Neurosurgeon's Experiments Are Creative - or Just Cruel: A Noted Scientist Conducting Controversial Transplantation Experiments on Living Monkeys Has Received Death Threats from Animal-Rights Activists

By Darlington, Joy | Insight on the News, June 20, 1994 | Go to article overview

Neurosurgeon's Experiments Are Creative - or Just Cruel: A Noted Scientist Conducting Controversial Transplantation Experiments on Living Monkeys Has Received Death Threats from Animal-Rights Activists


Darlington, Joy, Insight on the News


A noted scientist conducting controversial transplantation expirements on living monkeys has received death threats from animal-rights activists.

Dr. Robert White looks like the average family practitioner. A devout Catholic and a father of 10, he lives in a house with a white picket fence in suburban Cleveland. Every morning, he takes breakfast at a cozy diner where everyone knows his name. He, in turn, inquires on the state of his neighbors' arthritic knees and fluttery hearts. When he wants a refill of coffee, he gets up and pours it himself, topping off other patrons. "He's just our Dr. White," the hostess says proudly.

But this doctor is also a world-famous neurosurgeon whose controversial research has been called "Frankensteinian." White believes that it now is possible to separate the head from a diseased and failing body, attach it to a new body and keep the brain alive and functioning.

Though his idea sounds like the scenario of a B movie, White is a respected scientist who already has made medical history. In the early sixties, his experiments on monkeys showed that the brain could be cooled to record levels and restored to body temperature with no ill effects, paving the way for longer, more complex operations. "He's one of the most imaginative researchers I've ever met," says Dr. Maurice Albin, a professor of anesthesiology at the University of Texas who worked on the project.

At the time, White headed up (pun intended) what would become one of the world's preeminent brain research labs at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital. Following his "cooling" experiments, he began work on a more daunting problem - isolating a living brain - and on January 17, 1963, succeeded in isolating the brain of a rhesus monkey.

By perching the brain on a small platform of bone, White was able to insert tubes into four major arteries still connected to the monkey's body. The arteries were severed, the spinal cord cut and an artificial circulation system activated. Electrodes installed in the brain showed strong electrical activity. For the first time, a higher animal's brain was isolated and kept alive outside of its body.

In the early seventies, White and his collaborators took the next step, transplanting the head of one monkey onto the body of another. "The reason for using the whole head instead of an isolated brain," White explains, "is because we have no way of sewing or splicing together the major nerves that subserve things like vision, hearing and tasting. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Neurosurgeon's Experiments Are Creative - or Just Cruel: A Noted Scientist Conducting Controversial Transplantation Experiments on Living Monkeys Has Received Death Threats from Animal-Rights Activists
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.