Animal Research and Testing, Is it Ethical?
“It is a simple fact that many, if not most, of today’s modern medical miracles would not exist if experimental animals had not been available to medical scientists. It is equally a fact that, should we as a society decide the use of animal subjects is ethically unacceptable and therefore must be stopped, medical progress will slow to a snail’s pace. Such retardation will in itself have a huge ethical ‘price tag’ in terms of continued human and animal suffering from problems such as diabetes, cancer, degenerative cardiovascular diseases, and so forth.”
Dr. Simmonds, a veterinarian who specializes in the care of laboratory ...view middle of the document...
Experiments such as these seem to be outdated and actually are by today’s means, scientists now study commonly for three general purposes: (1) biomedical and behavioral research, (2) education, (3) drug and product testing (AMA 60). These three types of experiments allow scientists to gain vast amounts of knowledge about human beings. Biomedical and behavioral experiments are directed at determining how behavior is affected by certain factors used on the animals. Educational experiments help train students in school.
Majors like medicine, physiology, and general science all use dead animals in experiments. Drug and product testing use animals to determine the safety of new drugs and how toxic they really are. Without the presence of animals in research, what else would scientists use, a human being?
“Animals are important in research precisely because they have complex body systems that react and interact with stimuli much as humans do” (AMA 61). This quote directly correlates with some of the common household pets, which are considered important resources for biomedical and behavioral research. One clear example of an invaluable household pet used in biomedical research are dogs. Dogs are used for many types of research mainly because they have the same relative size of organs when compared to humans. “The first successful kidney transplant was performed in a dog and techniques used to save the lives of ‘blue babies,’ and babies with structural defects in their hearts, were developed with dogs. Open heart surgical techniques, coronary bypass surgery and heart transplantation were all developed using dogs” (AMA 61).
Other animals that are typically used in experiments are rats and mice. Doctors find these species very accommodating when they study different genetic experiments. The mice reproduce very quickly; thus the doctors can view the experiment of genes over several generations of that distinct family.
“Experiments on cats have enhanced the understanding of the corpus callosum, a band of fibers that connects the left and right sides of the brain needed for transfer of information from one side to another...led directly to the development of new treatments for patients with strokes, language disorders, brain damage, intractable epilepsy, and other neurologic conditions” (AMA 63).
Biomedical and behavioral research have clearly expanded horizons and greatly benefited humans due to the use of these animals.
Animal experimentation also plays a critical role in dealing with educational factors.
Experiments have been very helpful to many students trying to learn different techniques or types of surgeries. Veterinarians have to test and research on animals, otherwise would never know what to do in different situations. Medical schools, colleges, and physiology departments all use animal research, but in different numbers. “Fewer animals are used for education than for any other purpose...Educators...