Importance of Animal Testing to Medicine – NIH.gov
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“Those against, contend that the benefit to humans does not justify the harm to animals. Many people also believe that animals are inferior to humans and very different from them, hence results from animals cannot be applied to humans. Those in favor of animal testing argue that experiments on animals are necessary to advance medical and biological knowledge. Claude Bernard, known as the father of physiology, stated that “experiments on animals are entirely conclusive for the toxicology and hygiene of man. The effects of these substances are the same on man as on animals, save for differences in degree”. Bernard established animal experimentation as part of the standard scientific method.
Drug testing using animals became important in the twentieth century. In 1937, a pharmaceutical company in the USA created a preparation of sulfanilamide, using diethylene glycol (DEG) as a solvent, and called the preparation ‘Elixir Sulfanilamide’. DEG was poisonous to humans, but the company’s chief pharmacist and chemist was not aware of this. He simply added raspberry flavoring to the sulfa drug, which he had dissolved in DEG, and the company marketed the product. The preparation led to mass poisoning causing the deaths of more than a hundred people. No animal testing was done. The public outcry caused by this incident and other similar disasters led to the passing of the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requiring safety testing of drugs on animals before they could be marketed.”
Article discussing the importance of animal test subjects to medicinal research and current efforts to limit such tests and make them safer.
- Rachel Hajar
- Animal Testing and Medicine
- Heart Views
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- Animal Testing Does More Harm than Good, Can Have Misleading Results – Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics
- Ethics of Experimenting on Animals – BBC
- How Much Have Medical Achievements Depended on the Use of Animal Models in Science – Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine
- Homeostasis, Animal Organ Systems, Control Systems, Feedback Systems