Should animals be used in medical research?

  • SumoMe

Today, the world is dumped with new treatments, medications and therapies everyday. However, none of these therapies are implemented unless they are properly and clinically tested. This is done by testing the various products on animals. Small animals such as rats, chimpanzees, monkeys, dogs, cats etc are used as subjects in clinical trials of these drugs. Once the consequences and benefits are seen and if the subject manages to survive and show the promised benefits of the product, the product is then passed off and sold. With so many pharmaceutical companies and their products coming up frequently, one can only imagine the scale on which these experiments are being conducted.

It is not only pharmaceutical companies or cosmetic companies that test their cures, products or cosmetics, there are governmental institutes that research on new biological weapons and they use animals for their experiments too. In these governmental research facilities, many innocent animals are killed each day in search of a biological agent which could have the potential to kill thousands, or even millions.

Are the lives of these animals worth only this much? Are they condemned to die in the name of research which in the end is going to harm and kill them? If something happens to the test subjects (which here are the animals) is it going to be nursed and cured back to health? The answer is NO.

Then why such cruelty to animals, one asks. They are giving up their life for the greater good of both human and animal alike.

When they are being tested upon, researchers have a code of ethics while operating on animals. They are told to inflict the least pain and discomfort on the subjects even if it means to completely stop the product. Bio-weapons here are an exception. When in the open, these animals are nothing but menace. They are filthy, they breed diseases and is a problem to the public. At least in the labs, they are put to some good use and they are well fed and well cleaned.
Most products are tested after having the indication that it won’t harm. When new cures are found, it benefits man and many lives could be saved. And it is not necessary that the test subject has to die in the process.

Many clinical trials are also done to find new cures for animals too. This could save lives of many animals.

However, the use of animals for medical research should be limited as they are also living souls and they are subjected to these experiments purely without any consent and by force. We should look for something like computer simulation and animation. Nowadays, computer simulation is used in determining the payload of a nuclear bomb which requires precise calculation and the simulator takes all factors into consideration. A similar simulator should be built to simulate a product’s effect. Hopefully in the near future, such a simulator will be built and we can spare the animals from unneeded sacrifice.

Ashwath

[Image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/4645097224/]

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