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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/799

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THE VIVISECTION QUESTION.

least medical controversy and about which people generally agree. We will thus select classical cases, the older the better, and only so many as will serve to render the argument clear and to illustrate best the methods of vivisectional work.

The special cases of Harvey, Charles Bell, Magendie, and Claude Bernard have come to be an established feature in every discussion of this subject, and so many wrong impressions regarding them remain uncorrected that we must consider their work at some length,

A knowledge of the circulation of the blood, no intelligent person can deny, has been of great practical value to men. It affords a foundation for all laws of hygiene and for the practice of surgery and medicine.

The first great step in the line of this discovery was made by Galen. "By ligating in a living animal an artery in two places, and opening the vessel between the ligatures, Galen demonstrated that the vessel contained blood. Thus by an experiment upon a living animal, a vivisection, the first great source of error, the supposition that the arteries contained air, was removed, the true nature of an artery demonstrated, and the modern theory of the circulation made possible."[1]

Whatever may be the claims of Servetus and Cæsalpinus, there can be no doubt that the one man to unite the observations of his predecessors into an intelligible whole, to found his own observations upon experiment, in short, to discover the circulation of the blood as we now understand it, was William Harvey.[2]

The claim is often made that Harvey discovered the circulation by "thinking," by "inductive reasoning," and not by vivisectional experiment. As well say that Columbus discovered America by thinking and not by experiment. Harvey not only thought out the circulation, which is a very small matter, but he demonstrated it to be a fact by innumerable experiments upon living animals, which is a very great matter. Here, again, we must emphasize the fact that Harvey did not study, and could


  1. H. C. Chapman. History of the Discovery of the Circulation of the Blood, p. 12. Philadelphia, 1884.
  2. Read J. H. Baas. Outlines of the History of Medicine. New York, 1889, pp. 527-530. Also Sprengel, in his Geschichte der Arzneykunde, gives Harvey the frontispiece in vol. iv, and devotes forty pages (50-89) to his work of discovering the circulation of the blood. Also Haeser, Lehrbuch der Geschichte der Medicin, vol. ii, pp. 252-262, devotes eleven pages to "Discovery of the Circulation, Harvey." And when a man comes forward and says, "It is only our insular pride which has claimed for him the merit of the discovery," he brands himself as a person with whom it is impossible to reason (as does Lawson Tait, Uselessness of Vivisection upon Animals, p. 6). Any one desirous of investigating the trustworthiness of Tait in such matters can find him fully discussed, in a way he has not been able to answer, in the book Physiological Cruelty, by "Philanthropos," Appendix E» and also in Heidenhein, Vivisection, Leipsic, 1884, pp. 85 if.