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Slide 1 - Animal Testing Robert Hovhanessian
Slide 2 - Statistics (U.S.) 3/4 for medical purposes and the rest to test various products. An estimated eight million are used in painful experiments. At least 10 percent of these animals do not receive painkillers. It is constantly assumed that the object of animal experimentation is a selfish willingness to inflict physical pain upon others simply to save physical pain to ourselves.
Slide 3 - Animal rights If an experiment violates the rights of an animal, then it is morally wrong, because it is wrong to violate rights. The possible benefits to humanity of performing the experiment are completely irrelevant to the morality of the case, because rights should never be violated It's virtually impossible to assign a moral value to a being The harm that will be done by the experiment is known beforehand, but the benefit is unknown The harm done by the experiment is caused by an action, while the harm resulting from not doing it is caused by an omission
Slide 4 - Arguments against 19th century utilitarian Jeremy Bentham, "Can they reason? nor Can they talk? But then … -> Can they suffer? Right to be treated with respect does not depend on an ability to reason. Would it be justified on a retarded person ? Mere curiosity with little or no scientific merit. Animals are starved, shocked, burned, and poisoned as scientists look for something that just might yield some human benefit. While biblical views of animals are primarily those of utility rather than of moral value, early scholars argued that animals should be treated kindly because animal cruelty represented a flawed morality and was ultimately detrimental to the moral development of humans. This view that humans may ultimately be judged based on their treatment of other lives exists to this day, and for many, is a strong argument for stewardship toward animals.
Slide 5 - Arguments against Abilities that humans can relate to and value Advanced social behavior Ability to react to both positive and negative stimuli Intelligence and even self-awareness. Against animal experiments: Always unacceptable because: It causes suffering to animals The benefits to human beings are not proven Any benefits to human beings that animal testing does provide could be produced in other ways ...animals have not been as critical to the advancement of medicine as is typically claimed by proponents of animal experimentation. In 1997 Dr Jay Vacanti and his team grew an ear on the back of a mouse
Slide 6 - Arguments in favor Restrictions on the use of animals would pose threat to scientific progress. Because humans are more highly developed, their welfare always counts for more than that of animals. Save a drowning baby or a drowning rat? Technically, any living thing that is not a plant is an animal. If we move to consider animals as our moral equals, where do we draw the line? While we may have a duty to not cause animals needless suffering, when we are faced with a choice between the welfare of humans and the welfare of animals, it is with humans that our moral obligation lies. But there are instances when the use of alternatives, such as painkillers, would interfere with research that promises to vastly improve the quality and duration of human lives. Moral rights and principles of justice apply only to human beings. Morality is a creation of social processes in which animals do not participate. Moral rights and moral principles apply only to those who are part of the moral community created by these social processes.
Slide 7 - Arguments in favor When the needs of animals and humans come into conflict, which takes precedence? If you had a life threatening illness that could be cured by animal testing and you were against it would you change your mind? In favor of animal experiments: Experimenting on animals is acceptable if (and only if): Suffering is minimized in all experiments Human benefits are gained which could not be obtained by using other methods
Slide 8 - Conclusion Only when medically necessary Outmost care must be taken to minimize suffering
Slide 9 - Resources Used http://caat.jhsph.edu/publications/animal_alternatives/chapter5.htm http://ww.scu.edu/ethics/publications/iie/v1n3/cures.html http://www.ahc.umn.edu/rar/ethics.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/animals/using/experiments_1.shtml http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDxEpiybtIE