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Claude Bernard's wife divorced him protesting Vivisection & Cruelty to Animals

Claude Bernard
Claude Bernard and pupils in laboratory.

Claude Bernard was a French physiologist (1813 – 1878) whose scientific discoveries were made through vivisection. Vivisection is surgery conducted upon a living organism, typically animals with a central nervous system.

Bernard wrote: "The physiologist is no ordinary man. He is a learned man possessed and absorbed by a scientific idea. He does not hear the animals' cries of pain. He is blind to the blood that flows. He sees nothing but his idea, and organisms which conceal from him the secrets he is resolved to discover".

The wife of Bernad, Marie Françoise was opposed to the research. Bernard practiced vivisection, to the disgust of his wife and daughters who had returned at home to discover that he had vivisected their dog. Bernard firmly believed that the advancement of medicine and the relief of human suffering justified the suffering of animals but his wife was not convinced. The couple was officially separated in 1869 and his wife went on to actively campaign against the practice of vivisection.

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