Animal testing, also known as animal experimentation, animal research and in vivo testing, is the use of non-human animals in experiments that seek to control . Should Animals Be Used for Scientific or Commercial Testing? Read pros and cons in the debate. Supporting Biomedical Research. Americans for Medical Progress believes animal research plays a crucial part in the development of medical, veterinary and.
This changed due to the discovery of insulin in the 20th century. It all started when scientists removed the pancreas from a dog and then discovered that the dog developed diabetes.
Step by step, researchers discovered that specific cells in the pancreas were producing a substance that regulated the blood sugar. They continued their research by giving a diabetic dog repeated injections of mashed pancreatic cells from a healthy dog, and as a result the diabetic dog was relieved of symptoms. Ultimately, animal research led to the isolation of insulin from cattle, which saved the lives of millions of diabetic patients all over the world.
Today, thanks to further research, this animal insulin is replaced by synthetically produced insulin. The discovery of insulin is just one example, but animal research has led to many new treatments, development of surgical techniques and equipment like MRI scanners.
These advances combined with improved lifestyle factors result in longer-lived lives. Researchers have developed alternatives for animal experiments, which can take over parts of the necessary steps in drug development. An example of an alternative is the recently developed human 3D lung model which can replace inhalation studies with animals. In this model, human lung cells are grown in a culture dish. These cells behave similar to lung cells in the human body. This makes it possible to study the effects of gasses and volatile compounds on lung cells without using animals.
Another example is the ability to grow human stem cells into beating heart cells. When medications are added to these cells, researchers can observe whether this disturbs the rhythmic contraction of the heart cells. These disturbances are a good indication if cardiac arrhythmias can be expected when humans are treated with these medications. One reason is that there are no alternative methods that can mimic the whole human body. As we can easily see, experiments in vitro , ex vivo and in vivo cannot replace each other, but form a hierarchical system that allows us to take information from the cellular level to the tissue level and finally to the level of the whole organism.
In fact, most modern labs perform experiments at all three levels to address a particular scientific problem. Then, how is basic research connected to the invention of a new medicine? Once we have understood a physiological process related to the disease we are studying, we can find key points in this process that can be manipulated to change it. These key points are normally a protein that performs a fundamental function.
By studying the structure of the target protein, we can find pockets in it where a small molecule can bind, changing its function. That small molecule is a candidate medicament. Then starts a long process of studying the function of that potential drug at the cellular, tissue, whole organism and finally human levels to determine its usefulness.
Although many potential drugs never make it very far in this process, they are still useful, because they become new tools that can be used in labs around the world to further their research. Hopefully, I have shown that animal research is very different from just testing a drug in an animal.
I would also like to point out that we should be careful not to get hung up on thinking of only chemicals as the only possible cures. Basic science can also help discover entirely new ways to manipulate the body, like electrical and magnetical stimulation, revolutionary new surgeries and nanotechnology.
We should also recognize that knowledge has value on itself. Not only can we not predict what piece of information can serve as a springboard for that revolutionary new invention or medical procedure, but we should consider also that what we learn about our bodies and our minds tells us something enormously valuable about who we are. Biomedical research is one of the most difficult of human endeavors. It has been developed over two centuries by the join effort of thousands of our most brilliant scientists.
No single person has decided that it should be done in this or that way; instead, it has been the critical interaction of those thousands of scientists what has made it the successful way that it is. Certainly, it can be improved and, in fact, it will be improved, given the self-correcting nature of science. But tampering with it by imposing over-zealous and ideological restrictions, like a prohibition of using animals for research, would have far-reaching consequences in our ability to cure human suffering.
More of fake quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr: Can you please provide a source for your Martin Luther King Jr. Its authenticity seems to be questionable:. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think. However, I fail to see how that is connected to anything I say in my article.
It omits the senses of normal, individual people and suggests you have swallowed the idea that only science can deliver progress and human happiness. Ethical self-examination involves a careful self-analysis of one's own personal and scientific motives. Moreover, it requires a recognition of animal suffering and a satisfactory working through of that suffering in terms of one's ethical values.
The issue of animal experiments is straightforward if we accept that animals have rights: 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.
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.
It can't be used to defend all forms of experimentation since there are some forms of suffering that are probably impossible to justify even if the benefits are exceptionally valuable to humanity.
The consequentialist justification of animal experimentation can be demonstrated by comparing the moral consequences of doing or not doing an experiment. This process can't be used in a mathematical way to help people decide ethical questions in practice, but it does demonstrate the issues very clearly.
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:. In the theoretical sum above, the harm the experiment will do to animals is weighed against the harm done to humans by not doing the experiment. 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.
Most ethicists think that we have a greater moral responsibility for the things we do than for the things we fail to do; i. In the animal experiment context, if the experiment takes place, the experimenter will carry out actions that harm the animals involved. If the experiment does not take place the experimenter will not do anything.
This may cause harm to human beings because they won't benefit from a cure for their disease because the cure won't be developed. And so if we want to continue with the arithmetic that we started in the section above, we need to put an additional, and different, factor on each side of the equation to deal with the different moral values of acts and omissions. One writer suggests that we can cut out a lot of philosophising about animal experiments by using this test:.
Sadly, there are a number of examples where researchers have been prepared to experiment on human beings in ways that should not have been permitted on animals. And another philosopher suggests that it would anyway be more effective to research on normal human beings:. Whatever benefits animal experimentation is thought to hold in store for us, those very same benefits could be obtained through experimenting on humans instead of animals.
Indeed, given that problems exist because scientists must extrapolate from animal models to humans, one might think there are good scientific reasons for preferring human subjects.
The Use of Animals in Medical Research, If those human subjects were normal and able to give free and informed consent to the experiment then this might not be morally objectionable. In November the European Union put forward proposals to revise the directive for the protection of animals used in scientific experiments in line with the three R principle of replacing, reducing and refining the use of animals in experiments. The proposals have three aims:. The proposed directive covers all live non-human vertebrate animals intended for experiments plus certain other species likely to experience pain, and also animals specifically bred so that their organs or tissue can be used in scientific procedures.
The proposal also introduces a ban on the use of great apes - chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans - in scientific procedures, other than in exceptional circumstances, but there is no proposal to phase out the use of other non-human primates in the immediate foreseeable future.
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Animal research is not “animal testing”
Although animals are an essential part of biomedical research, you may have some questions about which animals are involved, the roles they play, and the. Animal experiments only benefit human beings if their results are valid and can be applied to human beings. adequate laboratory and, where appropriate, animal experimentation'. This, amended and revised, document still serves today as the guiding.