A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

PCRM For the Win!

Good news on the animal front....the UMass Medical School has permanently discontinued the use of pigs in its Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) courses, which are designed to train physicians to treat acute trauma injuries. UMass had still been in the dark ages; over 95% of institutions teaching such courses no longer use live (but soon-to-be tortured and dead) animals.

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine had urged its supporters just two weeks ago to contact the dean about this issue. Over 10,000 did! That prompt action no doubt is what convinced Dean Terence R. Flotte, MD, to end this practice before the latest round of December courses.

That's the good news. The bad news is that neighboring institution Massachusetts General Hospital still uses sheep in its ATLS courses. MGH President Peter Slavin, MD, needs to hear the same chorus of concerned voices as Dean Flotte did. His email is pslavin@partners.org.

Theses doctors should remember the Hippocratic Oath they supposedly all took: First, do no harm. And the rest of us should remember, Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

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