- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
An exciting, well-researched work, which should appeal to anyone with an interest in the nature and progress of the human race.
The cataclysmic clash of medical ideas and personalities comes to colorful life
In this follow-up to the critically acclaimed Great Feuds in Science (Wiley: 0-471-16980-3), Hal Hellman tells the stories of the ten most heated and important disputes of medical science. Featuring a mix of famous and lesser-known stories, Great Feuds in Medicine includes the fascinating accounts of William Harvey's battle with the medical establishment over his discovery of the circulation of blood; Louis Pasteur's fight over his theory of germs; and the nasty dispute between American Robert Gallo and French researcher Luc Montagnier over who discovered the HIV virus. An informative and insightful look at how such medical controversies are not only typical, but often necessary to the progress of the science.
Harvey versus Primrose, Riolan, and the Anatomists: Circulation of the Blood.
Galvani versus Volta: Animal Electricity.
Semmelweis versus the Viennese Medical Establishment: Childbed Fever.
Bernard versus Chemists, Physicians, and Antivivisectionists: Experimental Medicine.
Pasteur versus Liebig, Pouchet, and Koch: Fermentation, Spontaneous Generation, and Germ Theory.
Golgi versus Ram?n y Cajal: The Nerve Network.
Freud versus Moll, Breuer, Jung, and Many Others: Psychoanalysis.
Sabin versus Salk: The Polio Vaccine.
Franklin versus Wilkins: The Structure of DNA.
Gallo versus Montagnier: The AIDS War.
In the 17th century it had been known for some 1, 400 years that the blood was created in the liver, moved outward from the heart toward the extremities, and, n nourishing the tissues, just disappeared there. The heart was also the source of some sort of vital spirit, which in some mysterious way had to do with the blood.
In 1628, British physician and anatomist William Harvey announced his discovery of the circulation of the blood and, just as shocking, reported that the heart was merely a pump that was pushing the fluid around and around in the body.
He had laid out his theory, carefully and clearly, and of course in Latin, n a small book consisting of 72 poorly printed pages. Its title, Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus , is often shortened to De Motu Cordis ( On the motion of the heart) , or DMC . One reason for the poor print job was that it had to be published in far-off Germany, for the British censor forbad its publication, and no British publisher would touch it. The publisher, Wilhelm Fitzer in Frankfurt, offered as an excuse for the many printer's errors the unfavorable times, meaning the Thirty Years War that was then ravaging Germany.
Nevertheless, no one had any trouble figuring out Harvey's message. In the first half of the book, he presents his findings on the heart, and mentions some of his fears and hesitations. Though he published in 1628, he had started his work more than a dozen years earlier, and had been demonstrating parts of it at his own Royal College of Physicians for at least nine of those years, 4 hoping to build up support among his colleagues.
A quick look at the first chapter of DMC tells us what his experience had been up to the date of publication. His discovery, he writes, pleased some more, others less; some chid and calumniated me and laid to me as a crime that I had dared to depart from the precepts and opinions of all anatomists. He also lays out his research program in this first half and, mainly, gives the first scientifically based description of the heart's functions.
Then, in chapter 8, Harvey introduces the idea that the blood circulates, which, he feared, rightfully, would be even more shocking to his readers. In the opening paragraph, he states: "What remains to be said upon the quantity and source of the blood . . . is of a character so novel and unheard-of that I not only fear injury to myself from the envy of a few, but I tremble lest I have mankind at large for my enemies. . . ."Paranoia or Realistic Fears?
Was he just being paranoid? Hardly. Not long before, in 1591, Eufame Macalyane, a Scottish lady of rank, sought relief for the pain of child-birth. For this transgression— does not Holy Writ refer to "the primeval curse on woman"? she was burned at the stake in Edinburgh.
And in 1600, only a quarter century before Harvey's book appeared, Giordano Bruno, a pugnacious Italian philosopher, had been burned alive for his stubborn espousal of the idea that the universe was infinite and not bounded, as maintained by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy ( second century A. D. ). The Ptolemaic system had been strongly supported by the Church, which took Bruno's ideas to be sacrilegious and therefore dangerous.
A few years after Harvey's book was published, the great Galileo Galilei did recant when faced with the fearsome might of the Inquisition. As a result, he was merely sentenced to house arrest for the balance of his life because he had published a book that argued against the same Ptolemaic system. But Bruno and Galileo were only the better-known examples of theological intolerance. Many others suffered and perished for even lesser crimes.
Granted, Harvey was an Englishman and an Anglican in a nonCatholic country. But England had been a Catholic country not long before and could be one again if the monarch chose to convert.
And Catholicism was not the only source of danger. In the middle of the previous century, Spanish-born Michael Servetus, a sort of itinerant physician with a strong interest in theology, had come up with a correct description of the pulmonary circulation ( the movement of the blood from heart to lungs and back again). Unfortunately, his insight was connected with and contained within one of his many theological writings. This tract particularly (On the Restitution of Christianity) managed to aggravate both Protestants and Catholics, and, in 1553, it was burned by Calvin in Geneva along with Servetus himself.
Witch-hunting and a widespread belief in the occult was another possible source of danger. In 1618, Harvey became one of King James I's personal physicians. But James was a strong supporter of witchhunts, and had written a book on it. Harvey was fearful of the awful credulity of the time.
Harvey's era was also one of extreme political unrest. The Royalists, those supporting the king, and the Parliamentarians, looking to overthrow the monarchy, were constantly at odds. One never knew from which direction trouble might come. Harvey, as one of James's physicians, was blamed for bringing on the king's death (1625) when he defended the use of a remedy suggested by the king's favorite, Lord Buckingham. Fortunately, there were no serious consequences for Harvey, but the suspicions lingered.
All of this makes it a bit easier to understand why Harvey might be nervous, and perhaps explains why he walked around with a dagger strapped to his waist. The 17th-century biographer John Aubrey described him thus: He was very Cholerique; and in his young days wore a dagger ( as the fashion then was) but this Dr. would be apt to draw-out his dagger upon every slight occasion. A more recent biographer, Geoffrey Keynes, adds that the dagger, which Harvey continued to wear in his middle years, reflected his earlier experience as a medical student at the University of Padua, where gangs of young students, representing factions from different countries, often battled each other. There were also scuffles and even more serious disorders between stu- dents and townspeople.
Harvey has been described as "rather on the small side, with raven hair, dark piercing eyes, somewhat sallow complexion, and a keen restless demeanour and rapid speech." Science historian Jerome J. Bylebyl writes that Harvey seems to have been well liked by those who knew him, although he was an outspoken man and perhaps somewhat short-tempered.
A small, outspoken, somewhat short-tempered scientific genius in a superstitious and dangerous age. Is it any wonder that Harvey was nervous?
Harvey himself initially stood apart from the controversy that erupted after publication; but although he was not subject to physical violence, he took plenty of flak nonetheless. He was given the nickname Circulator, a conflation of the idea of circular reasoning with his theory of the blood's circulation.
The term's derivation also contains the implication of quack or mountebank. Aubrey wrote: "I have heard him say, that after his Booke of the Circulation of the Blood came out, that he fell mightily in his Practize, and that't was believed by the vulgar that he was crack brained, and all the Physitians were against his Opinion. . . ."
Viscount Conway advised his daughter-in-law not to use Harvey as her physician: "he is a most excelent Anatomist, and I conceive [De Motu Cordis] to be his Masterpiece . . . but in the practicke of Physicke I conceive him to be to [o] mutch, many times, governed by his Phantasy. . . . [ And ] to have a Physitian abound in phantasie is a very perilous thing. . . ."
What Conway meant by "phantasie" was, clearly, Harvey's ideas about the circulation. Conway was writing in 1651, 23 years after DMC was published, by which time acceptance was relatively widespread. Yet the basic problem, that Harvey was attacking and overturning the ancient anatomists, still bothered many of his contemporaries.
Among those Harvey was overturning was Galen, a second-century Greek physician and anatomist. A genius and well ahead of his time, he produced enormous quantities of medical writings. Though Galen did not himself become a Christian, his search for design and purpose in all things, including the human body, made his works well-liked by the Church, and this in turn ensured the survival of his theories into Harvey's day.
Galen argued, for example, that nature always acts with perfect wisdom; and that the body is nothing but a vehicle for the soul. Christian theologists found that these ideas fitted nicely with some of their own: disease is punishment for sin, and the body is sacred. As a result, dissection of humans is a sin, and anything that detracts from the Great Physician is anathema.
Now, Galen had a high opinion of both himself and his work, but he recognized the likelihood of advances beyond his claims and explanations. He would probably have laughed had he returned in Harvey's day and seen what the academics had made of his doctrines— edifices to be admired, even revered, rather than foundations on which to build new ones.
One of these edifices was the Anatomy that Galen had put together, a comprehensive work that described much of the body and explained many of its functions as well. As attending surgeon at the gladiatorial games under the Romans, he had considerable experience with human bones, muscles, and blood. Not afraid to get his hands dirty, he had also done dissections and even experiments— which was more than could be said for most of Harvey's contemporaries.
There are hints that he did some of these on human bodies, but virtually all of his physiological research was on animals. He performed vast numbers of dissections and experiments on a variety of animals, from which he certainly learned a great deal about anatomy.
Unfortunately, he extrapolated what he learned from his experimental creatures to the human body. Some of it he got right, and much of it he got wrong. His descriptions of the muscles in humans were excellent, for example, and he did some good experimental work involving the spinal cord.
But Galen's physiology— that is, his explanations of the functioning of the body's organs— comprised an amazing concoction of moonshine and faint glimmerings of nature's ways. An example of the moonshine was his use of "spirit." This vague concept was somehow connected with the blood. It also lent itself nicely to later religious and philosophical teachings involving the soul, the breath of life, and so on. Now, the air we breathe in and out does indeed have some sort of connection with the blood. But the spirit idea added nothing of value to anyone's understanding.
It could, however, be used in a vast variety of creative ways. As a Galenic follower explained in 1556: "During waking the face and other external parts are red, and well colored, each according to its nature; but they become pale and livid during sleep, which could only happen because at this time all the blood, or at least its lighter and more spiritous portion, betakes itself to the inner parts, while in waking it rushes out to the external parts."
Fear was another example of the movement of heat, spirit, and blood to the inner regions of the body, while anger exemplified outward flow. Sadness was a less extreme inward movement, and joy an equally moderate outward dispersal. According to Galen, anger never caused any deaths, but some weak-spirited individuals may have died of overabundant joy. Sudden fear may also cause death, because the blood comes together and has a suffocating effect.
By Harvey's day, medicine had solidified into a Galenic corpus. Teachers of medicine had relied for centuries on Galen's illustrations of the human body and saw no need to do any dissections themselves.
So religion, superstition, and medicine remained tied up in a huge Gordian knot. The Galenic corpus may be old; it may be wrong in many respects; but that doesn't mean it's simple. An edition of Galen's extant works, comprising 2.5 million words in 22 thick volumes, is estimated to be only two-thirds of his complete output. 18 Seventeenth-century anatomists and physicians didn't know a lot of medicine as we know it today, but that doesn't mean there wasn't plenty to teach.
Here I can only give the vaguest idea of the complex system of physiology they taught. The blood, said the Galenists, began in the liver, then moved outward from the heart and toward the extremities; it normally moved only in the veins and, in nourishing the tissues, just disappeared there, so there was no need for it to return anywhere.
The movement of blood was a volatile activity, not a regular thing, a response of some sort to a wide range of bodily requirements. It might be local in character, or it could be a massive movement both inward or outward. All of these were associated with a wide range of phenomena.
The arteries and the veins comprised two independent systems, each of which dealt with its own type of blood: venous blood had to do with nutrition, and the arterial with vivification. The latter was a kind of pneumatic system that controlled the distribution of vital spirit and heat ( including air) throughout the body.
Another source of trouble was Galen's belief that there are minute pores in the septum ( the dividing wall between the two side-by-side ventricles of the heart) , which permitted passage of substances, such as blood and spirit, between them. It was clear that there was some sort of connection between arteries and veins, so Galen invented the pores. He explained that it was not possible to see them "both because of their smallness and because when the animal is dead, all its parts are chilled and shrunken."
Though hobbled by tradition and religion, however, 16th-and 17th-century surgeons, physicians, and anatomists still had eyes and brains. Experiments and observations did take place. It was their wonderful, creative explanations that kept the whole thing together. They saw, for instance, that arteries and veins were physically different from each other. What then is the reason for the thicker, stronger construction of the arteries? That's easy. It is needed to hold in the strongly active and penetrating animal spirits.
The great anatomist Fabricius— Harvey's own teacher at the University of Padua— made what should have been a momentous discovery. In 1579 he described "little doors" (valves) in the veins. Fabricius, however, saw the valves as regulating the movement of blood to deal with pathological conditions. So he never understood their real purpose permitting perfectly normal flow only toward the heart, exactly the reverse of what Galen had postulated.
Further, after a creature suffers a violent death, autopsy reveals that the veins are congested with blood, while the arteries are relatively empty. To the Galenists, this was proof that the arteries are normally filled with air and spirit, not blood. What actually happens is that the venous blood is held in place by the valves found everywhere in the veins, while the arterial blood has been free to flow out unimpeded.
Yet they also saw that if an artery is cut, it clearly spurts blood. This, however, was again taken to be a pathological condition: what is happening, they reasoned, is that as a direct result of the puncture, a sort of one-way evacuation is taking place, in which blood from the veins is drawn into the arteries and then expelled through the opening in the artery.
The worst part of it all is that these theories did not exist in a vacuum; they were drawn upon for clinical purposes. So if one is bleeding from an artery, the Galenists believed there must be too much blood in the veins, and that it has found its way to the arteries. Cure for puncture wound in an artery: bleed the veins.
In fact, all disease involved the distribution, or maldistribution, of blood and spirits, and it was relocation of these substances that they were trying to accomplish in their treatments. But Galen also supported Hippocrates' belief that disease resulted from an imbalance in the vital fluids, or humors, namely, blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile. The easiest to get at, obviously, was the blood. This explains why bleeding, the deliberate letting of blood, played such an important part in Galenic medicine.
It's no wonder that Lewis Thomas could write that before the injection of science, medicine was an "unbelievably deplorable . . . story. . . . It is astounding that the profession survived so long, and got away with so much with so little outcry."
Obviously, this couldn't change until a fresh look was taken at the physiology of the body, including the part actually played by the blood and, even more fundamentally, at that prime mover, the heart. In the Galenic view, the heart was the source of the vital spirit. It was also a flaccid organ; it swelled on a regular basis as a result of, rather than being a cause of, the movement of the blood. Until its proper function was understood, little more could be accomplished.
In the first chapter of Harvey's book he tells us:
When I first gave my mind to vivisections, as a means of discovering the motions and uses of the heart, and sought to discover these from actual inspection . . . I found the task so truly arduous, so full of difficulties, that I was almost tempted to think . . . that the motion of the heart was only to be comprehended by God. . . .
At length, by using greater and daily diligence and investigation, making frequent inspection of many and various animals,and collating numerous observations, I thought that I had attained to the truth. . . .
A compulsive experimenter, he worked with all manner of creatures. But whereas Galen went off the track in many of his extrapolations from animals to humans, Harvey realized that he could actually learn more about the heart from some of the lower animals, particularly from cold-blooded creatures, because the movements of their hearts are slower and therefore easier to follow.
He points out in DMC that these movements "also become more distinct in warm-blooded animals, such as the dog and hog, if they be attentively noted when the heart begins to flag, to move more slowly . . ." ( meaning, of course, when the animals are somehow weakened or brought close to death). Over the long period of his theory's development, he may have experimented with some 80 species of animals.As he learned more about the heart, a huge puzzle presented itself.
The traditional idea was that blood was formed from food in the liver; that it found its way through the system and out to all parts of the body; and that it was there consumed in the body's activities, including replacement of damaged tissue, as needed.
But Harvey, now convinced that the heart was the source of regular delivery, pursued a particularly unusual course for that time. First, he measured the volume of many left ventricles ( the chamber that sends blood out to the extremities), and determined that in humans they contained an average of some 2 fluid ounces. Reasoning that even if only a quarter of the blood in such a chamber is sent out on each stroke, then the amount of blood being delivered— half an ounce times an average of 4,200 strokes an hour— would require the continuous production of over 65 quarts of blood per hour. This was clearly a preposterous idea.
The only logical explanation was that the blood was not being continually created and consumed, but was, to put it simply, conserved. Note that he was actually measuring something, in this case the volume of the left ventricle, and then putting the figure to work. In so doing he was creating a new world of experimental physiology. Of all his demonstrations and proofs, this one may have been the most telling in the long run.
But there were others. One problem he faced was that the optical equipment of his time was not sharp enough to detect the microscopic passages between the arteries and the veins in the extremities. But by a clever use of ligatures ( straps) around the arm, by which he could selectively cut off and permit circulation in these vessels, he showed that blood did move from arteries to veins, though he could not say how. Whether other physiologists were convinced is another question.
But even with all this solid scientific activity, the idea of the blood moving in a circle may have come about in quite a different way, and again taps into the world in which Harvey lived and worked. The principle of circularity has a long history, and has been seen in a variety of applications, including the perfect orbital circles of the heavenly bodies in the Ptolemaic world system.
One of Harvey's colleagues, Robert Fludd, advocated a mystical system in the early 1620s that also involved the idea of circulation. The sun, he believed, issues some sort of catholic spirit ( i. e. , universal spirit) , which gives life to the earth by penetrating a variety of temples. These may be anything from the germ of wheat to the living heart, all of which behave like suns. The pulsation of the heart, for example, distributes the vital spirit to the rest of the body by a process of circulatory currents, in the same way as the sun's catholic spirit spreads across the earth.
Fludd, in other words, felt that both the Sun and the heart were generators of some sort and were involved in a kind of circulatory activity. Of course, his circulation was quite different from Harvey's. But scientific ideas can arise in surprising ways.
Nor did Harvey simply leap out of the 17th century. Still an Aristotelian with metaphysical leanings, he wrote:
The heart, consequently, is the beginning of life; the sun of the microcosm, even as the sun in his turn might well be designated the heart of the world; for it is the heart by whose virtue and pulse the blood is moved, perfected, and made nutrient, and is preserved from corruption and coagulation; it is the household divinity which, discharging its function, nourishes, cherishes, quickens the whole body. . . .
We have no way of knowing for sure whether these metaphysical references reflected his own beliefs, or whether he included such writings to fend off attack.
Another interesting possibility: Jean Hamburger, a distinguished French medical researcher and writer, has recently suggested that the British political philosopher Thomas Hobbes may also have played some role in Harvey's vision of circularity. In an unusual kind of fictional biography, Hamburger postulates a diary entry by Harvey in which he writes: While he [ Hobbes ] was thus evoking an image of a King whose mission it is to see that order and reason circulate among his subjects . . . another image was superimposed in my mind, that of a heart whose mission it was to circulate through the body the blood that bears the necessary spirits.
Was Harvey influenced by Hobbes and his ideas about the state? They did meet sometime between 1621 and 1626. Although Hobbes's major works emerged well after Harvey had already come to his early conclusions, some early idea of Hobbes's might have provided a sparks.
Interestingly, in Harvey's dedication to his royal patron, Charles I, he compares Charles to the sun. The King, in like manner, is the foundation of the kingdom, the sun of the world around him, the heart of the republic, the fountain whence all power, all grace doth flow.( Twenty years later the "foundation of the kingdom" was overthrown by the Parliamentarians and decapitated.)
One more possible influence on the development of Harvey's theory. Galileo was a professor at Padua when Harvey took his medical degree there. Galileo had been working on the mechanics of fluids in motion, including the theory of pumps. It seems reasonable to conclude that Harvey, exposed to this work, was influenced by it. Descartes, too, was working on a theory of motion at about this time, which may also have had some effect on Harvey.
These were some of the possible ideas and influences that got Harvey going. However it happened, Harvey came to his conclusions, built up a body of evidence, did what he could to convince his colleagues, and, finally, bit the bullet. The military metaphor is apt.
In the dozen years prior to the appearance of DMC in 1628, during which Harvey was developing his theory, preparing his manuscript, and lecturing on his ideas, there seems to have been little argument against his work, at least not in print. Harvey's reputation remained secure. His friend Fludd even published a work shortly after DMC appeared that supported Harvey. It was, however, mainly a metaphysical treatise, with little scientific discussion of Harvey's ideas. In fact, his main point was that Harvey s work provided support for his own mystical ideas.
There were a few other halfhearted efforts at support. Descartes issued the first actual discussion meaning with some scientific content of Harvey's work in 1637, but argued against his theories on the heart. 28 The earliest real, published support among Englishmen seems not to have appeared until 1641 ( George Ent) and 1644 ( Kenelm Digby) which must have seemed like forever to Harvey. Digby, in fact, was finally answering Descartes's objections to parts of the new theory.
On the other hand, three book-length refutations appeared in short order. The first, in 1630, came from James Primrose, an English provincial physician and a voluminous writer.
His work, with a title even longer than Harvey's 30 (but ending in adversus Guilielmum Harveum), was a compilation of misreadings, misunderstandings, and misstatements, at least to a modern reader. Robert Willis, the translator of DMC whose work I am using, wrote in 1878 that Primrose's book consisted of obstinate denials, sometimes of what may be called perversions of statements involving matters of fact, and in its whole course appeals not once to experiment as a means of investigation.
Primrose's style, however, is interesting. Here and there he addresses Harvey directly in apparently worshipful tone:
Thou has observed a sort of pulsatile heart in slugs, flies, bees,and even in squill-fish [ a kind of shrimp] . We congratulate thee upon thy zeal. May God preserve thee in such perspicacious ways. . . . Those who mark in thy writings the names of so many Harvey versus Primrose, Riolan, and the Anatomists and diverse animals will take thee for the sovereign nvestigator of nature and will believe thee to be an oracle seated upon the tripod. . . .
Then comes the snide attack:
I speak of those who are not physicians and have but a smattering of the science. But if we read the works of real anatomists, such as Galen, Vesalius, the illustrious Fabricius and Casserius, we see that they have provided us with engraved plates representing the animals they have dissected. As for Aristotle, he made observations of all things and no one should dare contest his conclusions.
Primrose added that he had managed to refute in 2 weeks what it had taken Harvey 20 years to develop.
Primrose was generally contentious; not only did he have difficulty accepting new ideas, but he seemed compelled to fight them in print. More than a dozen years later, with the circulation idea gaining adherents, he was still in action. In 1644 he engaged in a pamphlet war with a defender of blood circulation.
Primrose's contentiousness could be part of the reason for his attack on Harvey. He had also, however, made application to the College of Physicians in December 1629 January 1630, and was not accepted; he may have put at least part of the blame on Harvey for his rejection and was probably angry about Harvey's continued high position at the college in spite of his crazyanti-Galenic ideas. But the plot may be even thicker than that. There is evidence that the president of the college, Dr. John Argent, exhorted Primrose to mount his attack. 34 Yet Harvey considered Argent a good friend and even dedicated his book to him.
In 1632 a respected Danish professor of medicine, Ole Worm, 35 also looked into the circulation question. He apparently teetered for a bit, but when he balanced Harvey's evidence against the strength of the old masters, Harvey came out second best. Worm let loose the second major critique of the new idea.
Then, in 1635, Emilio Parigiano, an elderly and respected Venetian physician, gave the world yet another extensive critique in the form of lengthy abstracts from DMC with, on the opposite page, acerbic criticism of each section. Regarding specific heart sounds, for example, which Harvey considered important, he suggested that Harvey was a victim of his own imagination. Our poor deaf ears, nor those of any physician in Venice, cannot hear them; thrice fortunate those in London who can. He also, says historian Roger French, saw Harvey as attempting to overturn the rationality and providence not only of na ture, but of God. Parigiano, interestingly, had studied with the eminent Fabricius, the same anatomy teacher Harvey had studied with in Padua.
In 1636, Harvey was in Nuremberg and paid a visit to the University of Altdorf, where he gave a public demonstration of his new theory. The main objective was to win over a distinguished anatomist and professor of medicine, Caspar Hofmann, another implacable foe of the new idea. Hofmann attended and promised to give Harvey his answer the next day. He did, in the form of a letter.
It began: "Your unbelievable kindness, my Harvey, makes me not only like you but love you . . ." After more of the same, he changes course: "You appear to accuse Nature of folly in that she went astray in a work of almost prime importance, namely, the making and distribution of food. Once that s admitted, what degree of confusion will not follow in other works which depend on the blood?" He promises, however, that "if, after the clouds have been dispelled, you will show me the truth which is more beautiful than the evening and the morning stars, I will . . . publicly recant and retire from the field."
Harvey, perhaps believing Hofmann's promise, replied immediately with a long, carefully crafted letter. His manner, as demanded by the times, is as courteous as Hofmann's, but he used some fairly direct words: "First you thought fit to indict me . . . because I seemed to you to charge and convict Nature of folly and of error, and to characterize her as a very stupid and idle worker . . . But . . . as I have always been full of admiration for Nature's skill, wisdom, and industry, I was not a little upset to have been given such a reputation by a man so very fairminded as yourself." He then goes on to answer Hofmann's objections. They corresponded further and Harvey even visited again. All to no avail.
Later years brought a truly strange twist of the knife. Harvey began to hear of lecturers on anatomy in England where acceptance grew much faster than elsewhere who were giving credit for the discovery of the circulation of the blood to Hofmann! In one case Harvey actually had to compare letters and dates in order to defend and clear himself.
Among the many attacks on Harvey was one that could have been dreamed up by a spymaster like John Le Carré. In 1639 there had appeared a pamphlet titled A Most Certaine and True Relation of a Strange Monster or Serpent Found in the Left Ventricle of the Heart of John Pennant, Gentleman, of the Age of 21 years, by Dr. Edward May, physician to Queen Henrietta Maria ( wife of Charles). In it May details the results of an autopsy that showed clearly a "worme or serpent" coiled up in the cavity of the young man's left ventricle.
This was, ipso facto, a kind of proof that Harvey was wrong; a monster living in the ventricle showed that the blood does not circulate (if it did, the serpent would have been flushed out). Bad enough; but then, in 1643, Marco Aurelio Severino, a distinguished professor of anatomy at Naples, published the second edition of his important textbook De Recondita Abscessuum Natura (Of the hidden nature of abscesses),and included an account of May's finding.
But Severino, located in Naples, had actually written to an English colleague, Dr. John Houghton, asking for some details of the monster. Houghton had shown the letter to Harvey, who had quickly understood what was going on. May had actually found a plain old blood clot, but one in the form of a "serpent", which had slipped into the heart from a nearby blood vessel.
This is a very puzzling story, however. In an exchange of letters, Houghton must have told Severino about Harvey's conclusion. Yet although Severino is effusive about how much he admires "the great Harvey, that pillar of England as well as medicine and anatomy," he nevertheless included May's description of the cardiac worm in his textbook.
The "finding" was again recounted in a 1678 book called Wonders of the Little World, and apparently remained in the literature for another century.
It was also put to use by one of Harvey's most vicious enemies, though perhaps unwittingly. In 1648, a full two decades after publication of DMC, Jean Riolan, dean of the Paris Faculty of Medicine and personal physician to both the French king and the queen mother ( and one of Primrose's teachers in Paris), unleashed the first of two major attacks on Harvey's work. The first ( 1649) was relatively gentle and attacked him only indirectly.
The second, Opuscula Anatomica Nova, came a year later; it is much more vituperative and even goes after a Leyden physician, Jan de Wale, who had supported Harvey's ideas. This, in spite of the fact that de Wale claimed the idea had its origin in antiquity and that other workers had brought it along to the point where Harvey could, and did, merely confirm the theory. 43 Harvey faced this problem over and over.
Riolan's attack reiterated the old arguments; for example, "Harvey is very learned, but when he says that the blood passes through the lungs, he is going against Nature."
Now, Riolan was neither a fool nor a mountebank. He recognized that there were some discrepancies between Harvey's (and others) new findings and those of Galen. He felt, however, that when experimental findings contradicted Galen there must be something wrong with the new findings. Experiments might also create experimental injury that would destroy the physiological conditions and prevent accurate observation. Other possibilities included a deterioration of the Galenic texts; minor errors of Galen owing to his lack of human cadavers; and changes in human physiology since Galen's time due to the influence of climate, soil, and diet.
He felt that there was some circulation of the blood going on, but not as Harvey saw it. "I assert," he wrote, "that the use of the circulation lies in the uninterrupted generation of vital blood and the maintenance of a continual heart beat." One of his major objections was that if Harvey was right, the liver lost its central position as the source of the blood.
What made Riolan's objections so worrisome was his high standing in the world of medicine; his skill as an anatomist was celebrated throughout Europe. In fact, anatomy students still read today of Riolan's arch ( in the colon), Riolan's bone ( a small bone at the back of the head), Riolan's nosegay ( a small group of muscles in the same region of the head) , and Riolan s muscle ( in the eyelids).
Riolan hoped by the strength of both his reputation and his "arguments" to finally put Harvey's nasty theory out to pasture. What must have been particularly galling to Harvey was that he had actually cited the learned Riolanus in the introduction to DMC.
Through all of the preceding two decades Harvey had shown enormous self-restraint, hoping that his colleagues would step in to counter the continuing tirades. Unfortunately, there was precious little of such support.
Some of Harvey's reticence had to do with his own reluctance to engage in controversy, and some to the continuing problems that plagued the England of his era. Part of the time he spent in exile with the king; in the early 1640s the Parliamentarians ransacked his apartment and made off with some of his notes and manuscripts. As a member of the College of Physicians, he also had to deal with opposition from two other groups looking to assert their independence and authority: the apothecaries and the surgeons.
Although Harvey was reluctant to engage his opponents in print, he had no compunctions about complaining to others, and particularly about Riolan. When a German colleague, Johann Daniel Horst, wrote to Harvey asking about Riolan's claims, Harvey answered:
[Riolan] has very obviously achieved mighty trifles with great effort and I cannot see that his fictions have brought pleasure to anyone. Schlegel wrote more carefully and modestly and, had the fates permitted, would doubtless have taken the force out of Riolan's arguments and even out of his taunts. But I learn, and that with sorrow, that he shuffled off this mortal coil of ours a few months since.
Finally, Harvey could stand no more and, n 1649, he issued the only published response he ever made to criticisms of DMC . More than two decades had passed, an astonishing example of self-control. He penned two essays in the form of letters to Riolan, a fairly common form of scientific communication.
In published form, his essays/ letters are generally known as De Circulatione . The first letter, probably written in 1648 or 1649, presents a set of detailed answers to Riolan's objections. The first three paragraphs and the closing paragraph of the second letter also direct answers to Riolan. But the rest answers many of the objections made by one and all in the years leading up to this point, and includes a description of four new experiments he had performed since publication of DMC.
Like the interchanges mentioned earlier, the second letter starts off with some courteous, even courtly, language. But it also ncludes some honest venting of feelings long pent up against "those who cry out that I have striven after the empty glory of vivisections, and [who] disparage and ridicule with childish levity the frogs, snakes, flies, and other lower animals which I have brought on to my stage. Nor do they abstain from scurrilous language."
Harvey writes that he refuses to "return scurrility with scurrility." Nevertheless, he adds, "It is unavoidable that dogs bark and vomit their surfeit . . . but one must take care that they do not bite, or kill with their savage madness, or gnaw with a canine tooth the very bones and foundations of truth." Finally, "Let them enjoy their evil nature. . . . Let them continue with their scurrility until it irks if it does not shame them, and finally tires them out."
He kept to his word. His only other major publication, De generatione (1651) , summarized later work he had been doing on embryology. True, his intent in these efforts was, at least partly, to buttress his work on circulation, but he steered clear of the controversy itself.
Because of Harvey's early experience, this publication had to be pulled from him by the same Dr. Ent who had been one of his early supporters. Ent later reported that Harvey argued at first. "Do you really wish once again to send me out into the treacherous sea away from the peace of this haven [ his brother's house ] in which I pass my life? You know well how much trouble my earlier studies evoked. . . ."
Nevertheless, Harvey was by this time enjoying a rather different atmosphere than he had faced a quarter century earlier. Though there were still objections being voiced, and complaints about the overturning of ancient wisdom, he had managed to live long enough to see his theories widely accepted and even admired. Science historian I. B. Cohen maintains that Thomas Hobbes's seminal masterpiece, Leviathan ( 1651) , was heavily influenced by Harvey's work. Harvey seems also to have found a kind of peace in his researches, both earlier and later in his career.
We don't hear much of his wife, but she was apparently a source of strength and quiet pleasure over the 40 years of their marriage. She died in 1646, after which he spent his later years living with his brother, Eliab.
In that same period he was offered the presidency of the college he loved for so long and so well. Pleading ill health and the weariness of old age, he turned it down. He appears also to have turned down the offer of certain titles, referring to them as "wooden leggs," which was his way of showing his valuation of learning over rank.
Abraham Cowley, in his "Ode, Upon Dr. Harvey" ( 1663), refers to:
Coy Nature, ( which remain'd, though Aged grown, A Beauteous virgin still, injoyed by none, Nor seen unveiled by any one) When Harvey's violent passion she did see, Began to tremble and to flee . . .
But, says Cowley, eventually she would strike back:
For though his Wit the force of Age withstand, His Body alas! and Time it must command, And Nature now, so long by him surpass't, Will sure have her revenge on him at last.
But not until 1657, at which time Harvey had reached the age of 79, a small miracle in those days, and with faculties intact and active till the last. He had become a man of wealth, but had simple tastes and was generous both publicly and to his friends and family.
Bishop Brian Duppa, a friend and neighbor of Harvey in his later days, considered Harvey a good example of long life, and felt that "being of a dry sear body, he praeserved it so long by the rules of art and diet . . . Then," Duppa adds, "his life went out like a spark, without any violence or noise at all."
Though Harvey continued to express some bitterness and cynicism in his later years, the consensus seems to be that he managed to transcend the difficult years and to show an essential humanity and to exhibit, as one of his colleagues put it, a kind of "facetious [witty] courteousness."
One of Harvey's problems was that he could never explain how the interchange occurred between venous and arterial blood. In the same year that DMC appeared, there was born the infant who— 33 years later, and 4 years after Harvey's death— provided the proof Harvey had lacked. Using an improved microscope, Marcello Malpighi, an Italian physiologist, was able to show that arterial blood does not simply leak out into the tissues, to be collected somehow by the veins, as was commonly believed. Rather, his microscopical studies showed clearly the exquisitely tiny capillaries; these, distributed throughout the body, connect the two sets of vessels. The circuit was, finally, complete, and Harvey could rest in peace.
Trisha Sangus was busy, and more than a little frustrated. As the General Manager of a 275-room resort hotel, she knew the peak season was about to begin, and she had no Front Office Manager to handle the supervision of her front desk staff, the reservationists, van drivers, night auditors, and other guest service employees. Without an experienced Front Office Manager, the tourist season could be extremely difficult. She had spent the entire morning on the telephone attempting to do background checks on the three top applicants she had interviewed. Inevitably, she got the same response from all of the past employers she called. Either they would not give out any information about the candidates or they would only tell Trisha the person s name and employment dates. It seemed as if everyone was too cautious to say anything that she could use to help make a good hiring decision. She wondered if it was worth the effort of verifying the employment of her applicants at all.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the telephone. It was her Human Resource Director, asking whether Trisha had made a decision about purchasing employee workbooks that explained the new tip reporting requirements, which had changed again, making the old booklets that had been used for employee training obsolete. Trisha asked the director to get a cost estimate on the 75 booklets they would need, and promised a decision in the next few days. As she hung up the telephone, Trisha wondered how many of her Food and Beverage employees were actually in compliance with the new reporting requirements. It sure seemed easier when the government left people alone, she thought. On the other hand, it was only fair for employees to pay all the taxes they legally owed.
Trisha looked at her watch and jumped up from behind her desk. Her monthly safety meeting was about to start. The meeting was to be chaired by her Director of Security, and she knew how important it was to attend. It sent the right message, Trisha thought, for her employees on the Safety Committee to see her at the meetings. It let them know how she felt about the importance of safety and security training. Unfortunately, she had only had time to skim the article on Workplace Violence that she knew was to make up the major topic of this week's meeting. Lately, it seemed there were too few hours in the day to accomplish all that she had to. Keeping up her own education in the field was getting harder and harder each month.
The last meeting of the day was the most difficult. Sanitation scores on the local Health Department inspections had been going down over the past few months. The violations were not serious, but the scores did tell Trisha that the managers in that department seemed to be letting the small things slip. A quick walk through the kitchen made Trisha aware that the problems remained unresolved. She wondered why the standards seemed to be slipping, despite the fact that her Food and Beverage Director, and indeed most of the food and beverage staff, were longtime property employees.
As Trisha walked back to her office, she reflected on the ssues of the day. She had worked hard to become a General Manager. She was one of the youngest GMs in her company. The customer contact she so enjoyed, however, seemed to be less and less a part of her daily routine now. Rules, regulations, and paperwork seemed to consume most of her time. She needed to reprioritize her efforts, but so many issues were important that she was not quite sure where to start.
As she flipped through the afternoon mail, she noticed a headline on the front page of the local newspaper, City Hotel Targeted in Lawsuit. She was familiar with the hotel. Its General Manager was one of her friends and colleagues. Trisha knew that it was an important part of her job to minimize the chances of a lawsuit like the one in the paper from happening at her hotel. She wondered if her own efforts were enough, and if not, what she could do to improve them.
Today more than ever before, hospitality managers must be multitalented individuals. In addition to knowledge of their own designated area of expertise, such as food and beverage, marketing, accounting, or rooms management, hospitality managers are often called upon to assume specialized roles, such as employee counselor, interior designer, facility engineer, or computer systems analyst. Given the complexity of the modern business world, it is simply a fact that the skill level required for success today in this field is greater than it was in the past.
Hospitality management has always been a challenging profession. Whether in a casino, a school lunch program, a five-star hotel, a sports stadium concession program, or myriad other environments, hospitality managers are required to have a breadth of skill not found in many other areas of management. Hospitality managers are in charge of securing raw materials, and producing a product or service and selling it—all under the same roof. This makes them very different from their manufacturing counterparts, (who are in charge of product production only), and their retail counterparts, (who sell, but do not manufacture, the product). Perhaps most important, the hospitality manager has direct contact with guests, the ultimate end users of the products and services supplied by the industry.
Additionally, hospitality managers are called upon frequently to make decisions that will, in one manner or another, impact the legal standing of their employers. Robert James, founder of one of the largest hotel contract management companies in the United States once estimated that 60-70 percent of the decisions he made on a daily basis involved some type of legal dimension. This is not to say that hospitality managers need to be attorneys. They do not. However, the decisions that they make may or may not increase their organization's chances of needing the services of an attorney.
Consider the situation where a hospitality manager is informed that a guest has slipped and fallen in an area of the dining room containing a salad bar. It appears that the guest had been serving himself and slipped on a piece of lettuce dropped by a previous guest. Was this a simple accident? Could it have been prevented? Is the restaurant responsible? What medical attention, if any, should the manager be prepared to provide? What if the injuries are severe? Should the restaurant be held responsible? Can the restaurant manager be held personally responsible? Most important, what should the manager actually do when the incident is brought to his or her attention? What, if anything, should the employees do? Who is responsible if the employees were not trained in what to do?
From this example, it is clear that the hospitality manager is in a position to profoundly influence the legal position of the operation. Day after day, in hundreds of situations, the actions of hospitality managers will influence the likelihood of the business or the manager becoming the subject of litigation.
There is a unique body of law relating to the food service, travel, and lodging industries. These laws have developed over time as society and the courts have sought to define the relationship between the individual or business serving as the host and the individual who is the guest. This textbook will give you up-to-date information on the most important of those special laws and relationships.
This book is not designed to make you a lawyer. But it will, if you use it properly, train you to think like one. It will teach you to consider carefully how the actions taken by you and those you work with will be viewed in a legal context. The industry's very best legal educators, hospitality managers, writers, and reviewers have created this book especially for you. They all speak with one voice when they say "Welcome!" to the world of hospitality management. As an industry, we need your skill, ability, and creativity. This textbook, if studied carefully, will help you become the hospitality manager you deserve to be and that our industry and guests require you to be.
Jack P. Jefferies, who served for more than 20 years as legal counsel for the American Hotel and Motel Association (AH& MA), has stated that: "Over 135,000 new federal and state laws are issued annually, as well as hundreds of thousands of federal and state administrative rules." 1 With this much change in the law, some believe that the topic is too complex to learn in an introductory course or from one book. In addition, they would argue that because the law is constantly changing, even if an individual learned the law today, his or her knowledge would be out of date in a very short time. While these positions are understandable, they argue for, not against, the future hospitality manager's study of legal management.
While the law is indeed complex, certain basic principles and procedures can be established that will minimize a manager's chances of encountering legal difficulty. Because that is true, it is less important to know, for example, the specific rules of food safety in every city than it is to know the basic principles of serving safe food. No one, not even the best lawyer, can be expected to know everything about every area of the law. In the same way, hospitality managers are not required to have a comprehensive knowledge of every law or lawsuit that impacts their industry. What they must know, however, is how to effectively manage their legal environment. To begin this journey, it is important that they:
Common law and civil law are the two major systems of law in place in the western world.common law is the body of law that descended from Great Britain and is used in the United States and most countries in the British Commonwealth. Civil law descended from the Roman Empire and is used by most Western European countries, as well as Latin America, Asia, and Africa. While both legal systems certainly defy oversimplification, it can generally be said that common law comes from reviewing past litigation that has been decided by the courts. It is greatly interested in precedent, or what has been decided in previous court cases with similar situations or facts.
In civil law, decisions evolve based on written laws or codes. Judges in civil law feel less bound by what others have decided before them and more compelled by the law as it has been established by government bodies. Given the nearness of countries within Europe, and the influence of the British Empire, it is no wonder that these two great legal systems frequently operated in close proximity, thus often blurring their distinctions. Interestingly, the term civil law is actually used in the common law system to refer to private law (or private disputes), as opposed to public or criminal matters.
Common law developed in England following the Norman Conquest. Essentially, the purpose of the common law was to interpret and enforce rules related to the granting of land by the British monarchy to those subjects deemed worthy of such land grants. The barons who received this land would often grant parts of it to those they felt deserving. The courts that were created at this time were charged with overseeing the peaceful resolution of disputes regarding land, inheritance, marriage, and other issues related to land grants.
Between 1765 and 1769, an Englishman, Sir William Blackstone, wrote four volumes he titled the Commentaries. In these books, Blackstone sought to compile a general overview of all the common law of his time. Blackstone's work formed the basis for much of the law in the New World as his work migrated there with the English colonial settlers. Laws related to those in the hospitality industry were, of course, included.
Despite the anger against Britain that resulted in the Revolutionary War, the colonists of the soon-to-be United States embraced common law as their favored rules of conduct and responsibility. Blackstone's work was widely used as a textbook in the law schools of the new country, and it influenced many of its early law students, including Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, James Monroe, and Henry Clay. Inevitably, succeeding generations throughout the history of the United States have taken the common law as they have found it, and modified it to meet the needs of their ever changing society.
It should come as no surprise that a rapidly changing society will often revise its rules of conduct and responsibility. This is true in society as a whole and in how society views the hospitality industry. In the United States of the 1850s, obviously, one would not have been expected to find a law requiring a certain number of automobile parking spaces to be designated for disabled individuals seeking to enjoy an evening meal at the town's finest restaurant, because the world in that era contained neither the automobile nor the inclination of society to grant special parking privileges to those who were disabled. In today's society, we have both. What changed? First, the physical world changed. We now have automobiles, along with the necessity of parking them. More significant, however, is the fact that society's view of how disabled individuals should be treated has changed. Parking ordinances today require designated "disabled" parking spaces, generally located close to the main entrances of buildings to ensure easy access. Not only is it good business to have such spaces, current laws mandate that the hospitality manager provide them.
In this case, parking requirements grew out of a law created at the federal government level. The law is called the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This act, and its many applications to hospitality, will be discussed in greater detail in Chapter 7, "Legally Selecting Employees." It is mentioned here to illustrate that laws evolve just as society evolves. Changes in society lead to changes in the law.
Laws in the United States may be enacted at the federal, state, and local levels. At each of these levels, the laws reflect the changing desires of the citizens and their elected officials. Because society includes members who operate hospitality facilities, hospitality-related laws created and modified by society impact those who work in the hospitality industry.
Future hospitality managers will encounter laws that do not currently exist. How then can they be expected to operate their facilities in full compliance with the law throughout their career? Just as important, how can they be expected to manage these facilities in a way that will minimize their chances of doing something illegal? The answer is not found in an attempt to monitor every legislative body empowered to enact law. The answer is to operate hospitality facilities in a way that combines preventative legal management with sound ethical behavior.
In the medical field, it is widely agreed that it is better to prevent a serious illness beforehand than to treat it after the fact. For example, doctors would advise that it is preferable to prevent a heart attack through proper diet, exercise, and the cessation of smoking than to perform a bypass operation on a patient after a heart attack has occurred. In the case of prevention, the doctor advises the patient, but it is, in large measure, up to the patient to put into practice the recommendations of the physician. In a similar vein, it is far better for hospitality managers to operate their facilities in a way that minimizes the risk of litigation, rather than in a manner that exposes their operations to the threat of litigation.
As noted, the law is not static; in fact, it changes frequently. Managers must stay abreast of these changes so that ultimately, on a daily basis, they integrate their acquired knowledge and awareness of the law into a personal style of management and decision making. The STEM acronym was coined as an easy way to remember th e steps in a decision-making process that can assist managers in getting started. It stands for: select, teach, educate, and manage. It is presented here as a way of beginning to "STEM" the tide of litigation. The details of how STEM works are included in the sidebar.
On any given day, the General Manager of a hotel or restaurant in the United States will make decisions about hiring, firing, and/or providing benefits to employees. Other daily tasks might include approving a meeting space contract for a major event to be held on the property, an event that involves the service of alcohol. Decisions regarding if and when to add a lifeguard to the pool area, whether to subcontract parking services to a local valet company, and even the uniform requirements of staff will all be made by the manager. All of these seemingly independent decisions have a significant common denominator: their legal implication.
Whether it is opening a restaurant, operating a country club, or hiring a housekeeper, hospitality managers must be aware of the legal implications of each and every decision they make. It is of vital importance that managers resolve to be fair, to operate within the law, and to manage preventatively. On occasions when they do not, and a lawsuit results, the courts may hold managers liable for their inattentiveness.
This philosophy of preventative management becomes even more important when one considers that a great many litigation matters encountered by hospitality operators have a common denominator: a poorly prepared employee. Injuries and the resulting damages, whether financial, physical, or mental, are usually a consequence of an employee who has not been sufficiently taught to perform his or her duties. He or she may make an omission, such as not cleaning up a spill near a salad bar, or he or she may pursue an activity outside the scope of his or her duties, such as sexual harassment or arguing with a customer.
The recent increasing number of lawsuits is not caused solely by employees, of course. The legal system and some attorneys certainly share the blame. Managers, however, bear most of the responsibility for what has been occurring. When an employee makes a mistake, often it is the result of management error. Either the wrong person was hired for the job, the duties for the job were not effectively communicated to the employee, the employee was not properly trained, or the employee was not effectively supervised or motivated to do the job properly.
To create an environment conducive to motivation, you must first establish trust and respect. When managers make a commitment to employees or guests, they must follow through. They also must be willing to accept responsibility for their mistakes, and to apologize for them when appropriate. Managers must set an example: If a manager asks employees to be on time, then the manager must also be on time; if managers expect employees to pay for food, beverages, and services, then they must also pay for food, beverages and services. In current parlance, managers must walk the talk!
Finally, all of the planning, organizing, controlling, and motivating in the world will not help if management cannot effectively communicate its vision and plan to the employees who will carry out that vision. The ability to communicate with skill and grace is a critical component of being a successful manager.
Today's culturally diverse workforce will require diverse motivating techniques. Remember that different people are motivated by different incentives. Money is a perfect example. To some, it is a strong motivating factor; others would prefer more time off instead of additional pay. Managers must know their employees, and determine, by asking them if need be, what would motivate them, both as individuals and as a work-team. Examples of possible motivational efforts include:
All of the above and others are the types of activities a manager should undertake to build the trust and loyalty of employees. If a consensus can be reached on what to do and how to do it, the motivating task becomes much easier.
The goal of STEM is to reduce employee mistakes. By continually encouraging and rewarding good performance, managers can create an environment that will, in fact, reduce the number of times employees make mistakes. Remember that even though a goal may not be reached, the efforts of the individual or group still may merit praise. In other words, managers should try to catch their employees doing something right instead of trying to catch them doing something wrong.
It is not possible to manage effectively while sitting behind the desk. Effective managers know that "management by walking around" is alive and well, particularly in a service industry such as hospitality. Of course, an important part of managing is the ability to motivate employees. As much as managers would like all employees to come to the job every day brimming with enthusiasm, the fact is, too often, just the opposite is true. A significant number of employees may dislike coming to work, dislike their jobs, their situation in life, and much more. They must be motivated to perform at the level management has targeted in order to exceed management's own expectations, and, more important, those of the guest.
To recap the STEM process: Select the right employee for the right job; teach employees while creating a training trail; educate management; and motivate staff in a positive and nurturing manner. All these efforts will help foster loyalty and goodwill while reducing the likelihood of litigation.
It may not always be clear whether a course of action is illegal or simply wrong. Put another way, an activity may be legal, but still the wrong thing to do. As a future hospitality manager who seeks to manage his or her legal environment and that of other employees, it is important that you be able to make this distinction.
Ethics refers to the behavior of an individual toward another individual or group. Ethical behavior refers to behavior that is considered "right" or the "right thing to do." Consistently choosing ethical behavior over behavior that is not ethical will go a long way toward avoiding legal difficulty. This is true because hospitality managers often will not know what the law requires in a given situation. In cases of litigation, juries may have to make determinations of whether a manager's actions were intentionally ethical or unethical. How juries and judges decide these questions may well determine their view of a manager's liability for an action or inaction.
While it may sometimes be difficult to determine precisely what constitutes ethical behavior, the following seven guidelines can prove to be very useful when evaluating a possible course of action:
Consider the hospitality manager who is responsible for a large wedding reception in a hotel. The bride and groom have selected a specific champagne from the hotel's wine list to be used for their champagne punch. The contract signed by the bride and groom lists the selling price per gallon of the punch, but does not specifically mention the name of the champagne selected by the couple. In the middle of the reception, the hotel runs out of that brand of champagne. A less costly substitute is used for the duration of the reception. Neither the bride and groom nor the guests notice the difference. Using the seven ethical guidelines just listed, a manager could evaluate whether he or she should reduce the bride and groom's final bill by the difference in selling price of the two champagnes.
How an individual determines what constitutes ethical behavior may be influenced by his or her cultural background, religious views, professional training, and personal moral code. A complete example of the way someone would actually use the seven ethical guidelines is demonstrated in the following hypothetical situation:
An Ethical Situation Assume that you are the Food and Beverage Director of a large hotel. You are planning for your New Year's Eve gala, and require a large amount of wine and champagne. You conduct a competitive bidding process with the purveyors in your area, and, based upon quality and price, you place a very large order (in excess of $20,000) with a single purveyor. One week later, you receive a case of very expensive champagne, delivered to your home with a nice note from the purveyor's representative stating how much they appreciated the order and that they are really looking forward to doing business with you in the years ahead. What do you do with the champagne?
Ethical Analysis Your first thought may be the most obvious one; that is, you drink it. But hopefully, you will first ask yourself the seven questions of the ethical decision-making process.
What are some of the realistic alternatives to keeping the champagne?
Use the seven questions to evaluate each of these three courses of action. Do you see any differences?
Some hospitality managers feel it is important to set their ethical beliefs down in a "code of ethics." Figure 1.1 is the code of ethics developed by the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA). These managers are involved primarily in the management of private and public country clubs, city clubs, and athletic clubs.
In some cases, a company president or other operating officer will relay the ethical philosophy of a company to its employees in a section of the employee handbook or, as Figure 1.2 illustrates, through a direct policy statement. The ethics statement in Figure 1.2 was created by Hyatt Hotels.
Notice that in both the CMAA's code of ethics and in Hyatt's corporate policy, reference is made to the importance of following the law. Laws do not exist, however, to cover every situation that future hospitality managers will encounter. Society's view of acceptable behavior, as well as of specific laws, are constantly changing. Ethical behavior, however, is always important to the successful guidance of responsible and profitable hospitality organizations.
Figure 1.1 CMAA Code of Ethics.
The following statement is designed to reaffirm and further implement Hyatt Corporation's ("Hyatt") standing policy of strict observance of all laws and ethical standards applicable in jurisdictions in which the Corporation conducts its business. This statement is applicable to all of Hyatt's subsidiaries, affiliates and divisions, operating both inside and outside the United States (the "Corporation") and is applicable to all officers and employees of the Corporation. Unless amended by the Board of Directors of Hyatt, this statement and the compliance therewith is subject to no waivers or exceptions in the name of competitive or commercial demands, social traditions, or other local exigencies.
1. Policy Statement to Conduct Business in Accordance with all Laws and Complete Honesty
It is the policy of the Corporation to conduct its business in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations of the jurisdictions in which such business is conducted and to do so with complete honesty and integrity and in accordance with the highest moral and ethical standards.
2. Use of Corporate Assets
No corporate funds, assets, services or facilities (including, for the purposes hereof, without limitation, complimentary items, discounts and amenities), shall be used, directly or indirectly, for any unlawful or unethical purpose. Any question as to the legality or ethics of any contemplated use of corporate funds, assets, services or facilities shall be referred to Hyatt's general counsel.
3. Use of Corporate Assets for Political Purposes
No corporate funds, assets, services, or facilities shall be used, directly or indirectly, for the purpose of aiding, supporting or opposing any political party, association, organization or candidate where such use is illegal or improper under the laws or regulations of the relevant jurisdiction. This includes loans of corporate funds, assets, services or facilities and direct or indirect payments, including reimbursements of employees or third parties for political contributions or payments which they might personally have made. The use of corporate funds, assets, services or facilities for political purposes, in jurisdictions where the same are permitted by law shall not be prohibited if the use shall be with the specific prior written authorization of a senior officer of Hyatt and the advance written approval of Hyatt's general counsel after a determination by him that said use would be lawful and proper in all respects. Employees, may, of course, make personal political contributions as they choose, so long as such contribution is not in violation of any applicable laws, but no employee may be compensated or reimbursed, directly or indirectly, by the Corporation for any such personal contribution.
4. Use of Corporate Assets to Unlawfully Secure or Retain Business
No corporate funds, assets, services or facilities shall be used to secure or retain business where such use is in violation of any applicable law or regulation. Without limitation of the foregoing, no employee shall engage in any form of bribery or kickbacks and no corporate funds, assets, services or kickbacks and no corporate funds, assets, services or facilities shall be used to influence or corrupt the action of any government official, agent or employee, or of any private customer, supplier or other person. The foregoing includes direct and indirect payment (including payments through consultants, suppliers or other third parties) or use of corporate funds, assets, services or facilities in any form to or the benefit of governmental or non-governmental persons including the reimbursement of employees for payments or gifts which they might personally have made.
5. Use of Corporate Assets to Influence Decisions Affecting the Corporation
No corporate funds, assets, services or facilities shall be used in violation of any applicable law or regulation for the purpose of influencing any decision or action affecting the Corporation, including the performance or the timely performance of official duty or action or to ward off or postpone decisions on matters affecting the Corporation. The foregoing includes direct and indirect payments (including payments through consultants, suppliers or other third parties) or use of corporate funds, assets, services or facilities in any form to or for the benefit of governmental or non-governmental persons including the reimbursement of employees for payments or gifts which they might personally have made.
6. Use of Corporate Assets in Violation of Labor Laws
No corporate funds, assets, services or facilities shall be used in violation of any applicable law or regulation concerning labor unions. All labor unions must be dealt with as any normal customer and the extension of special courtesies outside the normal business context is illegal.
7. Acceptance of Gifts, Payments, Fees or Privileges
Employees of the Corporation are not to solicit or accept gifts, payments, fees, services, special valuable privileges, pleasure or vacation trips or accommodations, loans (except on conventional terms from banks or loan institutions), or other special favors from any organization, person or group that does, or is seeking to do business with the Corporation without prior written approval of the President of Hyatt or the President of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. The foregoing shall not prohibit the acceptance of Christmas gifts (not in cash, bonds, or similar items) of nominal value (generally not exceeding $150.00) where the giving and accepting of such gifts are a normal practice in the business involved and the same is known to and approved by the employee's supervisor. No employees shall accept anything of value in exchange for referral of third parties to any such person, organization or group.
8. Entertainment of Customers, Suppliers, Employees and Business Associates
It is recognized that reasonable and proper entertainment of selected customers, suppliers, prospective employees and business associates, is, at times, in the best interest of the Corporation and is generally proper. However, such entertainment must at all times be in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations and in accordance with the approvals and reporting procedures established by the Corporation. It is further recognized that the furnishing of nominal gifts or the furnishing of corporate services or facilities on a complimentary basis are often in the best interests of the Corporation and are reasonable and proper. However, employees of the Corporation may furnish gifts, services or facilities at company expense, only if the same shall meet all of the following conditions:
9. Use and Disclosure of Company Assets
No undisclosed fund or asset of the Corporation shall be established for any purpose.
10. Accurate Reporting of Financial Statements
No false, artificial or misstated entry shall be made in any of the books, records or financial statements of the Corporation for any reason, and no employee shall engage in any arrangement that results in such prohibited act. All entries on the books and records of the Corporation shall reflect the real nature or purpose of the transaction reported, and no corporate funds, assets, services or facilities shall be used with the intention or understanding that such use, in whole or in part, is for any purpose other than that described by the documents supporting the use in question. In addition, no one should knowingly supply false or artificial or misstated information in any non-financial record of the company.
11. Ownership Interest in Competing Businesses
No employee or member of his or her immediate family who has a key position at Hyatt shall be engaged in or shall have any ownership interest in any firm or business which is in competition with or does business with Hyatt, directly or indirectly, or is otherwise substantially engaged in the business of travel and entertainment.
12. Ownership of Materials, Techniques, Manuals, Systems, Programs, or Information
Training materials, techniques operating manuals, data processing systems, programs, procedures, databases, sales and marketing information, marketing strategies, financial information, personnel information, discoveries and inventions including processes, data, lists, systems, products, training materials, operating manuals, and other matters conceived or put into practice while an employee works for Hyatt are the property of Hyatt and not the employee. In addition, this information is not common public knowledge and is therefore considered "Confidential Information." Unauthorized use or disclosure of Confidential Information to a third party may cause irreparable harm to Hyatt. By executing this Disclosure Statement, the employee agrees to maintain the confidentiality of such proprietary information during the period of his/her employment and thereafter. In addition, upon breach of this condition of employment, the employee agrees that he/she shall forfeit any claim that he/she might have to incentive-type compensation of any kind upon such employee's termination from Hyatt. All Hyatt materials and possessions relating to any Confidential Information must be promptly returned upon termination from Hyatt.
13. Statements to Auditors
No employee shall make a false or misleading statement to the Corporation's independent auditors or internal auditors, nor shall any employee conceal or fail to reveal any information necessary to make the statements made to such auditors not misleading. In addition, no employee shall make a false or misleading statement to any investigator or other third party representative hired by the Company to investigate any internal or external complaint or business discrepancy.
14. Reporting Requirements and Procedures
Any employee obtaining information of knowledge of any violation of any of the foregoing prohibitions shall promptly report such matter to Hyatt's General Counsel.
15. Policy Questions
Any employee, who has any question regarding the interpretation of or compliance with this policy statement, should discuss the matter with his superior and/or Hyatt's General Counsel.
16. Disciplinary Action
Any employee participating in any violation of this policy statement shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
Any question relating to specific provisions of this policy or any requests for advance-approval decisions with respect to this policy or representations concerning the establishment of funds should be directed to the attention of Hyatt's General Counsel.
Hyatt is committed to providing a work environment that is free of discrimination. In keeping with this commitment, we maintain a strict policy prohibiting unlawful harassment, including sexual harassment. This policy applies to all employees of Hyatt, including supervisors and nonsupervisory employees. It prohibits harassment in any form, including verbal and physical harassment.
Sexual harassment is a behavior which undermines the integrity of the employment relationship. All employees must be allowed to work in an environment free form unsolicited and unwelcomed sexual overtures. Sexual harassment does not refer occasional compliments. It refers to behavior which is not welcomed, which is personally offensive, which reduces morale, and which therefore interferes with employee effectiveness.
Sexual harassment may include actions such as:
Normal, pleasant, courteous, mutually respectful and non-coercive interaction between employees is not considered to be sexual harassment. However, sexual harassment is an insidious practice which demeans individuals being treated in such a manner. Hyatt will not tolerate sexual harassment of its employees by anyone—supervisors, employees, clients and/or customers.
Employees who violate this policy are subject to termination. If you observe conduct which you believe is sexual harassment, or if you feel you have been the victim of sexual harassment, please advise you General Manager or Director of Human Resources or Divisional Director of Human Resources.
Hyatt greatly appreciates the talent and dedication of employees. As thanks for your commitment, it is our daily practice to treat employees with dignity and respect. Hyatt's employee relations philosophy is extended by the following:
We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, age or handicap, or any other group protected by law.
To satisfy the diverse needs of our customers, we must function as a team whose goal is to provide our guests with the highest quality of service. As part of our teamwork philosophy, we have a policy of open communication at all times. We feel that it is the best way to effectively deal with the daily challenges and opportunities of our business.
I have read and understand this entire document containing the Hyatt Employee Relations Policy, Discrimination Policy and Corporate Ethics Policy Statement.
I understand that I am responsible as an employee to abide fully with all information contained herein.
If, at any time during my employment, I have a question about Hyatt's Ethics Policy or need to disclose knowledge of a violation or request an approval or waiver, I will promptly notify my General Manager.
Questions, Conflicts of Interest, Requests for Approval or Waivers
Figure 1.2 Hyatt Hotels corporate policy.
Assume that your local municipality is considering the passage of a law that would prohibit the sale of all tobacco roducts from the interiors of bars and restaurants, but not grocery stores. The restaurant you manage has a cocktail lounge, and cigarettes are both consumed and sold in that section of your restaurant. There is no current effort to rohibit smoking in cocktail lounges, such as the one you operate. You are considering whether to address the local government body charged with creating such legislation:
THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY IN COURT
At this point in the remainder of the book—Chapters 2 through 13—you will be referred to actual legal cases involving some component of the hospitality industry and the area of the law that is discussed in the chapter. In some instances, instead of an actual case you will be referred to a periodical where the legal issue is discussed or reinforced.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN IN THIS CHAPTER?
As a manager you will be called upon to make many decisions that have legal consequences. It is unrealistic to expect a manager to know all of the laws that could potentially impact his or her operation. Because litigation is prolific in the hospitality industry, and laws change frequently, it is imperative that you develop and practice a management philosophy of prevention, such as STEM.
Just because a law does not prohibit a particular activity, it still may not be the right thing to do. Accordingly, you should also follow a process that will assist you in determining the ethical implications of a decision as well as the legal implications, such as the one described in the chapter.
Draft a one-page code of conduct for an independent restaurant with 50 employees. Be prepared to justify your document to the rest of the class.