animal ethics

/Tag:animal ethics

Is Live-Tissue Training Ethically Justified? An Evidence-based Ethical Analysis

Giovanni Rubeis and Florian Steger

Trauma training is a crucial element of medical education in the civilian sector, as well as in the military sector. Its aim is to prepare physicians, medics and nurses for stressful and demanding emergency situations. Training methods include live-tissue training (LTT) on animal models and simulation-based trauma education. For LTT, blast, gunshot or stab wounds are inflicted on anaesthetised animals, mostly goats and pigs, but sometimes non-human primates. This training method raises ethical concerns, especially in the light of increasingly sophisticated simulation-based methods. Despite these non-animal alternatives, LTT is still widely used due to its presumed educational benefits. In this paper, the question of whether LTT can still be justified, is discussed. We developed a normative framework based on the premise that LTT can only be ethically justified when it yields indispensable benefits, and when these benefits outweigh those of alternative training methods. A close examination of the evidence base for the presumed advantages of LTT showed that it is not superior to simulation-based methods in terms of educational benefit. Since credible alternatives that do not cause harm to animals are available, we conclude that LTT on animal models is ethically unjustified.

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The Perception of Animal Experimentation Ethics Among Indian Teenage School Pupils

Justin Namuk Kim, Eun Hee Choi and Soo-Ki Kim

To promote awareness of animal experimentation ethics among teenagers, we created an educational pamphlet and an accompanying questionnaire. One hundred Indian teenage school pupils were given the pamphlet and subsequently surveyed with the questionnaire, to evaluate: a) their perception of animal experimentation ethics; and b) their opinion on the effectiveness of the pamphlet, according to gender and school grade/age. There was a significant correlation between grade/age and support for animal experimentation, i.e. senior students were more inclined to show support for animal experimentation. There was also a significant correlation between gender and perception of the need to learn about animal experimentation ethics, with girls more likely to feel the need to learn about ethics than boys. In addition, the four questions relating to the usefulness of the pamphlet, and student satisfaction with its content, received positive responses from the majority of the students. Even though the pamphlet was concise, it was apparent that three quarters of the students were satisfied with its content. Gender and age did not influence this level of satisfaction. Overall, our study shows that there is a significant correlation between a pupil’s school grade/age and their support for animal experimentation, and that there is also a significant correlation between gender and the perceived need to learn about animal experimentation ethics. This pilot scheme involving an educational pamphlet and questionnaire could be beneficial in helping to formulate basic strategies for educating teenage school pupils about animal ethics.

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Ethics: Views from IACUC Members

Lise Houde, Claude Dumas and Thérèse Leroux

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) members were interviewed on various ethical matters, including ethics, animal ethics, science and ethics, and the use of animals in research, in order to explore their implicit ethical framework. The results revealed that IACUC members entertain rich and diverse beliefs about ethics, that are part of an implicit ethical framework which relates to different domains of knowledge, such as biology (differences between human and animals), psychology (e.g. affective relationships with pets), and so on. The results also revealed that IACUC members hold quite a restrictive view on both animal ethics and animal use in research, and that they apply implicit ethical notions, such as respect and justice, to some elements (e.g. ethical rules) of the explicit ethical framework they are provided with when performing ethical evaluations of animal use. The study suggests that IACUC members should be provided with more up-to-date information on topics such as animal ethics and animal use in research.
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