Magel This is an ethical and moral issue of the first order.
Animal experiments and drug safety Scientists say that banning animal experiments would mean either an end to testing new drugs or using human beings for all safety tests Animal experiments are not used to show that drugs are safe and effective in human beings - they cannot do that.
Instead, they are used to help decide whether a particular drug should be tested on people. Animal experiments eliminate some potential drugs as either ineffective or too dangerous to use on human beings.
We have 4 possible new drugs to cure HIV. Drug A killed all the rats, mice and dogs. Drug B killed all the dogs and rats. Drug C killed all the mice and rats.
Drug D was taken by all the animals up to huge doses with no ill effect. Which of those drugs should we give to some healthy young human volunteers as the first dose to humans all other things being equal?
To the undecided and non-prejudiced the answer is, of course, obvious. It would also be obvious to a normal 12 year old child An alternative, acceptable answer would be, none of those drugs because even drug D could cause damage to humans.
That is true, which is why Drug D would be given as a single, very small dose to human volunteers under tightly controlled and regulated conditions.
Are animal experiments useful?
Animal experiments only benefit human beings if their results are valid and can be applied to human beings. Not all scientists are convinced that these tests are valid and useful. Moreover, a great deal of animal experimentation has been misleading and resulted in either withholding of drugs, sometimes for years, that were subsequently found to be highly beneficial to humans, or to the release and use of drugs that, though harmless to animals, have actually contributed to human suffering and death.
But the argument is about whether the experiments are morally right or wrong. The general moral character of the experimenter is irrelevant.
What is relevant is the ethical approach of the experimenter to each experiment. John P Gluck has suggested that this is often lacking: The lack of ethical self-examination is common and generally involves the denial or avoidance of animal suffering, resulting in the dehumanization of researchers and the ethical degradation of their research subjects.
Gluck; Ethics and Behavior, Vol. The use of animals in research should evolve out of a strong sense of ethical self-examination.
The possible benefits to humanity of performing the experiment are completely irrelevant to the morality of the case, because rights should never be violated except in obvious cases like self-defence. And as one philosopher has written, if this means that there are some things that humanity will never be able to learn, so be it.
This bleak result of deciding the morality of experimenting on animals on the basis of rights is probably why people always justify animal experiments on consequentialist grounds; by showing that the benefits to humanity justify the suffering of the animals involved.
Justifying animal experiments Those in favour of animal experiments say that the good done to human beings outweighs the harm done to animals. This is a consequentialist argument, because it looks at the consequences of the actions under consideration. Ethical arithmetic Animal experiments and ethical arithmetic The consequentialist justification of animal experimentation can be demonstrated by comparing the moral consequences of doing or not doing an experiment.
The basic arithmetic If performing an experiment would cause more harm than not performing it, then it is ethically wrong to perform that experiment.
The harm that will result from not doing the experiment is the result of multiplying three things together: But these are two conceptually different things.
The harm that will be done to the animals is certain to happen if the experiment is carried out The harm done to human beings by not doing the experiment is unknown because no-one knows how likely the experiment is to succeed or what benefits it might produce if it did succeed So the equation is completely useless as a way of deciding whether it is ethically acceptable to perform an experiment, because until the experiment is carried out, no-one can know the value of the benefit that it produces.related institutions entitled "Animal Experimentation in Universities, etc." (Director General, Science and International Affairs Bureau, ).
Based on this notiﬁcation, research institutions established policies for more appropriate conduct of animal experiments and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees, and applied them in detail. Protection of animals from cruelty through requirements of humane treatment.
Laws protecting animal rights proscribe certain forms of brutal and merciless treatment of animals in medical and scientific research and in the handling of and slaughter of animals for human consumption.
Animal experimentation and the invasive use of animals for teaching, is inherently wrong. The use of animals in research and teaching is more about tradition and history than it is about science.
Animals Australia is not opposed to 'scientific progress', but we are opposed to the use of animals . Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals I.
Introduction. It is the Policy of the Public Health Service (PHS) to require institutions to establish and maintain proper measures to ensure the appropriate care and use of all animals involved in research, research training, and biological testing activities (hereinafter referred to as "activities") conducted or.
Act. Use the AAVS Action Center to help make a difference for animals used in science.
From Congress to government agencies to companies and universities, AAVS provides you with the resources you need to end animal suffering. The MendelWeb Glossary. This is a glossary of terms that appear in Mendel's paper and other areas of MendelWeb. It is not meant to be exhaustive, and is aimed primarily at students in secondary and undergraduate schools.