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Complete your Week 4 required discussion prompt.

Animal research is a necessary practice in the world of medical research, allowing scientists to develop life-saving interventions and to spot catastrophic problems before new techniques or products make their way to actual patients. However, this does not mean that we should deny that there are serious ethical issues involved.

Animal testing is not a pretty or pleasant process. It causes pain and suffering to animal subjects, and legitimate cases of abuse have been uncovered by animal rights groups. Consequently, the practice should be tightly regulated, and alternative methods should be employed whenever possible.

Discuss a specific research study involving animals that had ethical issues.

What were the ethical issues involved?

What could have been done to conduct the research study differently to avoid these ethical issues?

Response 1: This week’s discussion is perhaps one topic that makes me angry. Being an animal lover, I cannot seem to wrap my mind around the idea of the need to use animals as testing subjects. Especially nowadays, we live in a world where we have many alternative resources that we can use to test various things. Although I understand that sometimes it is just physically impossible to replicate a natural human reaction to a particular drug, etc., we should be obligated to be more conscious of how they carry out these testing procedures. Not only is animal testing responsible for the deaths of millions of animals each year, but it also subjects them to torture beforehand. Methods include inflicting terrible and painful diseases on the animal in a conscious/semi-conscious state and observing until their deaths. Rarely are the animals killed before they experience pain. The ethical issue is whether it is morally right to save human lives by torturing animals or taking their lives. If we act so inhumanly, then what makes us different from wild animals? For example, “The Silver Spring Monkey Controversy” sparked the initiation of what we know today as (PETA) People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. This article talks about an animal experimenter by the name of Edward Taub. He was a man with no medical or veterinary training background and ran a “testing laboratory” for animals from a warehouse. In this facility, Edward maintained 17 monkeys that lived in tiny rusty wire cages with years of accumulated feces (Kirk,2019). However, that was perhaps the least of the worse. His experiments on these animals were by far a living nightmare. In his experiments, Taub “subjected the monkeys to surgeries where he severed their spinal nerves, rendering one or more limbs useless. Using electric shock, food deprivation, and other cruel methods, he forced them to regain the use of their impaired limbs to pick up raisins from a tray—or else go without food.” (Kirk,2019). The bottom line is that there needs to be more strict regulation when it comes to animal testing. The experiments need to be logical with actual applications that will help humans and other living things in the environment. Stem cell testing can replace animal testing in the future (Deckha, 2008).ReferencesDeckha, Maneesha (2008). The Stem Cell Debate: Why Should it Matter to Animal Advocates?  Stanford Journal of Animal Law and Ploicy. https://law.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/deckha.pdf (Links to an external site.)Kirk, Robert. (2019). The Silver Spring monkey controversy: changing cultures of care in twentieth-century laboratory animal research. HoST – Journal of History of Science and Technology. 13. 31-59. 10.2478/host-2019-0012.

Response 2 : Controversies are rising up against animal cruelty, especially nowadays where media have control over everything the public sees. There are a lot of movement that are showcasing companies that are using animals for their products. This is where animal cruelty comes in. Animals are being used to endure chemicals, drugs, toxic substances, being deprived, blinded, burned, and infected with diseases and viruses to achieve results just to make sure that it is safe and effective before testing on humans. Dogs are usually used to test the safety of drugs, pesticides (weed killer), insect repellent, DEET and rat poison. This tests would then determine if the ingredients would affect human health. These dogs would be fed bad ingredients on a daily basis for months and observed for effects that can be harmful. At worse they are forced to be injected or inhaled with the given substance to see results. The dogs would then be eventually killed so the researchers can examine their tissues and organs (Dogs used in experiments FAQ, n.d.). The whole process would not be ethically correct due to the fact that researchers are playing with a living thing. Even though animal testing have provided benefits and saved human lives some tests are also unnecessary, other options exists, most research usually causes pain and animal also have moral rights (Tosh, n.d.). Animals have the capacity to feel pain thus animals possess moral rights. Violating these rights would then be ethically wrong. One way that could be done to conduct research differently without involving animals would be the use of human cells. By using human cells and tissues (in vitro methods) and advanced computer-modeling techniques (silico models) have been used as an alternative to animal testing. These test can also be very beneficial because they do not require a long process of testing which they usually have with animal testing meaning these test usually takes less time to complete (Peta, 2010). As the future develops better and newer technology there would be more options for research to be done without the use of animals. These new technology could also lead to a more accurate results regarding human health rather than comparing it to animals. Reference:Dogs used in experiments FAQ. (n.d.). The Humane Society of the United States. https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/dogs-used-experiments-faq (Links to an external site.)Peta. (2010, June 21). Alternatives to Animal Testing. PETA. https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-exper…Tosh, N. (n.d.). Week 4: Presentation [Video]. [removed] https://canvas.westcoastuniversity.edu/

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