Animal Experimentation - Frequently Asked Questions: Don't all doctors support the concept of animal experimentation?
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM

AFMA Americans for Medical Advancement
March 2006

Don't all doctors support the concept of animal experimentation?

No, but many medical professionals endorse lab animal research, as a matter of principle rather than informed conviction. With busy specialized careers and only thin information to the contrary, few physicians are willing to shoulder the burden of publicly dissenting with their peers. This dissent requires too much research and too much risk. However, if consulted privately, they will admit that they study human data, not animal data to determine how best to treat their patients. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and The Medical Research Modernization Committee are two physician-based organization that agree with AFMA that experiments on animals do not lead to cures for human disease.

Animal experimentation is part of the curricula at some medical schools. Moreover, many medical schools are associated with research institutes; these rely on animal experimentation for grant money. This style of education, therefore, leads physicians to believe that experiments on animals are associated with medical progress. Note, this does not mean animals are responsible for medical progress. Animal experiments provide results; however, physicians themselves will have to admit that the results they themselves were exposed to did not provide new data of relevance to humans. When pressed to provide examples of how animal experimentation has contributed to their field, these professionals invariably come up short. They may hold onto the possibility that the animal model, though not germane to their field, is of use in other disciplines.

In this litigious climate, doctors would be reluctant to prescribe drugs if they knew that the animal-testing aspect of the drug's development worked against, rather than for, patient health. Hence, pharmaceutical companies promote the belief that animal testing assures the safety and effectiveness of medications that physicians rely upon. This "bill of goods" is another reason why physicians support animal experimentation.

It must be added that physicians, if not proactively in pursuit of facts to the contrary, are also very easily persuaded by the steady influx of public relations perpetrated by animal experimenters. Animal experimentation has a long history, and with tens of thousands of people and some of the world's largest corporations entirely devoted to maintaining the status quo, it would take a brave physician, and one with a lot of time on his or her hands, to speak out against it.

Go on to Animal Experimentation: Frequently Asked Questions: How did animal experimentation become so established to begin with?


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