Without biomedical research, diseases could not have been prevented through vaccines. In seasons when the vaccine viruses matched circulating strains, flu vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor with flu by 40% to 60% (“CDC” 2). Vaccines and treatments have eradicated viral diseases such as smallpox, polio, rabies, and tuberculosis due to animal research. This benefits humans not only because of the treatments for viral diseases, but it can create insulin for controlling diabetes and provide organ transplants. This type of research is especially safe and legal; the animals used must be specially bred by registered license holders (“Cook Kristina” 2).
According to page 2 of “Information For Parents: Tetanus and the Vaccine (Shot) to Prevent It”, “Tetanus is very dangerous. It can cause breathing problems, muscle spasms, and paralysis (unable to move parts of the body). Muscle spasms can be strong enough to break a child’s spine or other bones. It can take months to recover fully from tetanus. A child might need weeks of hospital care. As many as 1 out of 5 people who get tetanus dies.”
More than 50 children have died in NSW over 10 years from diseases that could have been prevented through immunisation. An analysis of child deaths from 2005 to 2014 has identified 54 children who died from infectious diseases for which a vaccine is currently available (“Alexander, Harriet” 3). This also includes children who were not vaccinated for tetanus.
105 pediatric deaths were reported during 2012-2013 associated with influenza, 90% occurred in children who had not been vaccinated for the flu that season.
Animal testing can require all pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers to protect patients and consumers; this can be accomplished by production quality, safety, and through approved and validated testing methods (“Allergan” 1).
Zoo Miami gave Barney, a 25-year-old silverback gorilla, his annual checkup. Barney’s persistent cough concerned the zookeepers, which resulted in the discovery of mites in his airways after examination. An associate veterinarian quote “We were not expecting to see that at all” and “You don’t see that in humans”. Allergy tests were also given to find out that Barney is allergic to mangoes, plantains, and some types of grasses, which explained hives breaking out. Without this animal procedure, Barney would’ve suffered in silence and research on newfound infestation of mites (“Chrissos Joan” 2). Due to biomedical physiology, an excellent understanding of how the human body functions and creation of functioning artificial organs have been possible (“Bradshaw Lauren” 1).
With avian flu, malaria, AIDS, and other new and reemerging diseases, an important goal of NIH is the development of vaccines. If just four recently developed vaccines (hepatitis B, rotavirus, Haemophilus influenzae type b, and acellular pertussis) were universally administered, more than three million deaths could be prevented each year (“Fauci Anthony” 4). Biomedical research can prevent millions of deaths yearly, which is a supporting factor to continue its testing.
Repercussions of not having this type of exploration in the hands of scientists extend to millions of deaths of unvaccinated children and drugs for treatments and cures. Not all biomedical research is looked up upon and legal standpoints reject the usage of animals without Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUC) or proper caution in biohazardous labs.
In BSL-3 and BSL-4 research facilities, proper handling of hazardous materials is of critical importance. These facilities must protect the research environment from contamination while employing biocontainment measures to protect the external environment from harmful pathogens. Getinge offers solutions for cleaning, bio-decontamination and sterilization to safely and efficiently handle materials according to their classifications and biosafety levels (“Getinge” 1).
Using procedures such as Harvard’s animal care use programs to ensure all legal safety is another way of social and legal acceptability for biomedical research. The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique advocate the legal standpoint of assuring all tested and order vertebrate animals are approved from Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees. Two IACUC’s of Harvard’s program are federally mandated by our OLAW Assurances; this means that also the IACUC’s are responsible for inspection of all animal use sites at least once every six months, including all animal facilities, satellite housing, and animal use areas in labs (“Lopes Melissa” 1).
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