Is It Ethical To Use Animals In Medical Testing?
Medicine is very complicated field. There is no doubt that it has helped human beings through history to live longer, but it has had its bad times too. Because of medicine we have found cures for various diseases, and now can extend our lives for years. Medicine is helping animals too. However, on occasions, medicine is a very controversial field, and animal testing is one of the most controversial fields of medicine. Some people and medical experts regard animal testing as necessary and helpful in discovering various cures. On the other hand, many animal right groups, and also medical experts, consider animal testing cruel and unnecessary. In my opinion animal testing is unethical and if not forbidden it should be limited to the maximum. Animal testing kills innocent animals in the cruelest ways such as dissection, poisoning, vivisection, toxicology testing, and other methods. To better understand why animal testing is unethical and why it should be limited I will present the pros and cons arguments of animal testing.
First of all, animal testing should be forbidden because for certain products there is no need for testing. There are products, which pose no danger to the human health, but medical personnel still performs tests on animals to see the results. These are “just in case” tests, which kill animals for no cause. For example, killing animals just to find out if a shampoo or soap smells good is unethical. Medical companies, and experts, should create some kind of ethical code for animal testing. For example, animal tests are forbidden for products that do not cause serious health problems in human beings. Lab experts and doctors should find other ways how to conduct safety testing for such basic products, and limit the number of animals that are killed.
Additionally, many experts argue that results from animal testing may generate at least two or more different outcomes. For example, soap may cause allergy in rats, but not in rabbits. In this case both animals would be killed for no result. Also, blinding or killing a rabbit just to see if some new kind of mascara is satisfactory is very cruel and unethical. Further, animals are different from human beings – they have different bodies and other organs, so testing on animals may not bring the expected results. Rats, frogs, or rabbits may react to some chemical or drug, but this does not guarantee that the reaction will be the same or similar when tested on human beings. Because, humans are different from animals there is no need for animal testing. Medical workers should find more efficient ways to test products that will get them the right results.
According to many animal rights groups and medical experts, that are against animal testing, the biggest argument against animal testing is that there are now many other alternative testing methods available. The medicine has become so advanced that animal testing is obsolete. If we want more accurate and real results we can use human cells for testing. They may show the exact reaction and results from drugs or other testing. Also, tissue studies are very advanced methods for testing medical cures and drugs. Tissue samples can be used to analyze the effects of a soup or other body creams, or an allergen or other type of drug. These tissue experiments will show the desired effects on human beings. Because of the above mentioned alternative testing methods, and many others which are available nowadays, animal testing should be banned or very limited, as there is no need for it.
Even though, many people consider animal testing cruel and unethical, many other consider it essential for achieving the desired medical results. These pro animal testing groups have their arguments about this issue.
One of their strongest arguments is that medical research saves millions of lives each year. Because of testing on animals, they argue, medical workers around the world could find cures to HIV/AIDS, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and many other non-curable diseases as of the moment. Therefore, those supporters of animal testing argue that if animal testing is eliminated there may be some future problems in finding new cures for existing and new diseases. That is why animal testing is so important.
Another argument for animal testing is that animal testing not only helps human beings, but it also helps animals. During the last two to three decades, the discovery of various cures for animal diseases has increased dramatically. Animals today live longer compared to 40 to 50 years ago. Pro groups argue that thanks to animal testing, animals now have better chance to survive diseases and injuries. Animals are treated from various diseases thanks to them and the experiments done on them. Nowadays, a whole field of medicine is dedicated to animals. Doctors are performing surgical operations on animals; horses and dogs and other domestic animals are treated for various kinds of viral infections, etc.
Also, defenders of animal testing argue that if there were other testing techniques, that can substitute animal testing, then they will accept them. But, as of the moment, according to them, there are no other advanced testing techniques. That is why now and in the future, until some other testing methods are found, animal testing remains the most valuable testing method. People and medical science are massively dependent on animal testing to find cures for some serious diseases.
Moreover, as some supporters of animal testing claim, we should be more concerned with saving human lives than with saving animal lives. According to them, animals are worthy to some respect, but they are not as worthy as a human live. Many of them argue that if a person comes in the situation to choose between saving the life of a rat or the live of his mother, the answer is already known. That is why, animal testing should be allowed, because saving human lives is more beneficial than saving animal lives. However, the testing processes and experiments should be controlled.
Finally, the strongest argument for animal testing is that the complaints of the people, who are against animal testing, are not correct and they are vague, and they do not constitute serious arguments. The pro groups argue that animal testing has generated very valuable information of how certain drugs, and other medical cures, work inside human bodies. Because of animal testing we are where we are in medicine today.
Even though, both pro and cons groups have strong arguments, according to me, animal testing is unethical and cruel. Maybe it should not be forbidden altogether, but certainly it should be limited. Animal testing should be used when looking for cures for some serious disease such as cancer. But, it should be strictly controlled when the testing is done for products that cannot harm human health, such as testing animals for detergents. The medical companies and experts around the world should seat and discuss ways to reduce animal testing to the minimum. There should be some ethical standards of how animals should be used and treated during tests.