Bateson, Patrick, et al. “The use of nonhuman animals in research: a guide for scientists.” London (UK): The Royal Society (2010).
The article discusses the benefits of utilizing non-human animals in empirical research. The primary objective of this discussion is to provide an effective guide to all scientists. One of the major issues emphasized is that animals should be utilized since they provide an opportunity for empirical research models where using human beings could be impossible. The authors conclude that animals should be used since their environment can be controlled, their lifespan is shorten than human being, and use of animals leads to the discovery of new drugs, diagnosis, and treatment of various diseases and health problems.
Festing, Simon, and Robin Wilkinson. “The ethics of animal research.” EMBO reports 8.6 (2012): 526-530.
The authors main focus on expounding the ethical issues that surrounds the use of animals in research. One of the major ethical issues explored is that animals have a right to life. Thus, the authors argue that researchers should ensure that the right to life is protected. Those who criticize the use of animals mainly argue that animals can be used but they should not be subjected to much pain and suffering.
Kilkenny, Carol, et al. “Animal research: reporting in vivo experiments: the ARRIVE guidelines.” British journal of pharmacology 160.7 (2010): 1577-1579.
The authors discuss various experiments whereby animals have been used successful in coming up with health breakthroughs. In addition to the above, the article provides the necessary guides that are utilized by researchers to ensure that studies are completed successfully. The authors mainly emphasize the use of animals since they can be controlled and fed the same diets. This enables the researcher to apply various methods in the same animal. This is vital since it enhances the health outcomes and disease diagnosis and treatment strategies.
Sikes, Robert S., and William L. Gannon. “Guidelines of the American Society of Mammalogists for the use of wild mammals in research.” Journal of Mammalogy 92.1 (2011): 235-253.
The journal of mammalogy discusses various guidelines that are necessary for successful use of animals in research. the authors have emphasized on the advantages of utilizing animals as compared to human beings. One of the notable issues is that animals such as mice and chimpanzees have almost similar DNA as compared to human beings. In essence chimpanzees have DNA that is 99% similar to that of human beings while mice have DNA that is 98% similar to that of human. In this case, the authors conclude that using such animals provide the same results but in a safer approach as compared to using human beings.
Workman, P., et al. “Guidelines for the welfare and use of animals in cancer research.” British journal of cancer 102.11 (2010): 1555-1577.
The authors discuss various ways of ensuring that the welfare of animals used in research is enhanced. one of the major emphasis is that animals should be used but they should not be subjected to too much pain and suffering. In essence, the authors concentrated on the role played by animals in research concerning cancer. In conclusion, the authors note that use of animals have be crucial in the development of cancer drugs, diagnosis, and treatment methods. As such, this has enhanced the fight against cancer across the globe.
Animal Research: Discovering a Common Ground
For centuries, the breakthroughs that have been achieved in biomedical research is attributed to the use of animals. Use of animals is considered as beneficial because of three crucial reasons. Firstly, it provided an opportunity vital to the development of innovative and advanced methodologies of diagnosing diseases. Secondly, the use of animals is elemental since it provided a cheaper and safer strategy for research to discover cutting edge and effective solutions. Bateson states that the majority of the health problems and complications can only be studied in living things (3). Thus utilizing animals in such studies provides the scientist the easiest option to advance their scientific research and come up with practical solutions. Animals are preferred since they biologically resemble human beings, can be controlled, have a shorter lifespan, and provide experimental models that could otherwise be impossible to replicate using human beings.
However, it is imperative to note that there are various reasons animals are preferred in research. One of the most crucial reasons is that the majority of these animals resemble the human beings in biological aspect. Kilkenny et al. assert that the most commonly utilized animals include chimpanzees and mice (1577). In essence, it is worth mentioning that mice share 98% of DNA with the human being. On the other hand, the chimpanzee’s DNA shares 99% of the DNA with human beings. In that connection, such animals are susceptible to the health problems and diseases that the human being is at high risk of contracting. Therefore, using animals results in almost the same results if human beings could have been used.
Workman et al. verifies that research is based on three facets namely; acquisition of knowledge, testing of chemicals, and use of animals in teaching (1555). Therefore, it is imperative to note that animals play a crucial role in the process of teaching researchers. This is mainly because they are shown the procedure of how to dissect the body parts, and they use the animal samples to perfect the same. During such process, learning takes place, and errors can easily occur. In the case of mistakes, the primary body tissues can be tempered with leading to injury or death. In such a situation, there is no much loss when an animal like mice dies as compared to the cost of losing a human being. Therefore, this is a clear indication that use of animals in research is beneficial.
In addition to the above, it is vital to note that animals such as mice provide experimental models that could otherwise be impossible to replicate using human beings. Controlling animals that are used in research is very possible. For instance, mice can be monitored in a controlled environment and fed the same diets. According to Kilkenny et al. this enables the researcher to utilize various procedures on identical animals (1578). As a such, such strategies play a crucial role in reaching precise and reliable research findings. In the long run, this enables the researchers to come up with valid conclusions and enhance health outcome.
As well, the life circle of animals is shorter as compared to the human beings. As such, the researchers can easily study them throughout their lifespan. In connection to this, it is considered that it is unethical to subject a human being to health risks while trying to study the courses of diseases. Thus, animals are the best options is study the best procedures for treating diseases. This also provided a superb opportunity to introduce new drugs.
Despite these benefits associated with using animals, it is imperative to note that there are some key ethical issues relating to the use of animals in research. In the health sector, causing suffering or pain to a human being is considered as unethical. According to Festing and Robin this is only allowed when such suffering benefits the patient in a direct manner (528). This is the main reason the use of animals is preferred. Thus, this makes it easier for the scientists to achieve their goals and objectives efficiently. However, some argue that animals, as well as human beings, have rights to life. Therefore, it is wrong for the human to take way this right away from the animal.
Sikes and William confirms that the issue of arguing that animals have equal rights to human beings has been a topic of heated debate across the health and research sector (237). This has led to various implications. One of the significant consequences states that the animals can be used in research but they must be their rights to proper treatment must be protected. In this case, this means that the animals that are used in research should not be harmed or subjected to too much suffering. This is mainly because humans have an obligation to provide care to animals in all ways possible. The UK laws that govern the use of animals in research has tried to reach an amicable solution to this challenge but in vain. One of the biggest problems is that the issue of animal rights cannot be measured and compared with the benefits realized when animals are utilized in research. In essence, it is tough to quantify the suffering that an animal encounters when used in a research process. Thus, finalizing the issue using cost effective approach is misleading and should be dropped.
In conclusion, I support the use of animals in research since it has been associated with enormous breakthroughs in health outcomes. Animals are similar in DNA content to human beings, can be controlled, can be fed the same diets, their lifespans are shorter, and can provide experimental models that are otherwise impossible to use human beings. However, ethical issues such as the claim that they have rights to life arises. Thus, to amicably solve these challenges animals should be utilized in research, but care must be taken to ensure that they are not harmed in the process.
- Bateson, Patrick, et al. “The use of nonhuman animals in research: a guide for scientists.” London (UK): The Royal Society (2010).
- Festing, Simon, and Robin Wilkinson. “The ethics of animal research.” EMBO reports 8.6 (2012): 526-530.
- Kilkenny, Carol, et al. “Animal research: reporting in vivo experiments: the ARRIVE guidelines.” British journal of pharmacology 160.7 (2010): 1577-1579.
- Sikes, Robert S., and William L. Gannon. “Guidelines of the American Society of Mammalogists for the use of wild mammals in research.” Journal of Mammalogy 92.1 (2011): 235-253.
- Workman, P., et al. “Guidelines for the welfare and use of animals in cancer research.” British journal of cancer 102.11 (2010): 1555-1577.