Animal Rights and Medical Research
Doing an experiment on animal is one of the controversial issues. Whether, it is ethical to do an experiment on the animals or, it is essential. There is always a debate on this issue. For centuries, many researchers use animal in their biomedical researches. According to the statistics only MSU has used around 8815 animal for its medial researchers. Most of the animals that has been used in these medical researchers were rats, mice and gerbils (DeGrazia pp.692-695).
The struggle against animal research has been one of the most debatable issues of the decade. Even though, ...view middle of the document...
According to Bernard Rollen in his book, "Animal Abuse and Human Morality", scientists in the 1960’s concluded from many animal experiments that the inhaled tobacco smoke did not cause lung cancer. We all know that this is totally not true, and that smoking is a large contributor to lung cancer.
Another example of the inaccuracy of animal research is that the drug Milrinone, which raises cardiac output, increased survival in rats with artificially induced heart failure; humans with severe chronic, heart failure taking this drug had 30 percent increase in fatalities. Also in the same book, the antiviral drug Fioluridine seemed safe in animal experiments but also caused liver failure in 7 of 15 humans taking the drug. Five of these patients died as a result of the medication and the other two received liver transplants. Besides being cruel and inhumane, and sometimes inaccurate, animal research is also often unnecessary. The third reason why animal research should not be allowed is that it is often not necessary. "There are whole countries that do not use healthy animals to train veterinarians or teach surgical techniques," said, Liska O'Connor in her book, "Save Them, do not Abuse them"(Marc Bekoff pp.269-296).
Although animal experimentation is the most common, there are diverse other unusual, methods to scientific experimentation. The various methods other than animals include invitro methods, cell methods, computer model methods, and even human studies. Many questions arise on the topic of alternative methods that totally eliminate the use of animals. It has been proven that all of these methods combined at least limit the need for animals but do not entirely eliminate it. Unfortunately, these types of testing only reduce the stress to the animal, or reduce the number of animals required, while maintaining the quality of the information obtained (Goldberg). What the future holds for animal testing is unknown, but studies have shown that "over the past 20 years, the number of animals used in medical research has declined from 20 percent to about 50 percent" (Weakly Reader Publication). The history of animal experimentation shows that there is hope for better alternatives to animal testing that will one day, entirely eliminate it. "Animals have been used in research for more than 2000 years" (Day). Galen, born in 131 A.D, is considered to be the founder of experimental physiology because he used animals to prove that veins carry blood and not air(Stephen pp.63-65).
He had many mistakes, though, since human dissection was prohibited at the time. So in 1543 Vesalius corrected his mistakes by publishing his Structure of the Human Body which was based on human dissections (Day). Ever since the beginning of animal experimentation, opposition to it has grown over time. A philosopher named Jeremy Bentham opposed animal experimentation with one of his famous quotes, "The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But,...