To what extent is the use of animal testing in scientific research acceptable?
Animal testing is the use of animals such as lab rats to test the reaction of a certain type of medication. These types of procedures have been used for a long time to test the credibility of new drugs. When drugs are made, there is a possibility that some of them may give the user a negative reaction due to the different chemicals that are used. It is thus important to ensure that the drugs are tested so as to verify whether they are fit for human consumption (Machan, 2007).
Without the invention and innovation of drugs, human beings would not have a means of protecting themselves when the fall sick. Research carried out on drugs has proved to be important to the sustainability of the human life. Some of the conditions that human beings are faced with cannot be cured by ordinary treatment. The continued research of new drugs has given hope for the treatment of conditions such as cancer, and other life threatening conditions. This in turn has given hope to the hopeless by giving them a second chance to live (Miles, 2005).
Over the years, various movements have been formed to address the needs of different groups. These movements fight for the causes of the abused minorities who are helpless in that they do not have a voice. The animal rights movements have not been left behind in the fight for the proper treatment of animals by human beings. The issue of animal testing has therefore been debated due to the number of animal lives that have been lost in these procedures. This situation has put medical researches between a rock and a hard place because the decline of animal testing could reduce the probability of human life in the long run. Research has shown that new innovations in the area of medicine have improved the lifespan of human beings. For the there to be more innovations, more animals need to be used to conduct the tests. If the doctors continue to conduct these tests, the number of animals will have to succumb to the testing. This dilemma has been the cause of debates on whether animal testing is ethical (Smee, 2000).
Human beings have more authority in the ecosystem in that we are the guardians of the environment. This means that the priorities of the human beings have to be considered before the ones of the animals. If doctors are not allowed the freedom to carry out their research, new treatments will not be derived and many lives would be lost as a result. Since there is no way to go around the issue, something has to give and in this situation, the animal testing has to continue. Although medical research cannot be separated from animal testing, doctors should be more responsible in the way they handle the animals. The number of the animals tested needs to be reduced so as to avoid extinction of the animals in question (Machan, 2007).
Medicine is one of the most important industries in any economy. It is through medicine that cures are derived for conditions that have proved to be incurable. It is ironic that a life has to be taken so as to give life to another. Human beings should therefore change their approach on the procedures of the animal testing which in turn would remove the stigma that comes with the research.
Machan, T. R. (2007). The Morality of Business: A Profession for Human Healthcare. Boston: Springer.
Smee, C. (2000). “Department of Health Special Section: Reconsidering the Role of Competition in Health Care Markets”. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 25 (5): 945–951
Miles, S. (2005). The Hippocratic Oath and the Ethics of Medicine. Oxford University Press.
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