As nurses, we, more than most people, have been in the position of witnessing the effects of various drugs and treatments on the sick and injured, including children. There have been times when we were appalled by the adverse effects suffered by so many of our patients. Many times we questioned why so many medicinal drugs, all of which had undergone years of laboratory tests, were harming patients.
“…acute toxicity from prescription medicines (Adverse Drug Reactions) stand now as the fourth leading cause of death in the EU, claiming 120,000 lives each year, a figure which could probably be doubled or even tripled if we include the longer term, or chronic, toxic effect of drugs.”
Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine (DLRM)
‘Newsletter number 9’ Summer/Autumn 2002.
The harsh reality was witnessed by the whole nation during 2006 when confronted with the results of the human drugs trials in which five young men were badly damaged by a drug that was tested for five years on monkeys prior to being administered to them. This could not be blamed on dosage; the monkeys on which it was tested were given 500 times the dose given to the young men.
Clinical experimentation (carried out on healthy young volunteers) has nothing to do with clinical research. There are organisations and pharmaceutical companies who pay and/or encourage healthy young people to take part in drugs trials because they know that testing a drug or chemical on animals provides no evidence that it is safe for humans. We had come to this conclusion long before we heard anything about these trials.
“Truly scientific methods of biological and medical research already exist: epidemiology, computers for the construction of mathematical models, cell and tissue cultures in vitro and many others.”
Professor Pietro Croce MD
From Vivisection or Science? (see books section)
“...the use of human tissue obtained during operations to remove tumours or during other brain surgery, as well as autopsy studies, resulted in the only real progress for understanding the human brain. I am about to test them on human lymphocytes and other human cell lines.”
Professor Claude Reiss
DLRM 'Newsletter number 10' (See our links page)
But these methods should not be termed 'alternative'; Professor Croce explained this in the following way:
"The precise reason why we say that there is no 'alternative' to vivisection is that a method which aims at replacing another should share the same characteristics. But it would be difficult to find in the field of biomedical research anything as bogus, deceptive and misleading as *vivisection has been in the past and continues to be in the present. That is why the methods proposed should be called 'scientific' and not 'alternative' methods."
* Animal experimentation.
NB: For a more in-depth explanation of 'alternative', see our 'charities' section.
The methods used by Professors Croce and Reiss demand real talent; something that vivisectors lack. It is as Professor Croce said:
"Without animal experimentation the vivisectors would lose the opportunity of reaping, with no talent and little effort, academic titles and honours and of publishing papers, making money and pursuing a glittering career. They would also have to waive the chance of currying favour with the powers-that-be by supporting one thesis one day and the opposite thesis the next with the same persuasiveness - all this on the strength of allegedly 'irrefutable' results of animal experiments and according to whatever result has been requested by whoever foots the bill."
NMRM opposes animal experimentation on medical and scientific grounds. We are well aware that animals do not react in the same way to drugs and other substances as we do, due to differences in their absorption, distribution, metabolism, response to and elimination of drugs. But this is not something you are likely to hear from our country’s media, which has consistently shown itself to be pro-vivisection due the very many vested interests. Animal experimentation has resulted in immense human damage. This has affected people of all ages and continues to affect an unacceptably high percentage of patients.
DNA and Cell Investigation has been in the news in recent times, but the argument against the use of animals still applies. To quote Professor Claude Reiss:
"Animal modes are not predictive for humans. This fundamental principle holds true whether one is using living animals, animal cells or animal DNA. Indeed, since almost all disease processes begin at the cellular level it makes perfect sense to study human cells and human DNA if we want to better understand human cell function and find cures for human disease."
Demands for animal tests tend to be made by regulators. This has resulted in embarrassment for the latter whenever patients have sued drugs companies and those companies have done what they always do by merely stating that the drug/drugs were thoroughly tested on animals; in other words, that they underwent the ‘required’ tests.
“Dangerous substances would not be marketed if the smokescreen of animal research data were ruled unacceptable as evidence.”
Dr Peter Mansfield
Founder-President, Doctors in Britain Against Animal Experiments.
In actual fact, there is no law either in the UK or the rest of Europe that states that drugs or other substances have to be tested on animals. The law is that drugs have to be tested, but not that they have to be tested on animals. This was confirmed in 1994 by two prominent parliamentarians: Baroness Denton of Wakefield CBE, who was the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Consumer Affairs, and Charles Wardle MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Home Office. But the main point is, animal experiments have proved dangerously misleading for assessing human health. Animal Experiments have led, and continue to lead, to terrible mistakes, resulting in disease and death for the human population, regardless of the ins and outs of law.
The public have been led to believe that experiments on animals is necessary for veterinary medicine and that using them in experiments for things that are to be instrumental in the treatment of humans is helpful to animals. The truth is that the laboratory animal is not representative of the free-living animal of the same species. Diet and lifestyle are so relevant to disease and to its cure that the laboratory situation distorts the results. Therefore, one cannot generally extrapolate laboratory research results to free-living situations. For example, what relevance do an animal’s artificially destroyed kidneys have to kidneys that have degenerated through disease? The answer has to be none. The healthy tissue that remains in the experimental model is perfectly healthy and functional. The remaining tissue in degenerative disease is in a state of partial degeneration. This ‘model’ issue is even more hopeless, when trying to research into human diseases.
But it is comforting to know that not all Vets have trained using live animals. Veterinary student Andrew Knight was one of the conscientious objectors who attained his degree without resorting to vivisection. Andrew stated that by 1998 programs for students who did not wish to harm or kill animals were offered in 20 out of 31 US vet colleges and were the norm in UK vet colleges.
The Guardian Newsletter Autumn 1999 (published by Guardians, a group exposing vivisection)
It is interesting to note the long line of vivisectors who have recently felt the heat of public criticism resulting from Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs), illnesses due to food additives etc. to the extent that they have broken cover in an attempt to justify and defend their work whilst admitting that it is not relevant to humans; this is usually accompanied with the shedding of crocodile tears for those afflicted as a result of it.
Eulogies to the great Hans Ruesch can be viewed through 'Tributes'.