Presentation on theme: "An Introduction to Animal Research Ethics"— Presentation transcript:
1An Introduction to Animal Research Ethics Sam Garner, M. Bioethics
2Macaque inhalation anthrax study 24 cynomolgus macaques exposed to anthrax.Macaques experienced: lethargy, diarrhea, fever, bacteremia, inappetance, vomiting, respiratory distress, pain.10 of 12 animals in control group died w/o treatment over the course of 4 days.All remaining animals were killed at the end of the study.Necropsy showed significant vascular and organ pathology.Henning, Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, 2012
3Where Are We Going? Things to note The nature of the debate Why does this matter?A brief history of ideasJustification of animal research and critiqueCase studyConcluding remarks and discussion
4Things to Note Bracket the science and focus on the ethics. Bracket other animal issues.Distinguish between blaming individuals and thinking critically about a practice.I’ll use the term ‘animal’ as a shorthand for non- human animal.
5The Nature of the Debate One end: research with non-human animals is beneficial and critical to advancing biomedical science for human health and is therefore justified.The other end: Animals are owed utility-trumping strong rights and are not instruments of science.
6Why Does This Matter?IOM Report: “Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research: Assessing the Necessity”Changing regulatory landscape abroadPublic opinionScientific community opinion pollsLegal rights for chimpsThis is the biomedical paradigm
13Animal Experimentation: Justification and Critique
14The JustificationAnimal research is beneficial/useful/necessary and, therefore, justified.
15Ethics and Moral Status Ethics is centrally concerned with protecting and/or promoting interests. Moral status is to be morally considerable because you matter in your own right. We have an obligation to consider your interests.
16How much do animals matter? Do they count just as much as people? If so, why? (Equal Consideration)Do they count for less? If so, why? (Unequal Consideration)
17Equal Consideration (EC) To consider the comparable interests of animals and humans with equal moral weight.Argument from marginal cases: if we have strong obligations to non-paradigm humans, then we must have similar obligations to non- humans with similar capacities.Strong rights (Regan)Utilitarianism (Singer)
18Unequal Consideration (UC) To consider the interests of animals with less weight because they are the interests of animals.Argument from speciesMoral agency and contractarianismCarl Cohen ‘of a kind’Social bondedness view (Midgely/Brody)
19QuestionsIf animals count for less, does that equate to weaker prohibitions against harm? (A lesser harm is not necessarily a justifiable harm).If animals count for less, how beneficial to human health must the science be? Would basic research be acceptable? Or only some preclinical?Should there be limits to the amount of harm we can cause animals (or risk thresholds)?How should we view animal research ethics in light of our approach to human research ethics (more rights- based view)?
20Recap: Case StudyDo you think the inhalation anthrax macaque study was justifiable? If so, why? If not, why not?
21Suggested ReadingCarl Cohen and Tom Regan, The Animal Rights Debate, 1999.David DeGrazia, Taking Animals Seriously, 1996.Jeremy Garrett, The Ethics of Animal Research: Exploring the Controversy, 2012.Andrew Knight, The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experiments, 2011.