Last Updated on 01/30/2023 by Sophia
The medical research has shifted from traditional research to modern research that
focuses on exploring different techniques of improving healthcare. In that regard, there is an
increase in the use of animals in medical research and experimentation. The scientific processes
applied when using animals involves testing the suitability of particular medicine for human
consumption. Besides, other facilities have been breeding animals used in research and
experiment. However, the issue of using animals in medical research is controversial. Some
people support while others oppose the use of animals in medical research. Therefore, the
primary purpose of this paper is to support the use of animals for medical research. The
argument to support the issues is vested in many critical aspects such as ethics, benefits,
technology in medicine, and others.
Use of Animals in Medical Research
The process of using animals in medical research and experimentation uses useful animal
models. Using animal models has facilitated scientists to enhance their skills and knowledge of
animal and human health and diseases through the dramatic study of model organisms. The
process has also improved the discovery of vaccines, insulin, and antibiotics that strengthen
health care procedures, such as HIV treatment and organ transplantation. In other words, it
would be difficult to treat some diseases without using animal experimentation. For example,
more than 70% of Nobel Prizes for Medicine and Physiology awarded based on research in
animals (Botting 21). Mainly, animal medical research plays a significant role in medicine to
bring hope to millions of patients with health conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart
failure, and cancer.
Secondly, the positives of using animals in medical research outweigh the negatives by
far. For example, the use of animals in medical experiments is crucial because researchers can
develop new medicines and treatments. Besides, the use of animals in medical tests has resulted
in a dramatic improvement in the scientific understanding of human health and biology (Garrett
34). Medical research and experiment use animal models that ensure the safety and effectiveness
of new drugs and treatments. Therefore, it would be a loss in medical fraternity to prohibit
medical research in animals because the alternative methods of analysis are not reliable due to
the inability to stimulate the whole body systems of a human being.
Next, using animals in medical research and experiments is necessary. First, diseases
such as cystic fibrosis and asthma have complex physiological processes that require a whole
study using a living animal. Therefore, animals are essential for medical experiment until the
researchers come up with a cell that can be experimented in individually to exhibit human-like
responses. Also, people who claim that drugs used in animals during experiments can harm
people should know the process is legal (Garrett 34). Legally, all medicines are tested on animals
using safety measures and approved before releasing them for human consumption. Researchers
are guided when using animals in medical research. In case there is a reliable alternative in
medical experiments, animals are not used. In other words, there has to be a precise scientific
call for researchers to use animals in an analysis. Most importantly, using animals in medical
research reduces any risk of a drug via clinical trials for human consumption. The approach is
used to minimize human fatalities and side effects.
Moreover, it is ethical to use animals in medical research and experiments. For example,
the UK has implemented ethical frameworks to allow the use of animals in a medical
examination. The UK uses the Animal Act of 1986 to control researchers who use animals in the
experiment. According to the Animal Act of 1986, any research using animals is thoroughly
assessed to determine any harm to the animals (Garrett 34). The procedures, types of animals
used, and the number of animals used is highly evaluated.
Also, the process is highly ethical because researchers carry out procedures with ultimate
and extreme care to reduce suffering. Researchers also use anesthetics and painkillers to manage
pain during the experiment. Thus, stopping animal research would be unethical because the
discovery of new drugs and treatments will be dramatically affected, thereby affecting quality
health care (Joffe et al., 120). Currently, the most effective alternative to using animals in
research is using volunteers. However, it is complicated to find willing volunteers who would
accept the testing of new drugs that have not been tested on animals. Surprisingly, only a few
animals are used in medical research than those slaughter for human consumption. For example,
more than 2.5 billion animals are consumed in the UK per year (Joffe et al., 120). Thus, the
number of animals eaten in the UK is about 700 times more than those used in medical research
Another essential concept of using animals in scientific research is a legal concern. The
use of animals in research is a mandatory part of modern progressive science. In the current
world of medicine, animal testing is a legitimate and compulsory concept of drug testing. The
use of animals in medical research and experiment is used together with other therapeutic
approaches such as human clinical trials, computer modeling, and cell culture. Also, using
animals in scientific research is a vital aspect of science that enhances human understanding of
how human bodies function to progress in bounds and leaps.
The use of animals in medical research is the most appropriate approach because animals
and human beings are similar in many ways. For example, mice share 98% of their DNA with
humans, while chimpanzee is 99% genetically identical to human beings (Weichbrod et al., 87).
Many researchers use mammals in their scientific research because they share common ancestors
and similar organ systems such as lungs, kidney, and heart. Therefore, using an animal in
medical research is the most reliable technique because humans and animals are biologically the
same. Besides, animals and humans are susceptible to the majority of illnesses and health
conditions, including diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases. Thus, any attempt to prohibit the use
of animals in medical research is an attempt to destroy human species.
It is of importance to note animals themselves also benefit from the outcomes of medical
research after animal testing. In other words, using animals in scientific research is of mutual
benefit to both animals and humans. For example, failure to test vaccines on animals would have
resulted in the loss of millions of animals that would have died from canine parvovirus, anthrax,
tetanus, infectious hepatitis virus, feline leukemia, distemper and rabies (Botting 21). Moreover,
using animals in research has enhanced the development of pacemakers for managing heart
diseases. It has also acted as a remedy to treat hip dysplasia and glaucoma. The support of
animals in medical research is also necessary because animal testing is highly instrumental in
saving animals from extinction.
Using animals in medical research is the best approach to discovering new drugs and
treatment because animals have shorter life cycles. For example, a laboratory mouse has a life
span of two years. Therefore, medical researchers can experiment with the effects of genetic
manipulation and treatments using these animals, which would be difficult and infeasible if
human beings are used. Mainly, researchers use rats and mice in their experiments, especially
during long-term cancer research, because they have short lifespans. Many researchers and
biologists across the world have fully embraced the use of animals in research. According to the
Pew Research Center, out of a poll of 3,748 scientists, 89% favored animals in medical research
(Garrett 34). In other words, different international organizations have embraced medical
research in animals because of many underlying benefits (Pew Research Center 56). The leading
advocates of medical research in animals are the American Heart Association, National
Association for Biomedical Research, the Society of Toxicology, American Physiological
Society, and the American Cancer Society.
Overall, the above supporting arguments demonstrate the benefits of using animals in
medical research. Only minimal cases where animals are harmed during scientific research.
However, researchers do their best to minimize the harm faced by animals during medical
examination and experiment. The first approach to reduce injury is by replacing animals with
computer modeling, human volunteers, and cell culture. Researchers also reduce the number of
animals in medical research through experimental methods and comparing details with other
researchers. Besides, researchers refine the care process of animals to reduce pain and stress. To
sum up, the framework implemented when using animals in medical research is less invasive,
thereby improving living conditions and quality medical care.
Botting, Jack. Animals and Medicine: The Contribution of Animal Experiments to the Control of
Disease (1 st Ed.). Open Book Publishers. 2015. Print.
Garrett, Jeremy. The Ethics of Animal Research: Exploring the Controversy (Basic Bioethics) (1 st
Ed.). The MIT Press. 2012. Print.
Joffe, Ari; Bara Meredith; Anton Natalie & Nobis Nathan. “The ethics of animal research: a
survey of the public and scientists in North America”. BMC Medical Ethics, vol. 27, no.
17, 2016: Pp. 112-123. Doi: 10.1186/s12910-016-0100-x .
Pew Research Center. Science News and Information Today. September, 2017. Retrieved from:
Weichbrod, Robert; Gail Thompson & Norton John. Management of Animal Care and Use
Programs in Research, Education, and Testing (2 nd Ed.). CRC Press. 2017. Print.