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The Use Of Primates In Medical Research

2281 words - 10 pages

Primate Research and its Faults "It is one reason why the issue of animal research is such a haunting one. It forces us to see what we would rather not"(Blum 2). Animal research or experimentation has been occurring in laboratories throughout the world for centuries. Animals' used as a model of humans for experimentations is an age-old idea and had long been a favorite practice of research for many physicians in the field. The general public has often been in support of these practices because they have been informed that the modeling of animals for humans works, and the test performed on these animals are not cruel and are done in a humane manner. I am going to show you the contrary, the ...view middle of the document...

In his most common experiments on monkey "models", Rosenblum forces baby macaques' mothers and infants to live with unpredictable access to food. Unable to feed their infants regularly the mothers suffer constant anxiety. The babies, deprived of their mothers, become isolated and withdrawn. These normally playful and curious infants sit hunched over, crying, shaking, and clasping themselves (Lustig 23). This may seem justifiable, but what if I told you that it is completely unnecessary. This is true because 50 years of research form clinical (human) studies have already demonstrated that children raised in stressful situations without their mothers attention are more likely to develop anxiety disorders in later life (23). "But still these experiments continue at public expense totaling $1.4 million over the last 10 years"(24). Another field of research that I have come across that seems totally unethical is the head trauma studies. There are few studies in this field that I think should be way outside the two regulating federal policies, one administered by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the other, the Animal Welfare Act, administered by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Head injury experiments on primates at the University of Pennsylvania seemed to be the most barbaric and unethical in recent history. Some tapes that were stole from the University showed baboons in states of paralysis and incapacity and researchers who seemed indifferent to the distress of the animals. The videotapes showed shocking pictures of a baboon repeatedly withering on a table as a hydraulic piston hit the animal's head. The experimental procedure was to cement a baboon's head securely in a helmet and subject it to sudden jerking movements delivered by a specially designed device that inflicted "acceleration injury", as in whiplash. The acceleration could get up to two thousand times that of gravity. Paralysis and coma were the results. These monkeys were kept alive for up to two months before they were killed and examined to see how the brain reacted to the injuries (Orlans 72). Quite possibly some of the most disturbing experiments on primates have been led by Dr. Edward Tubbs. Tubbs was doing studies on primates in Silver Springs, Md. to explore the effects of nerve damage. He took 17 rhesus monkeys and sliced apart nerves close to the spinal column crippling their limbs. Then he studied the way they coped with damage. He was also involved in a project with the U.S. Air Force, which involved draining 40 percent of the blood from rhesus macaques and then spinning them on a centrifuge, to simulate injured astronauts (Blum 78).All of the above case studies show the facts about animal experimentation and they leave the moral issues to be assessed by all individuals. After research this subject and reading all of these cases, I feel sickened to know that those kinds of experiments are allowed to be carried out this day in age. ""¦Vivisection is a...

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