Should Animals Be Tested For Medical Research
The debate on whether animals should be used for medical research is not new. While supporters feel that it is moral wrong to use animals for medical research, opponents of the motion feel that there is no other organism that can be used to substitute the use of animals therefore animals should be used until another alternative is found. On the other hand, research on medicine has come a long way. Every progress in this field is a clear indictor that hard work and research has led to better surgeries and drugs. This is following the fact that the efficiency of surgeries and drugs had to be tested first and the only way to accomplish this was to use certain living organisms. The living organisms that were found to be more or less closer to human being were animals, particularly the guinea pig. Nevertheless, many are the times that these animals suffer pain and diseases when used for research (Drummond, 2009). For instance, dangerous viruses are put in their bodies so as to test whether some drugs will be effective on certain diseases or not. In the meantime there is nothing the scientists can do since the effect of the drugs on people is predicted by experiments done on these animals. This work is aimed at supporting the idea that animals should be used for medical research, while at the same time presenting both sides of the argument.
Medical research on animals should be banned because it is unethical and hurtful. Before we settle on whether animals should be used for medical research or not, we should ask our selves if animals also feel pain the same way we feel it. We can only tell that some one is in pain when we see signs such as crying, jerking or screaming; signs which are also common in animals as well. Since these pain indicators are same as those felt in human, it is without doubt that animals also feel pain when exposed to hurting situation. Opponents of the idea that animals should be used for medical maintain that the only disadvantage of using animals for research is that they are exposed to inhumane treatment since they are put in pain without using anesthesia. Researchers feel that when anesthesia is used, the results will be interfered with (Drummond, 2009).
Research on animals is done for several reasons such as testing for pesticides, cosmetics, medicines and detergents among other products. Many are the times when such animals are forced to consume these products and put in separate chambers where they are monitored and results drawn from their reactions. Medicines are also tested on animals first before they are used by human so as to determined whether they are life threatening or not. The most unethical thing about these practices is that animals used for these exercises under some dreadful pain without even pain reliefs (Drummond, 2009). For instance, for the testing of corrosive substances such as savage acid, the animal under test is shaved then it is applied on the raw skin and then left for some weeks. All this time, the chemical burns the skin and the animal is not given any pain relief. To make it worse, the animal is killed when the testing period is over.
In addition to this, some experiments involve incarceration of these animals after which they are poisoned, mutilated ingested disease causing viruses and finally being killed. This is very inhumane; causing pain and ultimately killing innocent lives (Erwin, Gendin, & Kleiman, 1994). Besides, imposing torturous tests and procedures on these creatures in the name of bettering our lives is ethically reckless and egotistical. Since we do not possess them, it would be wise for us no to go against their will. They also have a right to live and this should not be violated simply because human being is the most superior creature over the rest (Erwin, Gendin, & Kleiman, 1994, p. 253). If it is inhuman for us to cause pain to ourselves, so is it to the animals as well.
Performing medicals tests using animals should also be banned because killing of these animals causes harm to the ecosystem. We all know that nature was created to sustain its self; organisms in an ecosystem complement each other. For instance, in a balanced ecosystem, organisms feed on each depending on where they lie on the food chain. Therefore when some of these animals are put in captive and eventually being killed in the name of performing a medical research, much of this impact is felt on the ecosystem. Since most of the texts involve the ingestion of viruses into these animals, most of them are killed when the experiments are over because mixing them with the rest might lead to the spread of harmful viruses. This killing therefore reduces the number of animals in the ecosystem (Erwin, Gendin, & Kleiman, 1994, p. 254). Therefore based on these facts, I feel that animals should not be used for medical research and scientists should come up with other alternatives so as to save animals from pain and premature deaths since they also feel pain and have a right to live just like human beings do. The fact that they can not speak should not be used to undermine them; we should take responsibilities as human and save God’s creation.
The controversy over whether animals should be used for medical research is rooted on the mere fact that it is unethical and inhuman to treat them the way we do, i.e., separating them from the rest, caging them, experimenting on them without suppressing the pain and finally killing them. Even though animals are abused during some of these researches, their use has been of many benefits particularly on the medicine field (Drummond, 2009). Unless other alternatives on research are found, animals should be used for research because they are the only creatures that are closer to human that anything else.
Besides, all research that has been conducted suing animals has yielded much; more than any scientist could imagine. Animals have given a countless number of people around the world a second chance to live. People had lost hope because of lack of appropriate drugs for treatment of cruel diseases. Vaccines for prevention of certain diseases have also been found through the use of animals in medicine experiments. With all these accomplishments, one should not even question why animals are used in the laboratories for such useful experiment (Shamoo & Resnik, 2007).
Besides, human life is more important than that of an animal. We can not have new drugs being tested on animals simply because we are saving the life of an animal that does not have any ital responsibility in the society. By using a monkey, rabbit or pig, we are saving millions of lives through vaccines and drugs (Drummond, 2009). Vaccines are particularly useful on infants and children so as to boost their immunity against cruel diseases. Once these children are safe and well protected, we are not only securing the improvement of the society today but for generations to come as well. On the other hand, there are certain experiments that are not harmful apart from the fatal ones (Shamoo & Resnik, 2007). Researching on animals does not always mean that we kill them; some studies do not involve killing thus we need not to worry about animals so much. After all, thousands of animals are killed either on road accidents or using pesticides when they intrude as pests. For instance, thousands of mice are killed daily when they intrude as rodents. Therefore which is much better, killing them for research so as to save lives or killing them without any benefit when they come to destroy our foods in the houses?
At the same time, research using human beings would not have been possible since not everyone would volunteer to be used in the laboratories when s/he has a family to take care of. Even though animals are also companions and parents of other animals; their absence is not much felt as it is of the human beings in the society. The questions we should ask our selves are that; where would we have been without animal assisted research? And if we stop using them today will we have a better future?
In conclusion, there has been some controversy on whether animals should be used for medical research or not. Different people and organizations have different feelings towards this issue due to the inhumane manner in which treat these organisms before, during and after the research. Most of these animals undergo unnecessary torture for the sake of human beings. On the other hand, their use has taken the medicine field to another level. This is due to the fact that the effectiveness of drugs has improved and other unimaginable surgeries have been easily carried out through the use of animals in experimenting them before they are actually performed on human beings. While it may look unethical to impose harmful conditions on animals such as to mutilate, poison and torture them among other inhumane practices, animals are better used for research than any other organism on earth due to their closeness in similarity to human beings. Their use in research has greatly benefited the society than one can imagine. This practice has shaped the society in many ways since it has helped in saving the lives of many who would probably have died without them.
Drummond, G. (2009). Reporting ethical matters in The Journal of Physiology: standards and advice. The Journal of Physiology, 587, 713-719.
Erwin, E., Gendin, S. & Kleiman, L. (1994). Ethical issues in scientific research: an anthology Volume 2 of Garland studies in applied ethics Volume 814 of Garland reference library of social science. New York: Taylor & Francis.
Shamoo, A. & Resnik, D. (2007). Responsible Conduct of Research J. Biomed. Opt., Vol. 12,