscope. Since it is not certain that sensibility is abrogated by curare, the animal is treated just as if it were in its normal condition, to which it commonly returns after a short time. 3. A pithed frog is employed for the demonstration of nervous, muscular, and reflex actions. Although the animal is dead as a whole, the irritability of its muscles and nerves and spinal cord persists for some time after the brain is destroyed or the head cut off. 4. From an anæsthetized frog the brain proper is removed. So long as the medulla remains, the respiratory movements continue; when it
  1. In the letter already mentioned, Professor Flint says, "I think investigators and teachers should be the sole judges as to what is necessary in their investigations and teachings."
  2. "How Vivisection concerns Every Citizen," "Christian Advocate," July, 1880.
  3. "The Two Kinds of Vivisection—Sentisection and Callisection," "Medical Record," August 21, 1880.