Should Animal Experimentation Ever Be Permitted?

1931 words - 8 pages

Physicians are known to have performed vivisection on animals for hundreds of years, and nowadays animal testing remains an essential element of research in medicine and pharmacology. Animal experimentation has generated heated discussions among scientists, philosophers, and politicians. This issue is very controversial, since it involves ethical questions. While it is generally accepted that testing cosmetics on animals is unnecessary and immoral, there is a debate concerning the use of animals for medical purposes. Our society is split into supporters and opponents of animal experimentation. The latter tend to resort to violent methods of protest, namely they intimidate physicians involved in animal testing, etc. Whereas proponents of animal testing emphasize that without employment of animals in research advances in modern medicine would be impossible, antivivisectionists do not take into consideration numerous benefits of animal experimentation to humans and claim that it is unethical to use animals in tests. It is the conflict between animal rights advocates and scientists, who conduct experiments on animals to improve the welfare of people. Alternatives to animal research, clinical value of animal testing, human domination over animals and their greater moral significance, exposure of animals to needless suffering and abuse are the questions that are frequently raised by antivivisectionists. Although some arguments of animal rights activists might appear persuasive and logical, animal experimentation should not be abolished, since its benefits to people are immeasurable.

The first experiments involving live animals were conducted in the third century BC (Kiple et al. 23). Since then a large number of tests on animals have been conducted worldwide. The primary goal of researchers carrying out experiments on animals has always been to understand diseases and their treatment. In many countries throughout the world testing drugs on animals is legal. In fact, medications and other substances like household chemicals will not reach the market unless they are tested and proved to be safe for consumers (ILAR 21). Thus, animal testing is crucially important for exploring maladies and evaluating the safety of medications.
People who disapprove of use of animals as research models frequently appeal to cases when the results of animal testing turned out to be unreliable. It cannot be denied that sometimes treatments approved after animal experimentation are ineffective or even harmful for people. However, it is impossible to ban animal testing only because of these instances, since such errors occur rarely as compared with the number of lifesaving medications that appear as a result of animal research. The examples given below will help to understand the significance of vivisection on animals. There is a long list of illnesses which can be cured today due to animal experimentation. For example, diabetes, appendicitis, diphtheria are successfully...

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