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To the Editor:
—A letter from Dr. J. R. Baker, Prof. Sir Frederic Bartlett, Prof. A. C. Hardy, Dr. E. Hindle, Major C. W. Hume, and Dr. W. R. Wooldridge was published in the Lancet on Aug. 6, 1949 (page 259), on the ethics of experiments on animals. The signatories wished to condemn as shocking to a normal human conscience experiments (referred to below) which were carried out in Canada and the United States in the investigation of shock.The thesis of their argument can be briefly summarized thus: (1) Experiments of this kind are too cruel to be justified. (2) There should be a limit to the doctrine that the end justifies the means. (3) In this country the Cruelty to Animals Act (1876) would operate and prohibit experiments of like severity to those carried out abroad on traumatic shock.References to the above experiments, not given in the
Barcroft H, Edholm OG, Lane-Petter W, Robertson JD. ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS. JAMA. 1951;147(14):1380. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670310070027