DETROIT—On April 8, local doctors, dogs, and concerned citizens will hold a peaceful demonstration at Wayne State University to protest the use of dogs in painful heart failure experiments. Legendary, Detroit-born comedian Lily Tomlin, a Wayne State alumna, is denouncing the dead-end dog experiments. Her statement will be hand delivered by doctors and protesters to Wayne State’s president, M. Roy Wilson, M.D.
“I am writing you to speak against the medical experiments that Wayne State University—my alma mater—is practicing on helpless dogs. I understand that Wayne State is spending millions of taxpayer dollars using dogs in heart failure experiments that have not benefited human health in any way. I urge you to end these senseless experiments as soon as possible,” says Lily Tomlin in her statement.
WHAT: Doctor-led protest against dog experiments. Doctors will deliver a statement from Detroit-born mega celebrity Lily Tomlin.
WHO: Wayne State professor Joel Kahn, M.D., F.A.C.C., Jennifer Giordano, D.O., Sara Busch, D.V.M., concerned citizens, and dogs.
WHEN: 11 a.m., Wednesday, April 8.
WHERE: On the sidewalk in front of Wayne State University at W. Kirby Street and Anthony Wayne Drive, Detroit. Demonstrators will go to the president’s office in the nearby faculty / administration building to deliver Tomlin’s statement.
“Heart failure experiments on dogs have failed to find treatments for patients,” says cardiologist John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C. of the nonprofit Physicians Committee. “Doctors and Detroiters can agree it’s time to halt the dead-end dog experiments and switch to research that will benefit people.”
A Michigan judge has ruled in favor of the Physicians Committee and ordered Wayne State to provide medical records and other documents relating to the dog experiments.
The documents reveal that Squiggy, a white hound with brown patches, experienced five major surgeries and was forced to exercise on a treadmill. Four wires were attached to his heart so that experimenters could artificially induce heart failure by speeding his heart to 285 beats per minute, up from a normal 88 beats per minute. While suffering numerous painful procedures and complications, Squiggy was twice given a pain medication that he was allergic to. Squiggy’s eight months in Wayne State’s laboratory failed to provide any data that would lead to treatments for human patients.
Epidemiological studies, such as the Framingham Study and many others, continue to give researchers insight into the causes of heart disease, while human clinical trials provide treatment and prevention options. The National Institutes of Health should fund only human-relevant research.
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research and medical training.