|PETA president and cofounder Ingrid Newkirk and a four-legged friend (source)|
Ingrid Newkirk is the well-known president and cofounder of People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) which for decades has campaigned against the use of animals in medical research.
Ironically, she says she probably owes her life to medical research in which dogs were used as experimental subjects.
As widely reported, my father died on December 16. A few days ago Ms. Newkirk posted this remembrance on an online web page commemorating my father's life:
Via her introduction to my father's essay in One Can Make A Difference:
I am including Dr. Heimlich as an essayist because I not only admire him and have enjoyed knowing hint personally - he is full of good jokes and clever thoughts and is staunchly opposed to animal experiments - but because he has saved countless people's lives. In fact, while the Heimlich maneuver has saved the lives of celebrities such as Cher, Goldie Hawn, and even former president Ronald Reagan, it also probably saved mine.
One morning I was, as usual, doing too many things at once, dashing about in the office, eating a breakfast sandwich, and putting paper in the copier, when I choked. It was early and only the man who vacuums our carpets was in the building, somewhere downstairs. I suddenly realized how difficult it would be, even if I could find hint quickly, to get him to understand that my airway was blocked, that I couldn't breathe. Drawing on what I remembered of Dr. Heimlich's advice, I thrust myself forward, with force, over a chair. That action dislodged the bit of sandwich and I could breathe again.Via Pop Goes the Cafe Coronary, my father's first article describing what he then called "the Heimlich method," published in the June 1974 issue of the journal Emergency Medicine (EM):
The procedure is adapted from experimental work with four 38-pound beagles, in which I was assisted by surgical research technician Michael H. McNeal. After being given an intravenous anesthetic, each dog was "strangled" with a size 32 cuffed endotracheal tube inserted into the larynx. After the cuff was distended to create total obstruction of the trachea, the animal went into immediate respiratory distress as evidenced by spasmodic, paradoxical respiratory movements of the chest and diaphragm. At this point, with a sudden thrust. I pressed the palm of my hand deeply and firmly into the abdomen of the animal a short distance below the rib cage, thereby pushing upward on the diaphragm. The endotracheal tube popped out of the trachea and, after several labored respirations, the animal began to breathe normally. This procedure was even more effective when the other hand maintained constant pressure on the lower abdomen directing almost all the pressure toward the diaphragm.Does Ms. Newkirk owe her life to those four "strangled" beagles? Obviously, that's impossible to determine, but it's certainly a brain teaser.
We repeated the experiment more than 20 times on each animal with the same excellent results When a bolus of raw hamburger was substituted for the endotracheal tube, it, too, was ejected by the same procedure, always after one or two compressions.
...Should you use, or learn of anyone, using, the Heimlich method, by the way, please report the results either to EM or to me.
Here's another puzzler to ponder.
If my father and Mr. McNeal had never conducted the research using the beagles, his namesake maneuver might never have come to be.
As a determined advocate against the use of animals in research, would Ms. Newkirk have preferred that they not have conducted research that may have saved her life and which -- according to Erik Wemple's January 31, 2017 Washington Post article about my recent success obtaining published corrections to errors in a number of my father's obituaries -- has been "credited with saving thousands of people from choking to death..."?
I'm e-mailing that question to Ms. Newkirk with an invitation to provide any additional comment.
Note: I have zero expertise regarding the use of animals in medical research, so I have no positions or opinions on the subject.