Animals In Print
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20 Nov 2009 Issue

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End Use Of Live Pigs At Baystate Medical Center


There are only a few programs left that use live animals for their Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) courses and Baystate Medical Center in Massachusetts is one of them.

Baystate Medical Center is currently using pigs for its trauma sessions, which the hospital is justifying by claiming this is the best way to teach students.

This week the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine filed a complaint with the USDA, claiming that Baystate Medical Center is violating the Animal Welfare Act, which requires facilities to use alternatives when available.

According to PCRM, 90 percent of schools offering this program use non-animal models like the Trauma Man System (which Baystate owns!), Synman, and human cadavers for these courses. These alternatives have also been approved by the American College of Surgeons.

The study Dying to Learn: Exposing the Supply of Dogs and Cats to Higher Education also found that both medical and veterinary students can learn just as well through alternative teaching methods that can include hands on training at shelters for vet students and simulators for medical students.

Some from the medical community have also spoken out against using live animals for this type of training. Dr. Edward Linkner, a former student at the University of Michigan’s School of Medicine spoke out about this practice in the Detroit Free Press. He refused to participate in the dog lab while he was a student and stated that, “it was clear that using live dogs to practice critical procedures meant for human patients is unnecessary and inhumane--and it does not give participants an accurate understanding of human anatomy.”.

Behind Closed Doors - Part 2

Behind Closed Doors - Part 2

Send a letter to Baystate Medical Center asking them to use training alternatives that don’t involve animals for their ATLS courses.


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Please send comments and submittals to the Editor: Linda Beane Ljbeane1@aol.com

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