Generally speaking, people have longer life spans compared to other species and as such, diseases developed in people differ in significant ways from the imposed artificial symptoms of animals. Using animal models will never be able to accurately repeat similar results in humans and doing so may be misleading as a viable medical treatment. The purpose of medical research is to promote human health, but a cure for cancer in mice does not mean it will cure cancer for humans. Such a case is with morphine, it causes cats to enter an extremely hyper state whereas it has an opposite calming effect in human patients. Another example is that penicillin, when injected into guinea pigs, is toxic but it is an invaluable tool in human medicine. “Patients and physicians should remain cautious about extrapolating the findings of prominent animal research to the care of human disease” (Hackam and Redelmeier 46).
The FDA has reported that “adverse events associated with drugs are the single leading contributor to preventable patient injury, and may cost the lives of up to 100,000 Americans, account for more than 3 million hospital admissions, and increase the nation’s hospitalization bill by up to $17 billion each year.” This should be enough of a reason to prompt the FDA to remove those products from the market to prevent further damage to the general public.
There are better alternatives to the use of animal testing that can save animals from unnecessary suffering, cutting research costs while also providing more reliable data. “Using replacement alternative methods, especially incorporating human cells and tissues, avoids such confounding variables. A specific example of a basic research alternative method, and one that potentially has saved up to one million animals, is the in vitro production of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), which are used in nearly every field of biomedical research and critical areas of clinical practice. The widely-used ascites method of producing MAbs, involves injecting cells into rodent abdominal cavities and is extremely painful and unnecessary” (Leavitt 76-78). Other alternatives include the I-MAb Gas Permeable Tissue Culture Bags that are used to produce monoclonal antibodies for research diagnostic and clinical purposes.
This could replace up to one million mice a year. Organotypic cultures of human brain slices are used to study neurobiochemistry, neurophysiology, and drug efficacy developed by the ARDF. Using of normal human cell and tissue to identify disease processes and treatments and to study drug penetration and characteristics of the blood-brain barrier. The use of mathematical models and computer simulations in physiology, cardiovascular, pharmacology, and neurosciences. Short, direct non-invasive magnetic pulses allow precise stimulation of brain cells/regions in human volunteers for neurosciences. National Library of Medicine Visible Human Project utilized actual human cadaver cross-sections, CAT scans, and computer programs to develop new surgical techniques and research perspective.
Animals are frequently used in biological and medical research, in the testing of drugs and commercial products, and in educational exercises in the sciences. While the number of animals used in the United States is not known, estimates range into several tens of millions annually. The good news is that an increasing number of companies are turning to humane alternatives so it’s never been easier to find cruelty-free products.
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