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Humans utilize animals in many ways. • More than 95% of animals are used for food & clothing • Research = small percentage • Is the use of animals in research, teaching, and other potentially harmful endeavors justified by the outcomes?
Should animals be excluded from research that only gives “basic knowledge?” • Even “basic” research applies to clinical situations. • Most research applications are unknown when research begins, and its applications are not always good. (atomic bombs, chemical warfare) • Understanding disease requires first understanding the “normal” functioning • To understand disease (mental/physical) we must understand the workings of the body.
Even the best models cannot predict how the complete organism behaves. Should research use mathematical models instead of animals?
Minimizing Pain • Surgical Anesthesia • Use of electrical shock is infrequent and mild. • Most research seeks to avoid pain to animal subjects • Concern for animal subject’s welfare • Legal regulations (APA) • Unnecessary discomfort is an experimental confound.
Some pain is intentional. • Examples: research on pain, head or spinal injuries, tumors, painful human diseases, veterinary medicine • Some experiments seek to understand pain and the neuropsychological mechanisms that govern it. • Consider the alternatives?
APA Guidelines/Humans • Informed Consent • May not be coerced, free to withdraw at anytime. • Minimize physical and mental discomfort, harm, and danger. • Deception must be justifiable (debriefed) • Confidentiality • Must honor any commitments made • Researcher must detect & remove any undesirable consequences.