Integrated Literature Review
Integrated Literature Review
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It has been witnessed that animals are being used for different medicinal purposes i.e. for developing treatments, determining toxicity of medicines, checking the safety of the products made for human use. Taking a look at history, it could be said that the use of animals in research had been started since 500 BC. In this study, various researches and experts contributed by giving their views on the use of animals as tests subjects in medical research. There are many famous scholars i.e. Aristotle and Erasistratus who used different animals and performed experiments on these living animals. The prime focus of this paper is to see is it still necessary in the present scenario to use animals in medical research and to look for means that could replace animal use in medical research. Animals used in researches is a way of protecting humans from the hazardous effects but this raises many questions on the basis of ethics (Addison,et,al,2018). Animal use in research is under criticism by animal rights and protection groups. According to the statistical analysis, annually around 115 million animals are used in medical research worldwide. Animal testing is an ongoing argument that is defended by some researches claiming that animal experimentation is a reliable way of producing sufficient useful and relevant information. This paper would include discussion on if there is any place for animal testing in medical research and what are the replacements for animal use in the testing or experimentation.
By critically view the history, it could be said that animal testing has been playing an important role in medical and scientific research and testing of animals has been providing aid in understanding the causes and treatments for different diseases. Critical analysis of various articles has shown that there are two groups of people, one who are in favor of animal testing and second who are against it. There are various arguments, pieces of evidence and statements being given by both groups (Archibald,et,al,2019). The first group that accepts and supports animal testing in medical research claims that it is the only reliable way of testing the medicine and exploring the new ways of saving human lives. Members of this group believe that taking a risk on using animals in experiments is much better than taking a risk on humans as there is no proper alternative that researchers could use.
On the other hand, the second group believes that it is against animal rights to kill and hurt them for getting benefits for humans. According to a research by Warnock, using animals in experimentation is an ethical challenge that needs to be sorted. There is a need to find better ways rather than hurting the animals so that ethical concerns could be resolved (Gallin,et,al,2018). Scholar Dyer, in his research on animal testing, supports view being presented by Schupplui and Fraser that people should be trained for understanding the role of the community. Community could take many steps for improving the process of animal testing i.e. improving techniques of experiments and exploring new ways of testing products in medical research.
In 2010, a paper was released by the International Council for the laboratory of Animals Science that raised the point that there is a need to reconsider the process of animal testing as many ethical questions are being raised by animal rights organizations. In the past few years, the issue of animal testing became a hot button issue. So many countries are taking useful steps for saving the animals by launching many programs (Hajar,et,al,2011). For example, in Canada and Australia processes of self-regulation are being introduced through institutional AECs. According to the National statistics conducted in 2014, around 37% of animals went through severe pain, stress and discomfort and this analysis added fuel to the fire. It has been witnessed from the research conducted by many experts that it is not only the matter of the physical pain that these animals undergo rather it is much more than this.
According to Feredowisiann and Beck, the animals that are used in the experimentations and medical testing, went through many things i.e. fear, psychological distress and sadness that has been witnessed on many of the species that are used for medical testing and experimentation (Mackenzie,et,al,2018). After critically evaluating the research work and views of the above mentioned experts and research, it could be said that this fact cannot be denied that it is totally not ethical to torture any living being and hurt other non-human species for getting personal benefits. This is because it is against the rights of other living beings and the concern being raised by the committees and groups are valid when the pain of the sampled animals (animals on which experiment are performed).
Taking the views of both the groups it could be said that somehow both the groups are at the right because what they are saying is logically right. According to some of the researches, it is better to let the animals suffer than directly testing the medical and performing experimentations on humans as human life is much more precious than an animal (Bailey,et,al,2019). For resolving the issue of animal testing, it is important to search an alternative way that could be used for saving the lives of both animals and humans as it is true that without proper testing a medicine or a treatment cannot be implemented in the medical field. It is crucial to check the products it is making available for use to the general public as scientists are not sure if they are going to work or not. Studies have shown that there is not sufficient alternative available that would make it sure whether a medicine is safe or not. A scholar, Taylor claims that animal research in the daily use products and medicines has helped in developing the present market.
According to Festing, work done on animals use in medical testing, it is ethically wrong to use animals for the testing various cures and effectiveness of new medicine (Festing, et, al, 2007). He claims that both humans and animals are beings that can feel emotions and dragging them to pass through the pain is not an ethical act (Barber, et, al, 2018). One of the main concerns being raised by some researches is that pain is unique to every individual and it is impossible to say that humans and animals will have the same degree of effect if any new product is tested on them. Mackenzie claims that it is understandable that some animals are closely linked with the human systems but this cannot be said that animals being used in testing and experimentation are not always the best indicators of the reaction that humans are going to have.
Taking the above discussion in consideration, it could be concluded that using animals for testing and experimentation is ethical wrong, as it is unjustified to make a living being (animal)go through trauma, discomfort, stress, physiological and psychological pain. But at the same time, by taking the perspective of the other scholars who are in favour of using the animals in experimentation and testing, it could be said that somehow it is a better option to use animals for tests and experimentation. This is because they help in finding the cure and treatment of various diseases and making new products that are helping people in daily life (McGrath,et,al,2019). No risk can be taken as testing and checking of the medicines and processes being checked on animals cannot be evaluated on humans as there are multiple life risks involve. Comparing both the situations, it could be said that one of the best solutions of this problem of animals' use is to devise or explore an alternative way so that tests could be performed before allowing the medicines to be exported in the markets. There is a need to search for an alternative method that could be used but unless an alternative is not found, researchers are only left with the option of using animals in medical research for testing. From the researches, it has been proved that experimenters need to do all the things that are in their control for saving the animals from pain (Clark,et,al,2018). So, as a whole, it could be promulgated that different techniques should be used for minimizing the fear and pain of the animals being used to medical testing. New techniques should be explored and used in making the animal feel minimum pain. It is better to devise new ways and techniques regarding how animals are used in the testing, which could be avoided rather than blaming each other.
Addison, C., & Malone, N. (2018). An Experimental Ethics, but an Ethical Experiment? Anthropological Perspectives on Using Unproven Vaccines on Endangered Primates. The American Journal of Bioethics, 18(10), 53-55.
Archibald, K., Coleman, R., & Drake, T. (2019). Replacing animal tests to improve safety for humans. In Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change (pp. 417-442). Brill.
Bailey, J., & Balls, M. (2019). Recent efforts to elucidate the scientific validity of animal-based drug tests by the pharmaceutical industry, pro-testing lobby groups, and animal welfare organisations. BMC medical ethics, 20(1), 16.
Barber, B. (2018). Research on human subjects: Problems of social control in medical experimentation. Routledge.
Clark, J. M. (2018). The 3Rs in research: a contemporary approach to replacement, reduction and refinement. British Journal of Nutrition, 120(s1), S1-S7.
Festing, S., & Wilkinson, R. (2007). The ethics of animal research. Talking Point on the use of animals in scientific research. EMBO reports 8(6), 526–530. doi:10.1038/sj.embor.7400993
Gallin, J. I. (2018). A historical perspective on clinical research. In Principles and practice of clinical research (pp. 1-15). Academic Press.
Hajar R. (2011). Animal testing and medicine. Heart views : the official journal of the Gulf Heart Association, 12(1), 42. doi:10.4103/1995-705X.81548
Mackenzie, C. (2018). Animal research: is it a necessary evil?.
McGrath, C., Fisher, R. M., Hanberg, A., Haldosen, L. A., Juth, N., & Lek, M. (2019). Getting down to the business of teaching ethics. An inter-disciplinary case study. International Journal of Ethics Education, 4(1), 23-29.
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