Should animals be used in research… the ethics!
Animals have been used for many aspects of human life including education, breeding and defense research. They are more commonly known for being used in scientific research, whether this is a psychological theory to be tested or a new type of medication that needs to be tested on animals before reaching humans.
Personally, I do not believe that animals should be used in any type of research that could cause them harm or even death. According to Animal Liberation Front (www.animalliberationfront.com) animals are sentient beings, meaning that they are capable of being aware of sensations and emotions, of feeling pain and suffering and of experiencing a state of well-being. Linking this to some types of studies animals have been subjected too… this means that they feel everything they are undergoing, they feel the pain of the drugs working through their systems and of the electrical shocks they may be subjected to.
In terms of the ethical guidelines, it can be argued that little or none of the guidelines in place are met when animals are used in research. The animals can not inform consent as they are incapable of speech or signing a form, they are not debriefed after the study as they would not understand what they are being told, they are not given information before the study, they are deceived as they do not know what they are being subjected to and they have no input as to whether or not their details are kept confidential and finally they do not have the right to withdraw, the experimenter would not know if the animal wished to withdraw unless it can be seen that they are in considerable pain through sounds. All of these may seem a little obvious, but in terms of an animal being sentient, they feel the pain of the research they may have undergone, yet do not have the ethical guidelines behind them to keep them safe.
There have been studies into animals and whether or not they have personalities. Dr Samuel Gosling conducted research into whether dogs had personalities or not… to put it briefly, he asked humans who knew the dogs and knew specified humans to rate their personalities in aspects of things like extroversion, openness and neuroticism, he compared these scores to participants who did not know the dogs or the humans and found that the scores were closely fitted, concluding that the participants believed the humans and dogs to have the same personalities.
However, some people believe that animals do not have personalities, are not sentient and should be used in scientific research, they believe that humans are ranked higher than animals and therefore we should be able to used them to discover new things that could change the way medication is taken or theories are written. York (2009) conducted a study where he asked children to rank in order humans, animals and plants. All of the children ranked humans as the most important in the list, but did add that all living organisms are important and that they should not be labeled as unimportant.
In conclusion, I do not believe that animals should be used in scientific research where they could get hurt as it has been shown that animals are sentient and can feel emotions and pain, therefore conducting the experiments on them would be harming a living creature, and its not as if they have the ethical guidelines to fall back on should they feel mistreated at the end of the experiment.
The top 5 shocking animal experimental facts:
- More than 100 million animals are poisoned, burned, crippled, and abused in other ways in U.S. labs each year.
- No experiment is illegal, no matter how cruel, irrelevant to human health, redundant, or painful.
- Ninety five percent of animals used for experiments are excluded from the only federal law offering any sort of protection.
- Even when valid alternatives to animals are available, the law doesn’t require that they be used.
5. Ninety two percent of experimental drugs that are safe and effective in animals fail in human clinical trials because they don’t work or are dangerous.
Research found from: http://animals.howstuffworks.com/animal-facts/do-animals-have-personalities1.htm