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Animal cruelty

Neurosurgeon murdered dog to demonstrate medical device, animal advocates say

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 by: Ben Kage
Tags: animal cruelty, animal testing, medical ethics


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(NewsTarget) A Cleveland Clinic neurosurgeon is under investigation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture after deliberately causing a brain aneurysm in a dog to demonstrate a medical device to salespeople Wednesday.

Clinic officials say the procedure was not authorized, and that it was reported to the USDA as soon as it was discovered. A letter from the clinic to the USDA -- obtained by the Associated Press -- stated that the aneurism had been approved, but the use of a dog and the use of the device on the animal had not. The USDA would not comment on whether the hospital would face penalties for any Animal Welfare Act violations, said USDA spokesperson Darby Holladay.

"This horrifying staged event further demonstrates the cruelty of conventional medicine and the utter lack of respect for life among surgeons," charged Mike Adams, a consumer health advocate and advocate for stronger medical ethics. "To deliberately cause a fatal brain injury to a live dog in order to promote the sales of a medical product is, in my opinion, a criminal act. The medical community's response to this incident will clearly demonstrate where conventional medicine stands on the issue of respecting life."

The as-yet-unnamed neurosurgeon was demonstrating a medical device that fills a brain aneurysm -- defined as an abnormal bulge in a blood vessel -- with a coil to stop bleeding. There were 20 to 25 salespeople present, according to reports, and the dog had to be destroyed due to damage from the aneurysm.

Currently, the hospital has refused to release the name of the surgeon, or whether or not he is facing any disciplinary action. The hospital did say that neither it nor the surgeon had a financial stake in the device.

"This neurosurgeon should have his licensed revoked and be charged with violating the Animal Welfare Act," Adams said. "The Cleveland Clinic should be heavily fined by government regulators and boycotted by patients."

According to documents from the USDA, the Cleveland Clinic used 340 canines for medical education and research in 2005.

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