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New Methods for Research and Teaching in Medicine and Biology

Prof Dr Lea Franken
Physician, Professor of Physiology, University of Brussels
Speech delivered at the International Scientific Congress, London, April 1991

We need a new light on health and a far-reaching reorganisation of health care.
It is high time that medical institutions were brought up to date with current facts and social realities. There is a great deficiency in basic sanitary facilities on a world-wide basis; consequently, vital health conditions are neither taught nor promoted.

Modern research is wasting time and energy on over-production of harmful, carcinogenic or teratogenic synthetic products; this explains how researchers have fallen behind in producing coherent study programmes dealing with economic and social issues. All too often, current research is content to reproduce artificially the illnesses occurring in our pathogenic society under laboratory conditions, instead of studying the conditions and positive methods of creating an environment in which these illnesses would not arise.

Finances, expertise and energy resources are largely wasted in negative undertakings. These resources must be exploited in a beneficial manner. A radically new approach to medical experiments is clearly needed.

I The Problem of Research
There are always problems with research: the end result, the financing and the language.

II The Real Target of Research
The real target of research in our countries is more to serve industry than the life and well-being of people. The proof of this is that the great problems of humanity become worse every day: war, hunger, epidemics. Besides this, there is no information given to the general public concerning the nature of research.
Where is democracy?

III The Financing of Research Programmes
In the Western countries, the financing of research programmes is done partly through public funds but also largely through private funds, from industrial and pharmaceutical groups.
Of course, that kind of financing explains the poverty of welfare programmes and the great number of industrial research programmes.
In that domain, there is also a complete lack of information.
“Glasnost” is not yet included in the programmes of science.

IV The Consequences of These Research Programmes
The consequences of these research programmes are disastrous and well known to all:
1. Industrial pollution.
2. Neither social nor ecological programmes.
3. Pollution of everyday necessities: food, air, water, soil.
4. Diseases and epidemics:
For instance, cholera in Peru is due mainly to a lack of pure water and sanitary equipment, also to non-effective agricultural programmes.
5. Increased and more deadly arms.
6. A total incapacity to resolve rapidly the problems of humanity:
For instance, the tragedy of the Kurdish refugees in the mountains.

V Why Is Vivisection Still Tolerated?
The preceding points explain why vivisection still exists. I shall summarise these:
It is because there is no real research for life, but generally research for death, war and pollution, in the name of so-called economic expansion. 500,000 researchers in the world work for war, either directly or indirectly, in weapons and war technology – where animals are used as guinea-pigs in deplorable conditions, as we are all aware.

You must read the book written by Mr Totelle – “War has begun in the laboratories”.
This research is not understood by many people, and consequently there is no control in the laboratories.

These reasons explain why animal experiments still exist and continue to develop monstrously, to the extent that humans are now used in live experiments involuntarily (in prisons, but also on foetuses in laboratories).

VI New Methods for Research
1. Development of epidemiology, with extensive use of computers.
2. The use of miniature electronic apparatus to study body reactions.
3. The study of psychological factors for maintaining good health.
4. Research programmes for the environment.
5. Social research programmes.


I Teaching Is A Remedy
Teaching is my speciality. I teach in a university hospital: I give two courses for paramedics – physiology and neurophysiology.

If we want to change research and to remove its cruelty and nonsense, we must first change our teaching methods: this would be an ideal means to promote positive minds.
Scientific matters are taught at university in medicine and biology but are also taught in primary and secondary schools.
We must change our teaching habits and books in all these institutions.

II The Language Used in Science
During the Gulf War, we heard a good example of extrapolation from scientific language – “surgical operation”, instead of killing by bombs – it’s only a surgical cure!
This is also an example of the language of vivisectors. They never kill – they sacrifice. To which God? Money? Business?
Is that kind of language really scientific, or is it pseudo-scientifical?

That is one question we must ask of the 100,000 corpses lying in the Arabian desert.
One day I had the idea of looking for the definition of the word “vivisection” in a big and famous medical dictionary – the word did not exist. No mention either was made of the phrases “animal experiments”, “guinea-pig”, “LD50” or “toxicology”. There was no mention of the methods used, no mention of the animals, and of the word “animal” in that context, of course, there was nothing.

Why such silence?
For me, the explanation of that silence is quite simple:
1. The scientists are not proud of vivisection.
2. Vivisection is unnecessary.
My conclusion about this is that the language used in science must be made different, like science itself – that is, clear positive must not hide the most important facts.
Science must be based on real priorities and must be of interest to everybody, based on life itself and its laws.

III New Methods for Teaching Science
We must study life itself, its laws and the means to preserve it.
That study must be attractive, because life should be stimulating for those who live in normal circumstances.
To live is to love, and to love is to live. The importance of emotion, of human feelings, is great.
We must enlarge the sources of knowledge. For example, in respiratory physiology we can, instead of killing animals by cruel experiments, make better use of our time by studying the respiratory techniques already developed in India and China, and in our countries by people who practice yoga and relaxation.
Another example is in circulatory physiology: instead of killing dogs by provoking haemorrhages and all sort of other cruel experiments, we can study young sportsmen and women exercising in their favourite sport by measuring and controlling their bodily functions with different kinds of miniature electronic apparatus.
These two examples show that science must be studied first on healthy human beings in their natural environment.
Human sensibility must be developed and encouraged when teaching science. Vivisection kills normal human feelings and therefore provides no solutions to human problems.
Vivisection is a horror, not only for animal and human alike, but also for the conscientious scientist.
Research and teaching must be rid of this problem, and the sooner the better.
Scientific books must be completely changed: they have to remove all mention of vivisection, and the conception of science itself has to be changed.

Vivisection must be unequivocally condemned and completely abolished in all its aspects – medical, military, industrial and cosmetological.

Research must be clear, positive and directly applicable to the real progress of humanity and the environment.

Teaching is the ideal means to promote a new mentality for health, welfare and peace.
May it be so!

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