Nurses Movement for Responsible Medicine

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Wasn't it through lab animals that scientists discovered diabetes and developed Insulin?
A: No it wasn't. Insulin is a hormone naturally secreted by the pancreas. An abdominal organ situated behind the stomach it secretes certain digestive juices as well. Contrary to the vivisector's claim, association between diabetes mellitus and pancreatic disease was not established through animal research. It was known for a long time; matter of fact, it was settled by Thomas Crawley as early as 1788.
Q: If animal experiments have no value, why is it that Blood types are referred to as Rhesus positive/negative after monkeys?
A: In actual fact the discovery of antigen in blood cells was actually made in 1907 by Professor Jan Jansky (3 April 1873 Prague - 8 Sept 1921), who collected more than 3,000 human blood samples. Professor Jansky was the first to classify blood into today's 4 groups.
In the 1930s and 40s vivisectors tested the blood of rhesus monkeys, and although it showed marked differences to the human blood tests done by Professor Jansky , they named the blood types Rhesus in order to justify their monkey tests. Professor Jansky's classification of human blood is still used in Russia and states of the former USSR. In the early 1940s, a pseudo-scientist (one of the rhesus brigade) was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work, and pseudo-scientists in our own country continue to insist that the name rhesus in relation to blood groups proves that their animal experiments have value.
Q: Was Thalidomide tested on animals before being administered to the human population?
A: Yes it was. Thalidomide was tested repeatedly on animals prior to its release for use on the human population. Time magazine, in its 23rd February 1962 edition, reported that Thalidomide had been marketed 'after three years of animal tests'. Turkey escaped the Thalidomide tragedy because virologist S.T. Aygun of the University of Ankara always used other methods of testing and in so doing had found Thalidomide to be a harmful substance.
Q: Didn't Penicillin come from animal experimentation?
A: The fact is that animal tests sidetracked development of this drug. In 1929, Alexander Fleming observed that penicillin was killing bacteria in a Petri dish. Intrigued, he administered the compound to bacteria-infected rabbits, hoping that it would do the same thing. But the penicillin was ineffective against the rabbit's infection. Fleming set the drug aside for a decade, as the rabbits had "proved" the drug was useless. Years later he thought of the drug when he had a patient near death, for whom all other treatments had proved ineffectual. In desperation, he reached for the penicillin. The rest is history.
Q: If we didn't use animals what would we use?
A: Note that this view assumes that animal experiments have been responsible for medical advances in the past. If this were true, the concern would be valid. But it is not. Post mortem studies, clinical observations, cell and tissue cultures, in vitro test tube research on living tissue, organ cultures, epidemiologic studies etc. have all proved more valuable than animal studies. The list has been added to in modern times. We now have blood gas analysis machines, blood chemistry analysis machines, monitoring devices. There are numerous examples both past and present. When attending a Royal College of Nursing conference in 2007 our founder, Cynthia O'Neill, S.R.N., S.C.M., QN., H.V., saw a demonstration of a new life size 25,000 computer human patient model that is used in Medical Schools and is 100% proof that we now have a model that can be fed, have umpteen drugs inserted and the computer will file out all relevant facts. He/she blinks eyes, bleeds, changes temperature and does everything one can imagine. The brain behind such an engineered model shows we have proper scientific methods and again stresses that vivisection or animal testing is a fraud, in fact the biggest fraud in the history of the human race!
Q: But what of Heart surgery?
A: It is now well-known that heart transplants on the human patient were actually delayed for 12 years due to the differences of heart transplants on dogs; this subject is also referred to in our 'Letters,Speeches and Articles' section under the heading "Why Didn't She Know?"

The following quotes are from the book 'Animal Experimentation, A Harvest of Shame' by Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeon Moneim A Fadali, MD, M.Ch., F.A.C.S., F.R.C.S. (C), F.A.C.C., F.A.C.C.P.
"Animal experimentation inevitably leads to human experimentation. True. Absolutely true. Animal experimentation is human experimentation because the first inevitably leads to the second; therefore, the first and the second are one and the same: the law of inevitability. One can design any kind of model, experiment on all sorts of animals, repeat the experiment 1,001 times, more or less, but as one moves to the human condition, still it is all experimental."

"Even the artificial kidney used to dialyse many patients with irreparably damaged kidneys is not a product of animal experimentation. The concept is built on simple physical laws of osmosis and migration of substances of high concentration through a semi-permeable membrane to areas of low concentration. Dialysis wouldn't be a reality without blood thinners (anti-coagulants). Also the vascular surgery techniques needed to gain access to blood vessels in order to dialyse were not developed in the animal laboratory. Kolff's artificial kidney was made of cellophane tubing and he carried his first dialysis in a tub of water, proving that an artificial kidney can work. No animals, no humans were used to illustrate the machine's merit.
So, when the impetuous crew seethe and soar, zealously telling you that animal experimentation gave us transplantation, let it go in one ear and out the other."