Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/184

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172
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

note that the performance of the ten experiments above described involves only the pain of a hypodermic injection or of pithing, since, whenever the animal is alive during the operation, complete insensibility is produced by anæsthetics. Most of the experiments, however, are done upon dead animals—that is, a man treated in like manner would be legally defunct. In the ordinary sense of the word, therefore, such experiments are not vivisections at all, although they are so by virtue of the persistence of vitality in certain organs and tissues.[1] According to information from various sources, it is probable that the large majority of experiments in this State, whether in medical colleges or other institutions, whether for research or for teaching, are, like those described above, performed upon animals completely anæsthetized or actually dead.[2]

 

II. Many persons find it difficult to dissociate the word vivisection from the sufferings which were, perhaps, unavoidable before the discovery of ether and chloroform, and from those which are inflicted at the present day by careless or unfeeling experimenters. The proposed laws likewise ignore the difference between experiments in respect to pain. In England the question has been similarly befogged by the use of a single term for two different ideas. In the face of the official reports showing, according to Dr. Gerald Yeo's later estimate,[3] that only twenty-five out of one hundred experiments caused any pain at all, Frances Power Cobbe has the hardihood to say,[4] "We find it practically impossible to separate torturing from non-torturing vivisection." In view of all this ambiguity, whether due to ignorance or design, I have ventured to suggest[5] that painful vivisection be known as sentisection, and painless vivisection as callisection. The desirability of some verbal distinction was presented to Mr. Bergh, both in the article referred to and in private letters, dated February, 1880, and October 1882. His only reply is the following, dated November 3,

  1. It is stated that the Danish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has offered a prize for the best essay upon the performance of physiological experiments upon recently killed animals.
  2. Opinions to the same effect have been expressed by well-known teachers in a sister State, and in Great Britain. In "Scribner's Monthly," September, 1880, page 766, Professor Horatio C. Wood says, "So far as concerns the medical schools of Philadelphia, vivisection without anæsthetics is not practiced to any extent, if at all, for class demonstration." In "The Popular Science Monthly," April, 1874, Professor Michael Foster says, "So far as I know, in this country at least, physiologists always use anæsthetics when they can." See also the very comprehensive and important "Facts and Considerations Relating to the Practice of Scientific Experiments on Living Animals, commonly called Vivisection," issued by the Association for the Advancement of Medicine by Research, "Nature," March 13, 1883, which appeared after this article was in type.
  3. "The Practice of Vivisection in England," "Fortnightly Review," March 1, 1882, pp. 352-368.
  4. "Vivisection: Four Replies," "Fortnightly Review," January 1, 1882, pp. 88-104.
  5. In the article referred to on page 170.