The Victorian Vivisection Debate: Frances Power Cobbe, Experimental Science and the "Claims of Brutes"

The Victorian Vivisection Debate: Frances Power Cobbe, Experimental Science and the "Claims of Brutes" by Theodore G. Obenchain 0786471190 9780786471195
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Is it justifiable for scientists to subject live animals to open operations--forcing them to suffer for the benefit of humans? This book expounds upon a debate among such experimental scientists as Joseph Lister, Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch in Victorian England--at a time in which animal cruelty (bear-baiting, e.g.) was ubiquitous. Journalist and reformer Frances Power Cobbe became so incensed that she devoted her political and legislative talents over a thirty year period to prohibiting vivisection. Struggling within severe medical limitations was London surgeon Lister, hardly able to operate for fear his patients would succumb to sepsis. After reading of Pasteur's new theory about germs, Lister helped revolutionize hospital care. These two scientists and Koch then expanded the scientific base by animal experiments. As their methods improved, they transformed medicine into a beneficent institution within British culture. No single adversarial movement could have held back the tide of modernism. The author brings the debate up to the 21st century by analyzing modern-day animal rights theories, and offers a credo for readers who remain undecided.

Author: Theodore G. Obenchain

Language: English

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 296

Publisher: McFarland & Company

Publication Date: 2012-11-02


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