Animal Use in Biomedical Research

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Topic: Sociology
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Introduction

Much attention of the whole society is paid to the problem of animal testing in the modern world. It is impossible to imagine modern biochemical research without using animals. Each new vaccine, each discovery is based on theoretical research and testing of the drawn conclusions on animals. There are three main groups of people divided by their attitude to using animals in biochemical research. The first group of people is sure that this is a norm and there is no another way out to understand whether the discovered medicine may be used on human beings or not. The second group considers animal testing as violent and inadmissible action which must be prohibited. The third group involves people who do not really care whether animals are tested or not (“Animal Testing is bad science” n.p.).

Many scientists all over the world provide arguments that the use of animals in research makes their discoveries more useful. Absence of the possibility for animal testing may stop research process or make it slower. Scientists would have to conduct more calculations and other types of research to make sure that the medicine may be used on people. At the same time, animal protection organizations offer counterarguments, stating that testing animals make those suffer which is cruel and useless.

Scientists should stop mockery andf refuse from violent methods in research. People and animals are too different to assure that he positive results of testing animals may be referred with 100% guarantee to human beings. Therefore, many animal protection organizations do all possible to stop scientific experiments on animals and protect the latter from suffering. The main purpose of this research is to check whether the research discoveries based on animal testing are useful for society or the experiments may be forbidden without much harm to the research outcomes and conclusions.

Reasons for Using Animals in Biochemical Research

Dwelling upon advantages of using animals in biochemical research, one should think of the number of human lives those animals have saved. The research results obtained with the use of animals are helpful in finding drugs and treatment methods for people. One of the most supportive reasons for using animals in medical research is the discovery of insulin, different antibiotics and vaccines. Much research is conducted in the sphere of HIV and cancer treatment. Scientists have too much material to be tested and the prohibition of animal testing may close too many projects which may save human life in the future (Murnaghan n.p.)

Until we cross the historic landmark of actually discovering better ways of testing drugs and surgical procedures, animal testing will continue and so long as man are saved, it remains ethical, even though many people try to contradict this opinion. The breakthroughs scientists have been made and the knowledge gained from animal testing has surpassed anything human beings could hope for. Researchers use animals to gain knowledge as to how to fight diseases. They come up with innovations in surgical procedures based upon the results of the experiments and knowledge gained through animal testing. Animal right supporters claim that above stated experiments are useless as every year American Federal Drug Authority takes thousands of drugs off the market after they have been proven safe on animals (Pippin 1).

They totally ignore the fact that those few suffering animals have given humans and animals around the world, a new diseases and suffering free world. Pros of animal testing are way deeper and beneficial then its cons. Animal right activists don’t realize that the discomfort of a few animals have not only have not only given a new outlook to their lives in one way or another, but have changed the lives and quality of lives of their friends and families, by provision of vaccines and antibiotics (SUBR 2)

Animal testing has resulted in medical discoveries which have eradicated some diseases which threatened to exterminate human race from the face of the earth, controlled and prevented of many other diseases, and saved billions of human lives (Murnaghan 1). Millions of diabetic patients around the world are thankful to animals on which research was performed and insulin was created, without which it would be Impossible for them to live a normal life or to live at all.

In the field of surgery, almost all the modern procedures performed today are a result of experimentation on animals. For example there was a time when nothing could be done for the cataract patients and thousands cataract patients were going blind. After years of research and perfection of the procedure on animal subject they now can perform a surgery to cure cataract. Over the years thanks to discomfort borne by a number of animals all the flaws of the procedure has been removed and procedure time has been reduced, surgeons can stop the procedure when they deem necessary, a drastic reduction in recovery time and there is less discomfort after the surgery (Dennis and Melvin 323).

Billions of precious human lives are saved each year because of animals’ bearing of discomfort for testing a new drug or surgery. What we all should bear in mind that instead of claiming, believing and preaching that an animal was brutally killed or its life was wasted, it was used as a stepping stone for betterment of billions and billions of human beings for hundreds of years to come. The inability to test a newly discovered vaccine or any specific medicine on animals will lead to the increase of the time spend on understanding whether research is safe for human beings. It is obvious that practical animal testing is faster and much more effective in comparison with laboratory calculations, predictions and theoretical application of some theories. Therefore, animal testing must remain as one of the best and fastest ways for research.

Reasons against Using Animals in Biomedical research

There are factions of modern society which are for the use of animals in medical research, as it has already been discussed above, and the ones which argument that the use of animals in medical research should be banned as it is ethically wrong. Moreover, some experts believe that there are alternative ways to animal testing which may be successfully used. Use of animals in medical research should be banned as it is brutal, unethical, unnecessary and most importantly inhumane (Pippin 2)

Animals feel pain during the testing which is a mental event and cannot be observed physically. Human beings feel pain and it can be observed from indications such as crying, jerking away or screaming. This calls for scientist who use animals to know that they feel pain as in human beings and we cannot turn blind about the pain and suffering of animals caused by the medical research. Animals, like human beings, fell pain when it used for these procedure by yelps running/jerking. Thus, being one of the arguments for banning animal testing, mockery is one of the strongest as it touches ethical issues which are highly valued in the modern society.

Animals should be treated the same way as human beings are in case of any medical procedures. Giving anesthesia to animals when carrying out surgical procedures, scientists may become closer to making animal testing ethically approved. However, when surgical or other medical procedures are performed on animals, they are not given any anesthesia as the researchers claim that anesthesia may interfere with research results. In today’s society and the laws someone cannot kill a dog in the middle of a street in broad daylight and escape prosecution. Then how can these businesses and authorities avoid any repercussion for killing innocent animals?

There are laws in place for protection of animals but still no one even raises their voice when the researchers slice a dog open to take tests of its liver or heart, while it is still alive and without administration of any anesthesia. The irony of this whole issue is animals cannot raise their voices and tell researchers not to do that, only we human beings can. We have to put our foot down and say enough to this cruelty.

There is one more specific argument applied by animal protectors. If there had been any correlation between animal testing and human health, then we would have witnessed eradication of almost all the diseases by now but the truth is now the world has new and more deadly diseases than at any other given time in history. The statistics speak for themselves. Having too many successful research results applied to animals, scientists cannot say for sure that all those results were successfully implemented wile human testing. At the same time, some scientists violate the requirements for thorough analysis of the information and theoretical calculations, they do not with research material appropriately thinking that animal testing may show results faster. Additionally, modern innovative technologies may become great substitutes to animal testing. Why don’t scientists apply to them instead on hurting animals?

Much is said about such computer programs and many cases of scientific research continues in this sphere to make sure that the future generations are going to use computers for conducting experiments, not animals as it is done in the modern world (Biever n.p.)

Conclusion

It is quite sad that a number of animals have to go through discomfort and pain while experiments, but until another way of medical research is found, the experts do not see another way to get rid of the most dangerous diseases which affect billions of humans and hundreds of thousands of animal species (“How animals end up in laboratories” n.p.). Tests on animals remain one of the most efficient methods in solving the problem, even though there are many contradictions and opposite points of view.

Medical researchers do not conduct research on animals to derive fun out of their suffering. They welcome the idea of using alternative methods of research and they usually do all possible to minimize the use of animals in medical research as much as they can because alternatives are faster, cheaper and more humane. However, scientists cannot conduct research on things like kidney transplantation, diarrhea or eye allergies on a computer. Scientists do all possible to reduce the use of animals, however, in most cases they are sure that animal testing is the only credible source of information and they cannot refuse from it. Those who try to forbid animal testing should remember about thousands of lives saved by using animals in research. Ethical problem is important, however human life is more valued.

Two existing points, for and against animal testing, should be considered and the compromise should be found. The irony of this whole idea of exploring new methods to substitute medical research on animals is that it increases the volume of research on animals because the alternate and animal testing must be done simultaneously to compare results.

Without testing medications on animals we can never be sure that it may be poisonous, cancerous, cause birth defects or can create some other complications. Animal testing is one of the most significant steps man has taken to ensure survival of human life on the face of the earth; it has helped us in finding drugs to combat various diseases, and improve surgical procedures, however, some people think that it is not enough to justify animals’ mocking.

In conclusion, tests on animals are not to kill life but to make sure that it survives. It may be cruel and painful for a number of animals but it is without any doubt the most necessary step for the survival of life, as we know it. Every innocent animal that gave its life during research has not wasted its life; it has contributed something to the life billions of living beings. Thus, it is important to check pros and cons of using animal testing in biochemical research before drawing conclusions either about supporting this technique or about its prohibiting.

Annotated Bibliography

Animal Testing is bad science.PETA 2003. Web. 

This source was basically about the information on animal testing. It tells how scientists who do animal testing want us to believe that their tests on animals are truth information and it works. But, PETA has backup information to prove the testing wrong. This source will help my argument by walking through the reasons why scientists support animal testing. This article is also effective in demonstrating the opposing view of PETA to animal testing which can be used to present the opposite side of the argument.

Biever, Celeste. “Can computer models replace animal testing? (animal experiments).New Scientist 190. 2551 (2007). Web. 

This article is on the topic of replacing animal testing with new technology. It gives information about how new computer models may now be used to test the effect of substance, vaccine, drug on a living organism specially humans. This article questions whether or not this new computer model will be able to overthrow animal testing in future. It will be helpful to my paper by providing information on alternatives to animal testing. These articles say that while this new technique could decrease animal experimentation, but will always be necessary to discover new biochemical process.

Dennis, Jr., Melvin B. (1998). Bioethics and the Use of Laboratory Animals: Ethics in Theory and Practice. Laboratory Animal Science 48.4: pp.323-324. Web. 

The meeting report from the forum entitled “Bioethics and the Use of Laboratory Animals: Ethics in Theory and Practice” as published online by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science provided interesting information regarding this group’s examination of ethical principles for use of animals in research. This forum reviewed public attitude about the use of animals and came to the conclusion that animal research will be necessary in the foreseeable future of research, which will support the argument regarding the usefulness and controversy regarding use of animal in biomedical research.

“How animals end up in laboratories.” PETA 2010. Web.

This source is from PETA website, it basically explains how they get the animals to run their testing on. They will buy them off from any breeder, or sick animals from animal shelters. They can come from any animal pound, zoos, circuses, where they are trying to get rid of them. The unwanted animals which are no more “good” for show purposes are taken to the labs where they are locked up until they are tortured for experiments. I am using this as one of my sources because it gives me a lot of information on the animal cruelty done in the labs.

Murnaghan, Ian. “Using Animals for Testing: Pros versus Cons.About Animal Testing. 2011. Web. 

The main idea of this article is to describe pros and cons of using animal for testing in biomedical research. This information may be helpful for stating the arguments for leaving animal testing as one of the best ways for achieving results in finding treatment and drugs for people. At the same time the information in the article may be used for counterarguments of the issue.

Pippin, John. “Put animal testing to sleep.” Bloomberg BusinessWeek. 2011. Web. 

The article provides two arguments protecting the idea of forbidding animal testing, such as useless wasting of money and conclusions which mislead. At the same time, the article tries to provide reasons which reject the idea of banning animal testing by means of the following facts, animal testing may be a crucial method, however, according to historic facts, it is useful.

”States United for biomedical research.” SUBR n.d. Web.

This article discusses that biomedical research is a broad area of science that helps to prevent and treat diseases that are affecting millions of people. It has many network members which include hospitals, healthcare systems, colleges and universities, pharmaceutical companies and other research community. Basically, all these sources put their opinions and information on the topic why are animals used in biomedical research. It gives information how variety of animals provide very useful models for the study of diseases affecting both humans and animals. It will be helpful to my paper as it tells the variety of reasons that make animals good research subjects.