When Animal Blood was Transfused Into Humans

Back in 1667, medicine and philosophy were dangerously entwined. What physicians of the time didn’t know about the human body was important- some organizations did not yet accept the theory of blood circulation. But French physician Jean Denis did, and after increasingly successful experimental blood transfusions between animals, he began giving the blood of lambs and goats to human patients. He figured that the blood of animals was cleaner and purer because they didn’t drink alcohol and were free from sin.

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Denis’ first patient improved greatly, which may have been because he had already undergone many sessions of bloodletting and desperately needed the volume. His second transfusion patient was already healthy, but displayed renewed vigor. The third patient died. These transfusions sent the medical establishment into a frenzy. Things came to a head when he was sued over the death of his fifth patient in Paris, which ultimately turned out to be a murder. But that was the end of animal-to-human blood transfusions.

Denis was opposed to human-to-human blood transfusions because he assumed that the donor would not survive, which tells us something about how donor animals fared during his “successful” experiments. Read about Jean Denis’ xenotransfusions and how they were received at The Public Domain review. -via Nag on the Lake

Source: neatorama

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