Essay on Animal Testing in Medical Research

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Have you ever wondered how producers of food products, cosmetics, and medicines make sure their products are safe to use or consume? Most of them test their products on animals even though the idea of animals suffering in the name of beauty is not well-accepted. It’s hard to condemn scientists who want to search for cures to treat various ailments or develop life support systems since these medical advancements have definitely improved our way of life.

Scientists and researchers do medical research to save human lives and prevent people from suffering. Most research is now done with the use of advanced computer programs, culturing of cells, or employing human volunteers, but sometimes it is necessary to use animals because there are some tests that are either potentially harmful to use human subjects or too complex to be simulated in the laboratory or with the use of computers.

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Because animals share a lot of similarities with us, scientists observe and contrast their biology with human biology. Did you know that we share over 90% of our genes with mice and 98% with chimpanzees? Since animals are very similar to us, they can also be susceptible to many of the same conditions and illnesses plaguing humans like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. This is why many medical schools require their students to use live animals to train them for their desired profession. Some may argue that animal testing is not reliable because it may sometimes yield a different result since humans and animals are still different no matter how close their genetics are. A good example is aspirin, which is beneficial to humans but ineffective and even harmful to some animals. It may also work the other way around. Drugs that pass animal testing may also be harmful to humans like ‘thalidomide’, the sleeping pill of the 1950s, which caused 10,000 babies to be born with severe deformities. Despite these examples, we can’t ignore all the groundbreaking medical discoveries that could not have been possible without animal testing. In fact, over 70% of Nobel Prizes in medicine and physiology have depended on animal experimentation. Animal testing helped scientists and researchers discover and improve antibiotics, anesthetics, organ transplants, and insulin for diabetes.

Recently, cases of The Polio Virus started to re-emerge in the Philippines. The very same virus weakened and even paralyzed more than 350,000 people to the point where they needed machines to breathe. Imagine a world where there’s nothing we can do to prevent this virus from further spreading. Thankfully, with the help of animal experimentation, the vaccine for The Polio Virus now exists. Also, without animal testing, Herceptin, a treatment for breast cancer, could possibly be left undiscovered because it was not only developed and tested in mice but it actually comes from mice.

Although animal testing has contributed to the advancement of medical research, the public still seems concerned about animal experimentation. Scientists and researchers do recognize public concern about animal research and it is a very difficult ethical judgment to make but its benefits for humanity are far too great not to be utilized. Aside from this, animals have also benefited from the research. If it were not for vaccines derived from animal testing, countless animals would have died from rabies, distemper, feline leukemia, and other fatal illnesses that commonly affect animals.

There are institutes that are concerned about the treatment and care of lab animals such as the American Association for Laboratory Animals (AALAS), the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM), and the American Humane Association (AHA). They publish studies and papers that encourage scientists and researchers to properly look after the animals they test on so that they can get the best results. Well-trained animal technicians ensure that they are taken care of. Furthermore, vets oversee the health and well-being of animals in every research institute to ensure that the animals there are treated humanely.

The benefits of animal experimentation have been enormous and it can be considered to be ethically and morally justified. It helped save countless human and animal lives and contributed to the advancement of medical physiological research. There would be severe consequences on public health and medical research if it were abandoned. Although alternatives to animal testing exist, they remain limited in terms of the experiments they can be used in. As of now, there is no procedure better and wider in scope than animal experimentation.

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Essay on Animal Testing in Medical Research. (2024, January 04). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from
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