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Etymologically, Vivisection refers to the dissection of, or any cutting or surgery upon, a living organism. More generally, it is used to describe any invasive experiment upon living animals, or any live animal testing, typically for the purpose of physiological or pathological scientific investigation.[1][2] The term is most commonly used by opponents of animal research.[3][4] Dissected rat showing major organs. ... “Surgeon” redirects here. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Pathology (from Greek pathos, feeling, pain, suffering; and logos, study of; see also -ology) is the study of the processes underlying disease and other forms of illness, harmful abnormality, or dysfunction. ...

Vivisection has been controversial since the 19th century with physiologists expressing reservations much earlier. Sides, for and against, have formed over the years and are often deeply entrenched in their respective viewpoints. In 1655, physiologist Edmund O'Meara is recorded as saying that "the miserable torture of vivisection surely places the body in an unnatural state." [citation needed] O'Meara thus expresses one of the chief scientific objections to vivisection, that the pain of the vivisected subject will interfere with the accuracy of the results. On the other side of the debate, those in favor of vivisection hold that experiments on living animals are necessary to advance medical and biological knowledge. Physiology (in Greek physis = nature and logos = word) is the study of the mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of living organisms. ... Edmund OMeara (1614-1681) Irish physiologist. ...


Animal vivisection

Modern codes of practice like those issued by the U.S. National Institute of Health or the British Home Office require that major surgery on laboratory animals be performed under deep anaesthesia. Animal experimentation typically requires permission from an independent ethics body, who review the proposed experiment based on validity and design, focused on ensuring that the work is scientifically sound and that the welfare for the animals is ensured. Opponents of animal testing strongly contest the view that the law offers sufficient protection, since the ethics bodies are made up of other scientists, leading to potentially biased definitions of what is deemed as the "acceptable treatment" of animals. In an attempt to alleviate this concern, some countries have legislated that animal ethics must also include representatives from animal welfare groups and other members of the public, increasing society's input in these matters. This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... The National Institutes of Health is an institution of the United States government which focuses on medical research. ... The modern concept of Small Office and Home Office or SoHo , or Small or Home Office deals with the category of business which can be from 1 to 10 workers. ... Anesthesia (AE), also anaesthesia (BE), is the process of blocking the perception of pain and other sensations. ...

Human vivisection

This plaque in China marks the site where the Japanese Army Unit 731 conducted human vivisection for germ warfare research.
This plaque in China marks the site where the Japanese Army Unit 731 conducted human vivisection for germ warfare research.
Main article: Human experimentation

Vivisection has long been practiced on human beings. Herophilos, the "father of anatomy" and founder of the first medical school in Alexandria, was described by the church leader Tertullian as having vivisected at least 600 live prisoners. In recent times, the wartime programs of Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele and the Japanese military (Unit 731 and Dr. Shiro Ishii) conducted human vivisections on concentration camp prisoners in their respective countries during WWII. In response to these atrocities, the medical profession internationally adopted the Nuremberg Code as a code of ethics. This code of medical ethics does not completely prohibit vivisection on humans. Image File history File links Harbin_Gedenkplakette_Einheit731. ... Image File history File links Harbin_Gedenkplakette_Einheit731. ... Body disposal at Unit 731 Unit 731 was a covert biological warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and World War II. It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried... Biological warfare, also known as germ warfare, is the use of any organism (bacteria, virus or other disease-causing organism) or toxin found in nature, as a weapon of war. ... Human experimentation involves medical experiments performed on human beings. ... Trinomial name Homo sapiens sapiens Linnaeus, 1758 Humans, or human beings, are bipedal primates belonging to the mammalian species Homo sapiens (Latin: wise man or knowing man) in the family Hominidae (the great apes). ... Herophilos, sometimes Latinized Herophilus (335-280 BC), was a Greek physician. ... Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas, USA. A medical school or faculty of medicine is a tertiary educational institution or part of such an institution that teaches medicine. ... Nickname: Alexandria on the map of Egypt Map of Alexandria Coordinates: , Country Egypt Founded 334 BC Government  - Governor Adel Labib Population (2001)  - City 3,500,000 Time zone EET (UTC+2)  - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3) Twin Cities  - Baltimore  United States  - Cleveland  United States  - ConstanÅ£a  Romania  - Durban  South Africa... Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, anglicised as Tertullian, (ca. ... National Socialism redirects here. ... Josef Mengele Dr. Josef Mengele (March 16, 1911 – February 7, 1979), was a German SS officer and a physician in the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. ... Body disposal at Unit 731 Unit 731 was a covert biological warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and World War II. It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried... Shiro Ishii Microbiologist Shiro Ishii (石井四郎 Ishii Shirō, June 25, 1892-1959) was the Lieutenant General of Unit 731, a biological-warfare unit of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Sino-Japanese War. ... It has been suggested that Internment be merged into this article or section. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Medical ethics is primarily a field of applied ethics, the study of moral values and judgments as they apply to medicine. ...

Human volunteers can consent to be subjects for invasive experiments which may involve, for example, the taking of tissue samples (biopsies), or other procedures which require surgery on the volunteer. According to the ICH guidelines such procedures must undergo an ethical review and carried out in an approved manner that minimizes pain and long term health risks to the subject [2]. Despite this, the term is generally recognized as pejorative: one would never refer to a potentially therapeutic surgery as "vivisection." The use of the term vivisection when referring to procedures performed on humans almost always implies a lack of consent. Consent (as a term of jurisprudence) is a possible justification against civil or criminal liability. ... A biopsy (in Greek: bios = life and opsy = look/appearance) is a medical test involving the removal of cells or tissues for examination. ... Ich (pronounced ick) is a common parasitic disease that commonly affects all fish in aquaria. ...

Vivisection debate

In 1764, Voltaire, who was against vivisection, wrote the following in his Philosophical Dictionary: This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

Is it because I speak to you, that you judge that I have feeling, memory, ideas? Well, I do not speak to you; you see me going home looking disconsolate, seeking a paper anxiously, opening the desk where I remember having shut it, finding it, reading it joyfully. You judge that I have experienced the feeling of distress and that of pleasure, that I have memory and understanding. Bring the same judgment to bear on this dog which has lost its master, which has sought him on every road with sorrowful cries, which enters the house agitated, uneasy, which goes down the stairs, up the stairs, from room to room, which at last finds in his study the master it loves, and which shows him its joy by its cries of delight, by its leaps, by its caresses. Barbarians seize this dog, which in friendship surpasses man so prodigiously; they nail it on a table, and they dissect it alive in order to show the mesenteric veins. You discover in it all the same organs of feeling that are in yourself. Answer me, machinist, has nature arranged all the means of feeling in this animal, so that it may not feel? has it nerves in order to be impassible? Do not suppose this impertinent contradiction in nature.

In 1822, in the British parliament, Richard Martin MP piloted the first parliamentary bill in the world to give animals a degree of protection in law. This first bill related to farm animals. The first to regulate animal experimentation in Britain was the Cruelty to Animals Act (1876). One of the people who campaigned to see the bill introduced was Charles Darwin (1809-1882). He said, in a letter of March 22, 1871 to Professor Ray Lankester: "You ask about my opinion on vivisection. I quite agree that it is justifiable for real investigations on physiology; but not for mere damnable and detestable curiosity. It is a subject which makes me sick with horror, so I will not say another word about it, else I shall not sleep to-night." The bill remained on the statute books until the introduction of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act (1986). The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative institution in the United Kingdom and British overseas territories (it alone has parliamentary sovereignty). ... Colonel Richard Humanity Dick Martin (15 January 1754–6 January 1834), was an Irish politician and animal rights activist. ... A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters to a parliament. ... This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... For other people of the same surname, and places and things named after Charles Darwin, see Darwin. ... is the 81st day of the year (82nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1871 (MDCCCLXXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Ray Lankester, by Leslie Ward, 1905. ... The Statute of Grand Duchy of Lithuania A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, perhaps to then be ratified by the highest executive in the government, and finally published. ...

From the early days of animal welfare legislation concerns were both for the relief of animal suffering and also for the moral health of humanity. The Victorians were particularly concerned that people should show good moral virtues such as kindness and concern for others. It was in Victorian Britain that the RSPCA (the world's first SPCA - Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) was formed. One of the founder members was William Wilberforce, who was also in the forefront of anti-slavery activism. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Human Race could be: The Human race. ... Victoria Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India Victorian morality is a distillation of the moral views of people living at the time of Queen Victoria (reigned 1837 - 1901) in particular, and to the moral climate of Great Britain throughout the 19th century in... The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is a charity in England and Wales that promotes animal welfare. ... William Wilberforce (24 August 1759 – 29 July 1833) was a British politician, philanthropist, and abolitionist who led the parliamentary campaign against the slave trade. ... Slave redirects here. ... Activism, in a general sense, can be described as intentional action to bring about social or political change. ...

These Victorian concerns have formed a backdrop to ongoing debate throughout the 20th century and into current times. (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999...

The defenders of animal testing believe the differences between species to be very minor and not sufficient to invalidate the results obtained. They also say that cures for many illnesses have been found by the use of animal experiments.

The argument is often raised that animals themselves benefit from being experimented upon since these experiments can lead to veterinary medicines and procedures. The proponents of animal testing also argue that any medical advance for humans is worth the lives of any number of animals. Veterinary medicine is the application of medical diagnostic and therapeutic principles to companion, domestic, exotic, wildlife, and production animals. ...

Focusing on the cruelty issues, SPCAs have been formed in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, The United States and other countries. Animal welfare organisations have fiercely debated the issues both scientific and moral and have developed an offshoot: the animal rights movement. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (usually referred to as the ASPCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing the abuse of animals. ... A civet, or sea fox, photographed in the Zigong Peoples Zoo, Sichuan, 2001. ...

Focusing on the scientific issues, research departments have been set up in Europe and the USA to find as many non-animal methods of research as possible and to provide the information about these methods to scientists working within relevant fields. World map showing the location of Europe. ...

Medical researchers experimenting on animals often express a wish that the general public had a greater understanding of the issues involved and say that every care is taken in safeguarding the welfare of the animals experimented upon.

Scientific issues

Main articles: Animal model and Model organism

The main science-based issues raised against animal experimentation are: Animal model refers to a non-human animal with a disease that is similar to a human condition. ... A model organism is a species that is extensively studied to understand particular biological phenomena, with the expectation that discoveries made in the organism model will provide insight into the workings of other organisms. ...

  • No species' response to an experimental drug or experimental treatment is a good model of a different species' response. Studying a drug's effect on a rat or a dog would not predict how it will affect humans.
  • Experiments are conducted because of a lack of knowledge. This lack of knowledge makes it impossible to know all the variables involved and to control them.
  • A wide range of alternative methods for research exist and proponents claim that they give more accurate results.

The counter arguments to these concerns are:

  • The physiology of different animals is not random, and while evolution creates differences, in any specific research topic there are usually many similarities between humans and certain animals. The differences that do exist are almost always expected, so they can be taken into account.
  • Live animals are currently the best model scientists have when attempting to answer certain questions, short of testing humans themselves. Even in cases where inaccurate results occur, any outcome will always allow scientists to improve their experimental designs for the future.
  • Alternative methods are still only being developed, and there are still many areas that simply cannot be tested by any other means. These alternatives also need to be verified for accuracy and precision, and this requires its own vivisection experiments.
  • Accuracy comparisons are based around the experiment's conclusions not their results, because the results themselves are almost always different in nature. For example, you cannot directly compare the accuracy of a DNA sequence with the accuracy of an organ's length; you have to compare whether the conclusions from each experiment are accurate/similar. Since conclusions are intrinsically biased, defenders of vivisection claim that opponents are usually "shooting the messenger" when discussing its accuracy.
  • Protesters of animal vivisection typically compare their results against the experience of human vivisection, which can create a paradox of criticising the same techniques being used to justify their claims.
  • Most of these alternate techniques currently requires the use of inductive reasoning. Since induction requires the use of other scientific conclusions and (incomplete) knowledge, these techniques have innate limitations and their own errors. If all animal physiology was determined solely by inductive reasoning, one influential but false conclusion is likely to negatively influence future experimental design and compromise scientific knowledge. The ability to deduce results from vivisection remains one of the major reasons why many scientists retain its value in research where no reasonable alternative exists.

Shooting the messenger is a phrase describing the act of lashing out at the (blameless) bearer of bad news. ... Aristotle appears first to establish the mental behaviour of induction as a category of reasoning. ... Deductive reasoning is the kind of reasoning where the conclusion is necessitated by previously known premises. ...


The main issues raised of an ethical nature against animal experimentation are: Ethics is a general term for what is often described as the science (study) of morality. In philosophy, ethical behavior is that which is good or right. ...

  • It is cruel to inflict harm on an otherwise healthy animal.
  • According to some humanistic viewpoints committing acts of harm to an animal will cause the development of psychological callousness in those who habitually tolerate it. This psychological callousness may lead to ill mental health and social misbehaviour.
  • Some Buddhist, Jain, Hindu, Muslim and Christian theologies advise us to work actively to help relieve suffering in other species.
  • Actions of some experimenters such as those depicted in Unnecessary Fuss suggest that some researchers who are involved in animal testing, though perhaps not inherently more callous than the average human, will behave in ways that suggest a disregard for animal welfare, even when such behavior is not conducive to the experiment itself.

The ethical arguments for animal experimentation are: Humanism[1] is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people, based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appeal to universal human qualities—particularly rationality. ... A replica of an ancient statue found among the ruins of a temple at Sarnath Buddhism is a philosophy based on the teachings of the Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, a prince of the Shakyas, whose lifetime is traditionally given as 566 to 486 BCE. It had subsequently been accepted by... JAIN is an activity within the Java Community Process, developing APIs for the creation of telephony (voice and data) services. ... A Hindu ( , Devanagari: हिन्दु), as per modern definition, is an adherent of the philosophies and scriptures of Hinduism, and the religious, philosophical and cultural system that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... There is also a collection of Hadith called Sahih Muslim A Muslim (Arabic: مسلم, Persian: Mosalman or Mosalmon Urdu: مسلمان, Turkish: Müslüman, Albanian: Mysliman, Bosnian: Musliman) is an adherent of the religion of Islam. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      A Christian () is a person who... Unnecessary Fuss is the name of a film produced by Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), showing footage shot inside the University of Pennsylvanias Head Injury Clinic in Philadelphia, described by the university as the longest standing and most respected center...

  • An outright rejection of animal experimentation is ethically equivalent to an outright rejection of human use of animals. Anything short of an outright rejection is acceptance of the current system under which animal welfare is supported, and each experiment must have adequate scientific merit to justify the use of animals.
  • It would be cruel to cause harm to human beings by not using animals. Many patient groups of the terminally ill are staunch advocates of animal experimentation.
  • Religion is not always opposed to animal experimentation, The Dalai Lama, in response to questions after his address to the Society for Neuroscience (2005), voiced support for animal experimentation as long as it led to "the greater compassion".
  • Animal experimentation actively works to relieve animal suffering by providing the knowledge necessary to develop veterinary cures.

The Society for Neuroscience is a professional society for scientists and physicians around the world whose research is focused on the study of the brain and nervous system. ...

Other issues

There exists a further area of debate which combines some scientific and moral issues into one. This is the area of concern about humans who may be harmed as a result of trusting possibly inaccurate test results and consequently taking unsafe medication. One side believes that animal experimentation puts humans at risk and the other side believes the risk to be lessened by such experiments.

Some experimenters are of the opinion that this particular objection to animal experimentation is invalid since animal testing of pharmaceuticals is only part of the first phase of any clinical trials. Two more phases must be passed before a drug is allowed for public use, both of which use human subjects.

See also

Most scientists and governments say they agree that animal testing should cause as little suffering as possible, and that alternatives to animal testing need to be developed. ... A civet, or sea fox, photographed in the Zigong Peoples Zoo, Sichuan, 2001. ... Enos the space chimp before insertion into the Mercury-Atlas 5 capsule in 1961. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Declaration of Helsinki, developed by the World Medical Association, is a set of ethical principles for the medical community regarding human experimentation. ... Karl Brandt at the Doctors Trial The Doctors Trial (officially United States of America v. ... The Geneva Conventions consist of treaties formulated in Geneva, Switzerland that set the standards for international law for humanitarian concerns. ... Human experimentation involves medical experiments performed on human beings. ... Medical ethics is primarily a field of applied ethics, the study of moral values and judgments as they apply to medicine. ... Medical torture describes the involvement and sometimes active participation of medical professionals in acts of torture, to either to judge what victims can endure, to apply treatments which will enhance torture, or as torturers in their own right. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... The Nuremberg Principles were a set of guidelines for determining what constitues a war crime. ... Painism is a moral theory popular with animal rights theorists. ... The relevance of particular information in (or previously in) this article or section is disputed. ... Eleanor Roosevelt with the Spanish version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. ...


  1. ^ Croce, Pietro. Vivisection or Science: An investigation into testing drugs and safeguarding health, Zed Books, 1999. ISBN 1-85649-733-X
  2. ^ "Vivisection," Encyclopaedia Britannica.
  3. ^ "vivisection n." The New Oxford American Dictionary, second edition. Ed. Erin McKean. Oxford University Press, 2005. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Accessed 3 July 2006 (http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t183.e85331)
  4. ^ Michael Fox, "Deep and SHallow Vegetarianism and Animal Rights [1]

Further reading

Look up Vivisection in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

  Results from FactBites:
Vivisection - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (850 words)
Since the 19th centurys controversy regarding vivisection has centered on two issues: the factual issue about how useful or necessary it is for science and human interests, and the ethical issue about whether it is right or wrong to use non-human animals for furthering human interests (or, occasionaly, for furthering the interests of other animals).
Herophilos, the "father of anatomy" and founder of the first medical school in Alexandria, was described by the church leader Tertullian as having vivisected at least 600 live prisoners.
Despite this, the term is generally recognized as pejorative: one would never refer to life-saving surgery, for example, as "vivisection." The use of the term vivisection when referring to procedures performed on humans almost always implies a lack of consent.
Vivisection - definition of Vivisection in Encyclopedia (582 words)
Etymologically, vivisection refers to the dissection or, more generally, any cutting or surgery upon, a living animal, typically for the purpose of physiological or pathological scientific investigation.
Animal rights advocates attempt to use vivisection to recast the terms of the discourse to favor their position, employing vivisection as a veiled barb.
Comparatively recent (mainly since the 19th century) controversy regarding vivisection has centered around moral questions of whether benefits, perceived or actual, of animal experimentation outweigh what suffering is thereby inflicted.
  More results at FactBites »



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