Some Thoughts on the Role of Animals in Medicine

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The backbone of anatomical, physiological and clinical research

[By Stephanie Eichberg]

In 2012, a book appeared on the shelves of popular science that (re)acquainted the public with a medical revelation; namely that animals share with humans a wide range of acute and chronic diseases as well as psychological disorders, and that they can accordingly ‘teach us about being human’.

From the point of view of the history of medicine, it appears strange that this is presented as ‘new’ knowledge, considering human-animal comparisons have long formed the backbone of anatomical, physiological and clinical research.

No matter what historical period you investigate, you’ll find that the diseased bodies, brains and behaviors of animals have always been serving as surrogates for our own afflicted bodies, brains and behaviors.

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guinea pig

Some Thoughts on the Role of Animals in Medicine

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More: October is “Cut Out Dissection” Month

Conclusion

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2 Responses

  1. Walter Palmer DDS

    This ME-P is perfectly timed relative to the Minnesota dentist who acknowledged hunting and killing Cecil, a beloved lion in Zimbabwe.

    He is now the one being hounded on the Internet by protesters flooding his social media, creating online petitions and mocking him on parody accounts.

    Well done!

    Lily

    Like

  2. More on big cats and human complexity

    This weekend I spent time at the Exotic Feline Rescue Center near Brazil, Indiana. Most of the cats at the Center are tigers, due in part to the popularity of tiger ownership as a status symbol, as well as the obsession with breeding white tigers.

    https://jenniferkbowman.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/big-cats-and-human-complexity/

    Such breeding inevitably produces many non-white tigers, which then require sanctuary.

    Lily

    Like

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