Excerpt from The Influence of Antivivisection on Character: Defense of Research Pamphlet XXIV
On page 15 of the revised edition, it is correctly stated that Prof. Henry P. Bowditch of the Harvard Medical School, in some experiments on the circulation, etherized a cat and that then its sciatic nerve was divided, etc. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body of man and animals and passes down the back of the leg. After division of the nerve the portion going down the leg below the place where the nerve was divided was stimulated by an electrical current. As this part of the nerve was wholly cut off from the spinal cord and brain, by no possibility could any pain be felt. Yet a Boston lawyer, in a leaﬂet published by the New England Antivivisection Society, comments on a similar experiment as follows: It will be readily seen even by the casual reader that it involves an amount of agony beyond which science is unable 'to go. Just how the casual reader would be so well informed as to physi ology when a lawyer and two doctors not casual but intelligent and careful readers got things totally wrong, is not stated. Dr. Bowditch published a corree tion6 of this misstatement in 1896. In Spite of this, the New England Antivivisection Society in 1909, thirteen years after this public correction, was still distributing this lawyer's statement.
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