Many medical advancements have been made possible due to animal research. According to Americans for Medical Progress, animal research played a vital role in the development of Heretic and Attainment, which are two medicines that saved countless lives from breast cancer. The Americans for Medical Progress also states the discovery that a collective protein caused leukemia in mice led to the innovation of the first drug that molecularly targeted cancer. Animal testing has also led to the discoveries of drugs that an treat HIVE, AIDS, heart disease, diabetes, and seizure disorders.
Despite protest from those who believe this believe the experimentation is unfair for the animals, the fact that these experiments have improved the quality and length of life is incontestable. Animal testing is often viewed as “unethical” or “cruel. ” However, certain laws have been enacted to protect the rights of animals used in experimentation. Richard L. Crawford explains that these laws include the Animal Welfare Act, which is stated under the Regulations and Standards in the Code of Regulations.
Crawford also states in his article, “the act ensures that animals being used for research -must be cared for in humane conditions by a licensed veterinarian… And in accordance with currently accepted professional practice for a particular circumstance or condition. ” The animals must have an attending professional at all times as well as a set amount of space depending on the species. Crawford assures if an animal is placed in a situation that causes discomfort, anesthetics and proper sedation will be used to inflict the least amount of stress and pain on the animal as possible.
According to the article by Speaking of Research, scientists are required by law to use alternative methods of experimentation whenever possible. Animal testing is expensive so ideally an alternative is chosen when it is in an option. However, sometimes animal experimentation is necessary. Stephen Hawking is quoted in Speaking of Research’s article as saying “Computers can do amazing things. But even the most powerful computers can’t replace animal experiments in medical research. ” Speaking of Research addresses the fact that although computer modeling can play a key role in medical research, t cannot fully replace animal experimentation.
Before a computer is able to be encoded with a model to reflect an aspect of our physiology, a basic understanding of the structure must be understood first. This understanding typically comes from hands-on experiments. Therefore, animal models are necessary before a computer model is able to be made. Computer models have other drawbacks as well. Americans for Medical Progress’s article shows that the computers are great for sharing information, but they can only produce known results.
This means that the computer model would not be able to accurately show how a model would react if a new, unknown medical compound was introduced to the model’s cells. This is where animal experimentation is vital. The Americans for Medical Progress states, “The use of animals is but one link in the research chain, but it is a vital link. ” Scientists should be allowed to use whatever means necessary to find antidotes for diseases. Despite the advancements made by animal research, some organizations still feel that the experimentation is immoral.
According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), animals used in the scientists experiences are not fully protected from misery by the regulations. PETA also argues in its article that animal experimentation does not provide information necessary to find cures for human diseases because of major differences between animal species and mankind. They believe animal experimentation to be a waste of government funding and an unnecessary loss of animal life. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals argues that animals can be severely tortured through experiments without any laws being broken by the scientist.
They claim these experiments are cruel to animals and an impediment to actual medical advancements. These accusations can be easily proven false. There are USDA regulations and inspectors to ensure that all laws are followed and the animals receive the best care possible. While animals and humans differ greatly, these differences can provide insights for the scientist. An example of this includes sharks and their inability to get cancer. Through the observation of these animals, scientists can have a better understanding of how they are immune to some of the illnesses that effect humans and apply the findings to treatments for humans.
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