Cats Rest Easy; Sheep May Safely Graze; Frist Leaves Politics
"By day, I was little Billy Frist, the boy who lived on Bowling Avenue in Nashville and had decided to become a doctor because of his gentle father and a dog named Scratchy. By night, I was Dr. William Harrison Frist, future cardiothoracic surgeon, who was not going to let a few sentiments about cute, furry little creatures stand in the way of his career. In short, I was going a little crazy."
Thus former Senate Majority Leader, presidential dreamer and HMO scion Bill Frist, explaining why he told the staff at three Boston animal shelters he wanted to adopt cats as pets, when in fact he was spending "days and nights on end in the lab, taking the hearts out of cats, dissecting each heart, suspending a strip of tiny muscle that attaches the mitral valve to the inner wall of the cat heart and recording the effects of various medicines I added to the bath surrounding the muscle."
Frist announced this week that he would not be entering the 2008 presidential race. This also fulfills a promise he made in 1994 to leave the Senate after two six year terms.
I know that animal sacrifices-- and human volunteers as well-- have saved millions of lives because of medical research. I also believe it takes a special kind of wickedness to operate on unwilling subjects, as the Axis did in World War II and as happened here in the Tuskegee experiments-- and if an animal must be used in an experiment, let it be done respectfully and NEVER on an animal that's been brought up to think of itself as a citizen. The ease with which Frist committed that kind of casual betrayal is one more reason we are well shut of him.