Dear Editor: As a surgeon, a Wisconsin native and a UW-Madison Medical School alumnus, I was shocked and disappointed at UW’s dishonest attempt to defend the gruesome procedures conducted on unsuspecting cats in its labs by claiming they are the same as those performed on humans receiving implants to improve their hearing.
Unlike cats at UW, humans in need of cochlear implants are not intentionally deafened. Unlike cats at UW, humans receiving cochlear implants do not have large metal posts screwed into their skulls to restrain them during experiments being conducted against their will. Unlike cats at UW, humans do not have their ears chopped off. Unlike cats at UW, humans are not deprived of food for days to compel them to cooperate in experiments. And, unlike cats at UW, humans are not imprisoned in cages for life and then killed and decapitated when they are no longer of use.
The technical process of actually implanting hearing devices in humans and cats may be similar, but the nature and context of the two procedures are worlds apart. UW’s shamefully comparing an elective surgical procedure on a consenting human patient to the willful mutilation and killing of a healthy cat in a curiosity-driven experiment is like saying dropping a radioactive bomb is no different than giving an X-ray.
Dr. James Yahr