Using Animals in Medical Research





Using Animals in Medical Research

Problem Definition

Numerous medical research institutions prefer to use animals as subjects in their experiments. These animals are exposed to a wide array of experiments that can reveal further knowledge concerning human diseases since they are mostly used to test emerging treatments and cures. Various animal rights protection agencies have attempted to institute greater measures to control the cruel treatment of animals (Altevogt 16). However, these policies have failed to influence any significant change. Within the laboratories, animals are first exposed to different diseases and conditions after which they are administered experimental drugs and observed for positive changes that can be used to treat humans (Altevogt 21). The popular Vacanti mouse is a significant example of the torture and level of experimentation experienced by animals in medical researches. Animal experimentation causes a massive amount of suffering to the subjects. This suffering is unnecessary particularly when the benefits of such research on human beings are yet to be confirmed (Altevogt 36).

The outcry over animal experimentation is further compounded by the fact that science has progressed to a level that the same results could be achieved without using animals as subjects. It is naturally assumed that with increased technology for medical research such as computer models and human volunteers, the practice of animal experimentation would be eliminated (Chow, Ng, and Ogden 45). However, even in the year 2016, a majority of medical researches still use monkeys, rats, and other animals to test their products. The practice has extended into other fields including the cosmetics industry (Altevogt 78). This rampant preference for animals in medical experiments is enough reason for the development of an effective policy that can curb this practice (Chow et al. 48).


The main stakeholders in the animal experimentation issue are PETA agents, American citizens and other foreigners, state officials, environmentalists, and scientists. The American people and environmentalists are particularly concerned about the increasing popularity of the practice of animal experimentation (Altevogt 89). Within the United States, a large number of animal species have been categorized as endangered and this implies that the few remaining numbers have to be protected. This particular group of stakeholders is interested in eliminating and prohibiting the practice of animal use in medical research altogether (Chow et al. 59). PETA agents are another significant group of stakeholders since they are mandated with the task of safeguarding the rights of all animals within their borders. Therefore, PETA works under laid down rules that include petitioning organizations and individuals that have been charged with mishandling animals or exposing them to indecent living conditions (Chow et al. 78).

State officials can be considered as stakeholders that follow the directives of the electorate. For instance, a senator can decide to support or present a bill that prohibits the usage of animal subjects in medical research based on the demands of his or her voters (Chow et al. 36). The largest group of stakeholders in this situation is scientists. These experts are interested in finding the best cure for human diseases (Altevogt 15). However, in the increasingly regulated environment, it is becoming relatively challenging to make medical breakthroughs (Chow et al. 12). The ethical implications of using animals in medical research have escalated over the years. This increases the problems for scientists, as they have to use computer models and human volunteers.


Works Cited

Top of Form

Altevogt, Bruce M. Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research: Assessing the Necessity. Washington, D. C: National Academies Press, 2011. Print.

Bottom of Form

Chow, Pierce K. H, Robert T. H. Ng, and Bryan E. Ogden. Using Animal Models in Biomedical Research: A Primer for the Investigator. Hackensack, NJ: World Scientific, 2008. Print.


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