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International Association Against Painful Experiments on Animals

Alternatives To Animal Experiments Research Testing

19: Page 19

The distortions became so great that the English physician Beddow Bayly decided to set out the vital role of clinical investigation in his book Clinical Medical Discoveries (1961). Bayly wrote: "The paramount need for a clear and documented account of past achievements arises from the prevalent custom of those medical authorities who set out to support and defend the practice of experimenting on living animals so far to distort historical facts as to create the impression in the mind of the public that every single medical diagnosis and treatment had depended for its discovery and application on vivisection .... Happily, even the briefest perusal of the available evidence shows the falsity of these claims and provides historical proof of the supreme value of clinical observation and experiment when contrasted with the doubtful and often misleading practice of animal experimentation.

Dr M. Beddow Bayly: "...fields of scientific research which have hitherto involved a vast amount of animal suffering will eventually be rendered humane as well as more truly scientific."

In 1977, Comroe and Dripps carried out a survey of major advances in heart and lung research between 1945 and 1975 which purported to show that basic laboratory research had been especially critical to progress.(42) Yet Beeson notes4 that "Our understanding of cardiac function and cardiac failure has been advanced more by clinical investigators than by physiologists during the past 50 years." Furthermore, Comroe's study was later criticized (43) as being "unscientific": Richard Smith, assistant editor of the British Medical Journal, noted that the choice of top advances omitted entirely the evidence that smoking was the cause of much cardiovascular and pulmonary disease even though he regarded it as "the most important therapeutic maneuver for most doctors treating lung and heart diseases." The evidence for the harmful effects of smoking derived not from basic laboratory research but from epidemiological studies of human beings.(44)

 

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