Animals in Medical Research

Topics: Animal testing, Cellular differentiation, Stem cell Pages: 7 (1387 words) Published: February 26, 2015
Good afternoon, my name is Saeed Graham and today I’ll be presenting on the topic of the use of animals in medical research. An article will be disputed in an attempt to convince you that animals SHOULD be used in medical research. Kelly Overton posits the article “Stop Animal Testing – It’s not just cruel, it’s ineffective” in the Baltimore Sun. As is evident from the title of the writing, Mr. Overton is of the opinion that the use of animals for medical testing be desisted on the basis of its ineffectiveness and inhumanity. However, I will attempt to dissect (no pun intended) the his argument to illustrate the flaw of his position. I have here three excerpts for his article. The first point basically attempting to class animal medical testing as a complete failure, the second conveying that humans are too different from animals to be used to make proper inferences, and the third, a solution or alternative to the use of animals for testing. Background research however revealed that Mr Overton is the executive director of People Protecting Animals and Their Habitats (PATH) in Cambridge, Mass; an animal conservation and protection group. The fact that he holds such a prominent position in this organization (executive director) was cause for a little speculation regarding a possible latent agendas. Probably a potential for financial gain in arguing the position that he did maybe? Mr Overton’s perspective on this controversial issue therefore reflects that of his affiliate. Debates regarding the use of animals in the acquisition of medical insight antedate the 17th century, a period where vivisections (vivus; Latin for living and section meaning cutting) prior to the genesis of anesthesia aroused the opposition of many who considered the practice barbaric. Presently, those who foster support for the discontinuation of animal testing have diversified their argument beyond that of those proposed centuries ago. Kelly’s first thesis “Animal testing has never really worked” is an incredibly fallacious proposition. The article provides a mere three isolated examples of supposed animal testing failures. “Animal tests proved penicillin deadly, strychnine safe and aspirin dangerous” according to the author. However, no reference is provided regarding the source of these claims. Even taking this at face value, are three failed cases enough to eclipse the plethora of successes achieved by animal testing? So let me ask you this. If I were to provide you with six, Aexamples; six; twice that provided by Mr Overton in his article. Six examples illustrating the success of animals in medical research, would this then convince you that Animals SHOULD be used in medical testing? Six articles posted by the Society for Neuroscience – a reputable organization headquartered in Washington D.C on March 2012 illustrate success stories regarding animal testing in various areas of medical research which I will briefly share: 1) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – research on rats and monkeys conducted by the National Institute for Mental Health (NIH) enabled a more thorough understanding regarding how stress damages the brain. Via analysis of certain chemicals released during stress researched have linked certain physiological brain changes with mental trauma, and have been able to successfully create medicines to prevent and treat such conditions

2) Psychiatric Disorder – the effect of certain psychiatric drugs such as that for schizophrenia on the behavior of mice have been observed and have helped researchers to effectively ascertain harmful side effects. Also, by encoding certain genes into mice, researchers have been begun to find certain genetic links to autism. Certain genes caused mice to display behavior reminiscent of Autism. This is very promising for future research endeavors

3) Stroke – The only established clinical treatment of strokes is attributed to a medical research conducted on rabbits in 1990. Although 25 years ago, the...
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