The world of medicine is very complex and full of controversies. Despite the incredible advancements in the field, there are many criticisms too. Ethics plays a crucial role in the complex problem of the medical sector. While there are many controversies and criticism that surrounds every medical advancement, the most prominent one is how they test new drugs.
This is mainly in the field of testing for vaccines, drugs, and cosmetics. For instance, the practice of testing on animals is under criticism for several decades now. Activists and animal rights advocates are continually fighting to stop this cruel practice. Here we take a look at the ethics behind animal testing and what the argument is all about.
Not All Products Require Animal Testing
Certain products do not require animal testing at all. These are products, which pose no threat to human beings, while it might have some effect on the animal’s health. For instance, we all know that chocolates are good for human beings and don’t cause any health risks.
However, the same chocolate is poisonous for dogs and harms their bone health. The fight on the prevention of testing on animals gets stronger when the ingredients in a product pose no harm to humans. Yet, the companies continue to test them on animals. That’s because there is absolutely no reason to do this testing and pose a threat to the life of the animal, yet companies put the animal’s life at risk.
Those against animal testing will be happy to know about the new revolution in this space. It is now possible to test the medicines on human tissues rather than animals thanks to stem cell research. It makes it possible to grow human tissues in the lab and use them for testing drugs and cosmetics. Of course, this gives a far more precise result as compared to animal testing, since different species react differently to things as we have mentioned. Tissue studies he advanced testing in the medical field. This type of testing is expensive, so not all sectors can use it.
Look How Far We Have Come
Unfortunately, without having tested on animals for the past several generations, we would not have come to where medicine is right now. Every year a million people find life-saving drugs because of these discoveries, which were tested on animals. By using human subjects for these experiments, it would become a bigger controversy. Also, if humans volunteer as test subjects, the implications should anything go wrong, would have likely been extensive.
Animal Testing Has Its Place
Speaking of animal testing, one cannot impose a complete ban on it. That’s because you cannot test the medicines meant for animals on any other test subject. Of course, the focus here is primarily on animal testing for human products, though. In this area, there have been codes of ethics that have been developed. It will continue to work for monitoring the safety of the animals in laboratory testing of human products. For example, the APA has developed Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in the Care and Use of Animals.
Animal Testing In The Future
Where possible, animal testing is being substituted by alternatives. There are more and more activists fighting against animal testing, and so technology and its methods continue to change and evolve as well. Animal testing is still conducted in biomedical research and related fields, but well-established companies also value their reputation and ensure that they follow ethics in their procedures. Of course, with time, more bodies will enforce codes of ethics in their animal testing practices, and stem cell testing will become more affordable, reducing animal testing overall.
As one of the most controversial fields of medicine, animal ethics has long been a debated topic and will continue to be a topic of debate. It is difficult to pick a side, and fortunately, for us regular folks, we don’t have to. Of course, it is vital to know what goes into the making of the products we use. So the next time you seek medical services or treatment, you might consider where your drugs have come from. A quick read of the label will give you the details on animal testing for this drug.