The ethics of animal experimentation

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Research about animals has created so many questions, and pressing issues that have been released from every corner of the world. This struggle delves much on two items that are some people ask whether the research conducted cannot be acquired from other springs and the next concern is whether it is ethically acceptable for persons to use creatures in ways that lead to harm (Armstrong & Botzler, 2016). From the two questions, useful and distinctive insights are given from every corner of the world. The scientific defense question is critical to the query of moral defense. An affirmative answer to the scientific problem does not seem to answer the moral issue because it involves having an experiment that provides relevant information that is ethically acceptable.

Every country has codes of conduct that define the ethical scientific research, but in all of them, a species-based double standard is applied explicitly. Procedures that are considered too invasive to be conducted on human beings are performed on animals. Some of these methods include vivisection, brain lesions, and creation of models of diseases for animals (Armstrong & Botzler, 2016). The joy of a man is to find a healthy species that will willingly allow such an experiment to take place in their area of jurisdiction. Where the dilemma sets in, is in sorting the double standards mentioned earlier. The evolution theory which brings another twist that there is no qualitative distinction between humans and non-human species (Armstrong & Botzler, 2016). Scientists argue that the only difference between animals is the complexity of humans being more complex regarding character; this difference is quantitative, not qualitative.

The main aim of using animals in research is to ensure a scientific continuity in medical science and applied and biological science. Science is a critical tool and quite useful in understanding the natural world. So far, significant discoveries have been made lately by scientists on the number of chemical and physical principles governing the biological processes (Akhtar, 2015). Problems come in the use of those animals for the scientific gain because some other people use the same animals for harmful purposes and claim the same applause, but that is unethical. Such researchers have no regard for both humans and animals because when people complain about their harmful use of animals, they ask for volunteer humans or those willing to produce a tissue from the body (Akhtar, 2015). Some will argue that there are so many research questions which can only be answered by use of animals. In that light, others will come with the argument of distress, pain, and suffering caused on the animal during the scientific study. Nothing should be done on animals if it cannot experiment on humans as it is.

Every living creature needs to be given an equal level of compassion like any other hence if it is unacceptable to research human beings, animals should not fall as an alternative (Akhtar, 2015). According to some researchers, all living things have a similar moral status hence it is unethical to use them in place of human beings. If they are not like humans, then the information received from that research would not be useful or applicable to any human being (Doke & Dhawale, 2015). Both man and animals experience the same kind of pain, though the animal may fail to express in a way that would indicate it is unbearable, people assume it is to continue.

It could be assumed easily that justification for using animals for research depends on the question of the moral status of animals and humans. The defense would go back to the argument of both animals, and human beings have the same moral status, but it is higher for humans than animals (Doke & Dhawale, 2015). Humans are more important than animals that are universally acceptable, but humans have a moral duty of stewardship to the lesser creations. Stewardship is different from subjectively treating these fewer beings. Some people claim that humans have a higher power over other species thus bringing a duty of compassion and care and not a license to abuse.

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  1. Armstrong, S. J., & Botzler, R. G. (Eds.). (2016). The animal ethics reader. Taylor & Francis.
  2. Akhtar, A. (2015). The flaws and human harms of animal experimentation. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics24(4), 407-419.
  3. Doke, S. K., & Dhawale, S. C. (2015). Alternatives to animal testing: A review. Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal23(3), 223-229.
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