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On the Value of Pathological Experiments1

Nature volume 24, pages 346352 | Download Citation



AS reporter on Medical Education at the last International Medical Congress held in Amsterdam, I raised the question how far the experimental method is necessary to instruction; and the result at which I arrived was that the use of this method to its greatest extent, and especially of vivisection, is an indispensable means.2 In a still higher measure, however, I had to raise into prominence the importance of this method in research; and, in opposition to those who, with constantly increasing vehemence, brought accusations against the experimental investigators on account of the direction and method of their researches, I was able to say, with the lively assent of the numerous members of the Congress, and without one word in contradiction: “All those who attack vivisection as a means of science have not the least idea of the importance of the science, and much less of the importance of this aid to knowledge.”


  1. 1.

    Address given at the International Medical Congress by , M.D., Professor in the University of Berlin. The Editor of the British Medical Journal has kindly allowed us to use his translation of address.

  2. 2.

    Congrès Périodique International des Sciences Médicales, 6 Session, Amsterdam (1879), 1880. p. 146, Archiv für Pathol. Anat., Band lxxxv. Heft 3.

  3. 3.

    . "Observ. Anat. ex Cadaveribus eorum quos sustulit Apoplexia". Schaff hausii 1658. "Præfatio: Turpior et damnosior rerum anatomicarum ignorantia est, quæ imperitis Medicis et Chivurgis ignonriniam parit, quam nec Rhenus, vec Oceanus abluere potest".

  4. 4.

    "Guil. Harveji Exercit. Anat". ii., "De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis Circulatlone". , 1671, p. 174.

  5. 5.

    , "Institut. Path. Med.", p. 71. "Vis vitalis solidi est, qua illud ad contactum irritamenti se contrahit".

  6. 6.

    . "Altes und Neues über die vegetarianische Lebensweise". (Hanover, 1880.)

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