Images de page
PDF
ePub

higher in the intellectual scale a man is, the better is his chance of self-conquest over our congenital passion through pure reason. Moreover, instances of generous rivalry are more than ordinarily common among men whose profession is directly that of fighting. The personal relations between

. opposing military captains and between lawyers are noted not merely for skin-deep courtesy, but for cordial appreciation and even affectionate regard. Their comparative immunity from the bitterness of jealousy is not entirely explainable on the theory of abstract professional loyalty or the absence of the personal equation in the discharge of perfunctory duty. With the military commander there is not only the sentiment of patriotism but the stake of his honor and reputation_his dream of a halo of glory, his whole pride of life. It is erroneous to regard the attitude of advocates at the bar as that of mere soldiers of fortune. To a greater or less degree they personally espouse their clients' causes and feel with them and for them. Men of the bar fight, as it were, hand to hand, and suffer the poignant chagrin of being outwitted by a cleverer, out-manæuvered by a more resourceful foe. Here again the whole pride of life is bound up in winning and continuing to win. Yet in these essentially puissant callings there is a high average degree of magnanimity, not alone towards defeated adversaries, which is not difficult of attainment, but, what is contrary to unregenerate human nature, towards one's own vanquishers. The regeneration which often comes of itself to larger men may be brought about in smaller men—the vast ruck of elbowing, envious humanity—by first evoking sufficient power of introspection to realize that their hearts are sour, and then bringing them to see that their real grievance is against Nature, which, while it implanted in every man the instinct to surpass in so far as in him lies, endowed each man with more ability and less ability than many others.

In the moral education of youth the suppression of jealousy may well be undertaken as systematically as, and only less seriously than, the cultivation of the virtue of veracity which has been pursued for many generations. Jealousy is eminently unchristian; to discourage and minimize it is indeed one of the most appropriate tasks which enlightened Christianity could essay. Within the past few years, there has been in this country a deliberate movement to stimulate the emotion of patriotism. School children have been encouraged to uncover before the flag and to kindle with the pride of nationality. While the feature may have been overdone, and sometimes degenerated into mere fetichism, it contains a germ of sound educative policy. In the training of the young the general disposition has been to overlook the vast influence emotionality always will have upon character and conduct, no matter how assiduously the intellect be cultivated. It is part of the legitimate province of the secular-a fortiori of the religious teacher to address himself directly to the chastening of emotion, to the inspiring of just feeling. Although the socialist's dream of staying the competitive forces that have made civilization what it is never can be realized, the millenial felicity that Socialism promises might in large measure be attained by deliberately training children for several generations to overcome their congenital tendency to hate as they strive.

WILBUR LARREMORE. NEW YORK.

DISCUSSION.

THE VIVISECTION PROBLEM: A REJOINDER.

I have neither the desire nor the time to reply at length to Dr. Leffingwell's criticism in the January number of this JOURNAL (Vol. XV, pp. 221-231) to my paper in the April number, 1904 (Vol. XIV, pp. 312-321).

Dr. Leffingwell asks, “What ... has the value of vaccination in small-pox ... to do with the vivisection of animals?” Is he unaware that the supply of lymph for the purpose of vaccination in civilized communities is derived from calves who are expressly inoculated for the purpose?

He asks, “Where are the proofs that the mortality from typhoid fever in any country has been reduced by the general use of the 'appropriate antitoxin'?" He will find them in Dr. G. E. Wright's data derived from the Boer War, which are gaining general acceptance.

Then he inquires, "What has this (the fact that Havana is practically rid of yellow fever] to do with experiments on animals?” I will tell him. Yellow fever has been vanquished by the destruction of mosquitoes; the relation of mosquitoes to yellow fever was suggested by their already proven relation to malaria; our knowledge of the life-history of the malarial parasite was in great measure due to experiments on birds.

He suggests that the reason why there is no record of failure in the use of antivenene as a remedy against snake bite is that this remedy has never been tried. I refer him to the list of cases of snake bite successfully treated by antivenene in the “Twentieth Century Practice of Medicine," Vol. XX, pp. 527-528.

Surely then, Dr. Leffingwell is very right when he says, “It seems to us that first of all there must be the general creation of public sentiment which shall be eager . to know with certainty the facts."

He accuses English physicians of experimenting with poisons on patients of a London hospital. He gives no details, but I unhesitatingly declare such abominable accusations to be false. He charges his fellow-countrymen with experimenting on the incurably insane. But in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 1901, Professor Keen has already proved the "garbled and inaccurate" nature of this charge. The recent English libel action of Bayler v. Coleridge has shown us how such anti-vivisectionist Vol. XV-No. 4.

33

.

methods may be satisfactorily dealt with. I will merely express my surprise that a scientifically educated man can be found who ventures to make capital out of the popular aversion to "experiment," who ignores the fact that every advance in the art of healing must necessarily be "experimental” at the outset.

Dr. Leffingwell tries to convict me of sympathy with Dr. Klein's attitude towards vivisection generally, because I presumably interpreted one of his answers before the Royal Commission. Dr. Leffingwell has omitted to state that Dr. Klein vainly begged the Commissioners to amend his evidence, as "when under viva voce examination the fact of my being a foreigner made me often not able to appreciate all the purport of the questions which were asked of me and that therefore my answers were not always such as I would have desired to give if I had quite understood the question.” This letter and the amended evidence could hardly escape the careful reader's notice, as they are referrd to in the first page of the Report and are published at length in an Appendix. The Appendix throws an altogether different light on Dr. Klein's real attitude. Suffice it to say that my personal acquaintance with this eminent pathologist assures me that he is incapable of unnecessary cruelty.

But what is Dr. Leffingwell's attitude in regard to vivisection? He must be well aware that there is not a physician of eminence at the present day who believes that animals “are tortured to little or no purpose" for scientific objects. Yet he attributes unverifiable quotations to the editor of the Lancet, which after special inquiry I have good reasons for doubting, and he mixes up modern with past opinions, thus successfully confusing the ignorant. But although he uses all the methods of the anti-vivisectionists, he has not the courage to decry vivisection "in certain phases.” He does not choose to tell us what particular "phases" are to be condemned. He pretends that vivisections are shrouded in mystery and suggests that under present arrangements physiologists are in the habit of keeping secret the experiments so cruelly made by them on animals !

CHARLES S. MYERS.

UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND.

COMMENTS ON MR. MYERS' REJOINDER. Mr. Myers refers to certain "quotations," (there was but one,) "attributed to the Editor of the Lancet, which, after special inquiry, I have good reasons for doubting.” The leading editorial in the Lancet of August 22, 1863, is a vigorous arraignment of vivisection as a method of teaching well-known facts. Said the Editor of the Lancet: “The entire picture of vivisectional illustration of ordinary lectures is to us, personally repulsive in the extreme. Look, for example at the animal before us, stolen (to begin with) from his master;" and then follow the words which Mr. Myers imagined it was safe to doubt. "We repudiate the whole of this class of procedure,” adds the writer of the Lancet editorial. And while Mr. Myers is verifying the accuracy of this quotation, if he will also take the trouble to look up the editorials on vivisection which appeared in the Lancet of August 11, 1860, October 20, 1860, February 6, 1875, and August 21, 1875; in the Medical Times and Gazette (London) of March 2, 1861, and August 16, 1862; in the British Medical Journal of May 11, 1861, October 19, 1861, September 6, 1862, August 22, 1863, September 19, 1863, January 16, 1864, and June II, 1864, he will see how the horrible cruelties that sometimes pertain to scientific experimentation upon animals were regarded by the medical profession of England a generation ago. Mr. Myers calls these "past opinions.” Since they relate to ethics, how do they cease to be of value because forty years old ?

In my paper there was a line referring in the briefest way possible to Ringer's experiments in a London hospital, upon his unfortunate patients. Apparently Mr. Myers never heard of them; but he says, “I unhesitatingly declare such abominable accusations to be false," with a fervor that certainly does credit to his heart. But suppose the abominable accusations are proven true, in what position does Mr. Myers then find himself? Nothing is more certain than that Dr. Ringer in his work on "Therapeutics" and in medical journals like the Lancet, stated that he had made such “experiments”; among other poisons thus experimented with, and duly described, were muscarin, gelsemium and ethylatropium. In the Medical Times (London) for November 10, 1883, the editor thus refers to certain of Dr. Ringer's experiments :

"In publishing—and, indeed, in instituting their reckless experiments on the effect of nitrite of sodium on the human subject, Professor Ringer and Dr. Murrell have made a deplorably false

« PrécédentContinuer »