Good for your health? 1

July 16, 2004

The best way to judge the value of animal experimentation is to examine the nation's health and the vivisection-based National Health Service (Features, July 9).

The NHS founding fathers genuinely believed that health costs would decline as the public was increasingly exposed to modern medicine and became healthier. Yet 45 per cent - and rising - of adults report chronic ill health or disability, which increases to 60 per cent among the over-65s. One in six children under five now has a long-standing illness, compared with one in 25 in 1972. A quarter of people aged 16 to 44 now have a long-term condition such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, allergies, asthma, digestive disorders, mental illness or heart disease. Some 40 per cent of the population have, or will develop, cancer. We now have more than 30,000 diseases - and rising. Although the UK figures are kept secret, the US - with the same system of medicine - reports 100,000 deaths a year, in hospitals alone, from adverse drug reactions.

In the fantasy world of the vivisection promoter, this out-of-control medically induced plague becomes "great medical progress". Slogans, mantras, insults, "most doctors believe", "most scientists agree" and so on may impress schoolchildren but should not be offered within the hearing of rational, intelligent adults.

Pat Rattigan
British Antivivisection Association

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