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(vĭv'ĭsĕk`shən), dissection of living animals for experimental purposes. The use of the term in recent years has been expanded to include all experimentation on living animals, rather than just dissection alone. The practice contributed to the outstanding progress that was made in the 17th cent. by William Harvey in understanding the circulation of the blood. However, the use of research animals in the laboratory did not become widespread in Europe until the 19th cent. In 1896, when the National Institute of Health originated in the United States, it began to take an active role in encouraging proper care and use of laboratory animals. Since 1945, the National Society for Medical Research has tried to explain to the public the nature and necessity of experimental procedures on animals. During the 1980s, the incidence of vandalism, harassment, and theft in research centers using animals for testing increased greatly. Most nations have government agencies that assume advisory or regulatory roles in the practice of vivisection. Private organizations in the United States concerned with vivisection include the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS), and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). In the United States today, strict rules and procedures, laid down by the National Institutes of Health and a number of other public and private organizations, ensure ethical and sensitive use of animals for research. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Animal Welfare Regulations are among the most important documents setting forth requirements for animal care and use by institutions using animals in research, testing, and education. Regulations have been effective since 1985. Members of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees observe and enforce compliance to these rulings on institutional levels. The USDA regularly inspects all institutions that use animals for experimental purposes. Animals most frequently used in the laboratory include rats, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, and monkeys. When animals more closely resembling humans in size and structure are needed, dogs and chimpanzees may be utilized. Animal experimentation is especially advantageous if offspring of several generations are to be observed: for instance, about 5 generations of mice can be observed in a year, whereas in humans the same experiment would require over 100 years.


See studies by T. Regan (1988), S. Sperling (1988), and B. Rollin (1989).



the performance of operations on live animals for the purpose of studying the functions of the body, the effect of medicinal substances, methods of surgical treatment, and so forth. In vivisection the research is conducted at the time of the operation itself—for example, in an acute experiment through irritation, transplantation, or removal of an organ. On the other hand, in a chronic experiment (originated by I. P. Pavlov), the operation merely serves as a preparation for subsequent research (for example, the creation of a fistula of the salivary gland or stomach). Vivisection is an extremely valuable method in medical and physiological research. Experiments are conducted in such a way that animal suffering during operations is minimized by the use of narcosis and so forth. Accusations from antivivi-section societies (in Great Britain and the USA) of the torture of animals by physiologists or medical experimenters are therefore without foundation. In the USSR vivisection is permitted only for scientific purposes.


the act or practice of performing experiments on living animals, involving cutting into or dissecting the body
References in periodicals archive ?
Here Prendick betrays, in Moreau's terms, both his link to animality through his empathy with pain, and also, in contemporary vivisectionist discourse, his link to female sentimentality.
actually occur in real human populations and obtains important, fundamental results otherwise unobtainable by "whole armies" of vivisectionists "conducting absurd studies on animals" (p.
In "Vivisection as a Sign of the Times" Carroll questions the evolutionary superiority of the vivisectionist over his experimental subject as well as those who have not transcended their sympathy for the brute creation: "Is the anatomist, who can contemplate unmoved the agonies he is inflicting, for no higher purpose than to gratify a scientific curiosity, or to illustrate some well-established truth, a being higher or lower, in the scale of humanity, than the ignorant boor whose very soul would sicken at the horrid sight?
On national radio recently I challenged vivisectionists to come up with one medical development introduced through vivisection that could not have been introduced without killing animals.
On national BBC Radio recently I began a live two-hour programme by challenging vivisectionists to phone in with details of any specific medical advance they claimed had been brought about through animal experiments.
The woolly thinking of the vivisectionists never fails to amaze me.
Some years ago - when there were vivisectionists around still brave enough to debate with me - a woman with whom I was discussing animal experimentation ended her speech by claiming that animals do not have souls.
Moreover, it showed that vivisectionists are "aggressive individuals who hold considerable hostility towards others".
Incidentally, many readers have written in asking why I never appear on television debating with vivisectionists and other mentally-deficient scientists.
Vivisectionists are ruthless and constantly lie to defend their position.
Vivisectionists will not debate this subject with me and I suspect it is because they know they will lose.
The animal rights advocates go to battle against the vivisectionists, but their false theory only fosters the cruelty of the latter.