HC Deb 15 June 1903 vol 123 cc933-4
MR. PERKS (Lincolnshire, Louth)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, as reported at a recent meeting of the Committee of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society, Professor Schafer has obtained permission to conduct experiments on dogs without anæsthetics for the purpose of investigating the phenomena of death from drowning; is he aware that these experiments have hitherto been conducted under chloroform; and will he take steps to prevent the infliction of cruelty which the experiments authorised involve.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Akers Douglas.) Professor Schäfer has obtained the certificates required by the Act to enable him to perform certain experiments on dogs for the purpose of investigating, not the phenomena of death from drowning, but the best means of effecting resuscitation in cases of apparent drowning The experiments will be performed on behalf of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society of London, who have appointed a committee to consider this question. I am aware that Professor Schäfer has performed experiments on the effect of immersion on anæsthetised dogs, but I am informed that the use of anæsthetics frustrated the object of the experiments. In view of the great importance of the subject in connection with the saving of human life, and of the strong recommendations received in support of the experiments, I have not felt justified in disallowing the certificates.