Using animals for medical research remains one of the most hotly debated subjects in the filed of medical research. Both scientists and laymen have passionate opinions on the subject. Let us take a look at some of the arguments used by both the sides to validate their opinions.
People Against Using Animals for Medical Research
The strongest argument against using animals for medical research is that it is absolutely inhuman. Animals feel pain just like people. Why should they be used as test subjects? It is also worth remembering that the physiology of animals is different from those of human beings. Just because the medicine works for animals need not necessarily mean that they will work the exact same way on humans. Therefore, if scientists want the medication to truly work on people, they should test it on human subjects. Rather than use animals for medical research, humans would make more reliable subjects.
Using Human Test Subjects
It is unlikely that human beings will volunteer for becoming test subjects for medical research. So, why not use convicted criminals? The proponents suggest that it will at least make these felons useful. Rather than waste money on their prison homes, why not put them to good use? By turning them into guinea
pigs, at least they will be doing their part in contributing to society.
Low Success Rate
A study by the Huntington Life Sciences show that animal and human tests match less than 30% of the time. Animal rights advocates say that cancer tests on mice are less than 40% accurate. This is less reliable than a coin toss.
Those who are using animals for medical research do not take into account, other serious matters. One such instance is that a lot of drugs deemed safe for monkeys and rats are not fit for human consumption.
Arguments in Favor of Using Animals for Medical Research
Significant in Making Advances in Medical Research
Medical researchers vehemently counter that the using of animals for medical research is absolutely essential. They do not deny that it causes pain to animals. However, they believe that it is necessary for the greater good of mankind. They point to the thousands of vaccines and medicines that have been invented this way.
Thousands of lives have been saved by medical research. It is also important to know that people will never use medication that has not been tested. Therefore, the practice is a necessity. If using animals for medical research will save lives, why not do it?
Supporters also say that most of the time, mice and rodents are used for research. Primates, dogs and other animals rarely go through it anymore. In addition, improved medical facilities are enabling scientists to conduct more humane tests.
Prospects for the Future
There is no question that animal testing, no matter how imperfect, is continuing to this day. Some have suggested that the testing results maybe limited, but researchers remind us about vaccination. It was first used on animals and has proven effective for humans.
The counter argument is that it is only one experiment. For every successful one, dozens are failures. These result in certain death and cause a lot of pain for the animals.
The fact of the matter is that using animals for medical research will continue. It may be wrong, but there is no alternative for it right now. But as technology improves, the need for it may gradually disappear.