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Animals for drug testing - Essay Example

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Animals for drug testing

The anti-animal testing campaigners argue the exact opposite, not only insisting that the use of animals for drug testing is completely inadequate for drug-safety testing but that safer alternatives exist. While conceding to the fact that the use of lab animals for drug and medical research may have been at the core of some medical advances, the fact is that the use of animals for drug testing is unethical, costly and unsafe, in addition to which, ethical, less expensive and safer alternatives are available.

The proponents of animal testing maintain that without the use of live specimens, the medical and pharmaceutical communities would not have been able to acquire the anatomical knowledge of the human body, they currently possess. There is no doubt that this claim is partially valid. As Joan Dunayer, a medical researcher notes, the similarities between the human and the ape anatomy have allowed medical researcher, through vivisection, to explore the ape anatomy and through that, acquire an expanded understanding of the human one. Certainly, one cannot ignore the fact that the dissections carried out on human corpses have been the primary contributors to the mapping of the human body but, the fact remains that the observation and examination of a live human specimen is, or was up until a certain time, impossible. The use of apes provided the medical research community with the ability to conduction vivisections on live specimens and, in so doing, acquire a significant, and invaluable, understanding of the human body at work....
Similarly, the medical and pharmaceutical communities claim that without the use of lab animals they would not have been able to develop much of the chemical and drug cures now being routinely used to save millions of human lives. As Jones argues, live animals are used in the research lab setting in order to determine whether or not the introduction of a certain chemical compound into the body reacts with specific viruses, bacteria and disease, resulting in their elimination. Secondly they are further used to test whether the cure, or the chemical compound which has been determined to successfully eliminate a particular disease, virus or bacteria, has any side effects, both long term and short-term, harmful or benign (Jones). In other words, animal testing is essential for both the development of effective drug cure and their later testing for safety before production and licensing for human use.
While the pro-animal testing argument appears strong, the fact remains that the practice is inhuman and incontrovertibly unethical. Alan M. Goldberg and Thomas Hartung, both science researchers, note that over the past four decades "hundreds of millions of animals" were sacrificed in the name of medical and chemical research. The unethical aspect of the stated is better clarified when the method of their death, invariably involving prolonged and senseless torture and suffering, is considered (Goldberg and Hartung). Irrespective of its best intentions, animal testing is fundamentally based on the deliberate infliction of pain, suffering, disease and death on countless of millions of animals.
Despite the undeniably unethical character of animal testing, proponents have claimed it ...Show more

Summary

One of the more controversial issues confronting the medical and pharmaceutical research industries is, without doubt, the use of animals for drug testing. …
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