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December 1989

Anti-Antivivisection: Have We Waited Too Long?

Author Affiliations

Boston, Mass; Denver, Colo

Arch Surg. 1989;124(12):1366-1367. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1989.01410120012002

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Scientific advance has provided us the tools to make our world dramatically more civilized and humane. Arguably, the United States has benefited disproportionately from this century's revolution in science. In 1900, tuberculosis was our most common cause of death, and in the 1950s polio was still maiming and killing hundreds of thousands of American children. Both diseases are now rare. This country needs, wants, and deserves excellent science. The complexity of biologic systems, however, mandates that research be conducted in animals. No combination of computers or lasers can reliably test hypotheses developed in the natural sciences, and the biological sciences are bereft of relevance without animal validation and experimentation.

We are currently at a crossroads in our constructive scientific revolution. Until now, hypothesis has led logically to rigorous experimentation with ultimate animal and human testing. The ethics and necessity of animal research is currently being examined by groups of conscientious

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