Paper type: Essay Pages: 6 (1278 words)
Alyssa Miley PHI 130 TH 3:3012/6/18 Why Animal Testing is Beneficial Animal testing saves over 500 thousand lives each year. During animal testing, animals are used to develop treatments for not only human conditions and to understand human biology, but also to develop veterinary treatments for animals and to obtain fundamental knowledge. Although a lot of people view animal testing as morally wrong, it is actually right. Within the ethical theory Utilitarianism, there is the principle of utility and the weighing of consequences. In a broader sense, Utilitarianism takes animal suffering into account but in the end it comes down to the good of the research outweighing the bad of the tests on animals.
Human lives are important and should be a priority. Most of the gains we have made in terms of modern medicine and in safety are results of the experiments performed on animals. Animal testing did more good in the twentieth century than it did bad. In the twentieth century, research with animals made many advances in medicine possible.
Not only did it help find cures for infectious diseases and the development of immunization, but it also helped for advances in surgical procedures. Just one example is the insulin for diabetes. In 1921, an Ontario doctor and his assistant severed the connection between the pancreas and digestive system of dogs in order to find the substance that controlled diabetes. With this new information they were able to isolate insulin and open the possibility for treating millions of people with diabetes. Utilitarianism offers a relatively straightforward method for deciding the morally right course of action for any particular situation we may find ourselves in. To discover what should to do in any given situation, we first identify the options for various courses of action that we could perform. Second, we determine all of the pros and cons that could result from each course of action for everyone affected by the action. Lastly, we choose the course of action that provides the greatest benefits after the costs have been taken into account. This theory is the main reason why animal testing is right. If we take into account the possible benefits by the two courses of action- testing on animals or not testing on animals- we come to find that the only benefits of not testing on animals is that no animal will suffer in this way. This would then lead to a lot of human suffering though, since right now this is one of the only advanced ways to find cures. Utilitarianism does not take into account of how something was done. Utilitarianism does not care whether the benefits are produced by lies, manipulation, or coercion. It doesn’t matter that the animals were hurt in the process as long as the greatest amount of happiness is produced for the greatest amount of people. The goodness or badness of an action is solely a function of its consequences. For example, something as terrible as killing innocent people may be acceptable if it produces an outcome that saves a greater number of others from harm. Considering the possible consequences in this situation, saving many lives by finding out medical cures with testing on animals or not being able to save these lives and saving animals by possibly killing more humans, killing the animals has the best outcome and can be seen as morally right. A broader Utilitarian position that takes into account the animal suffering would explore the question of whether the benefits of animal research outweigh the harms of such research on the animals involved. The basic moral principle of Utilitarianism, the principle of utility, states that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of the happiness. The effect of animal testing would be providing cures and medical treatments; it is considered right because of how much happiness it promotes. Think of a person who had diabetes before insulin was found and how much their life changed after. They were able to be treated and no longer have to suffer because of these tests. It would truly be life changing to someone with a disease cured by animal testing. There is such thing as animal welfare which says that animal suffering matters and we should not cause any unnecessary harm to animals. If the animal testing was done in a way that is geared to hurt the animals, this would violate their rights and welfare. Although the animals are most likely killed after the tests, it is done in a way that they suffer the least. Animal testing is limited by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) which sets standards for handling cats, dogs, nonhuman primates, rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs. The AWA also requires laboratories to report the number of animals used. There are standards to make sure that these animals don’t receive any unnecessary suffering. Even though Utilitarians do believe the animals should be tested on for the sake of people lives, they would also believe that the testing should be done in the most humane way as possible, trying to bring little pain to the animal. Animal rights activists argue that animals are used for pointless tests and suffer tremendously. The animal rights say that they have interest in their lives and a corresponding right to not suffer or be killed. In reality, animal testing is done in a way that is supposed to make the animals suffer the least. Another argument presented by those against animal testing is that there are many other available and less cruel alternatives to find these cures besides animal testing. One alternative mentioned is testing humans with natural remedies such as essential oils to see how the human reacts instead of an animal. This could work but would take some time because of how new the idea is. It is also argued that other sources of information can also be used, including population studies or epidemiology, monitoring of human patients, noninvasive medical imaging devices, autopsies, tissue and cell cultures, in vitro tests, and computer models. These alternative tests are often more reliable than animal tests. For example, EpiDerm, an in vitro test derived from cultured human cells, was found to be more accurate in identifying chemical skin irritants than traditional animal tests. In comparison studies, EpiDerm correctly detected all of the test chemicals that irritate human skin, while tests on rabbits misclassified 10 out of 25 test chemicals- a 40% error rate. Although there are ideas for alternatives for animal testing, right now this is the most efficient way. Once new alternatives have been developed, there are massive hurdles to overcome when implementing and enforcing their use. Another thing animal rights activists don’t realize is how many lives are being saved by the animals that they think are being harmed. They have not only impacted their lives in some way, but have impacted their families, friends, and even children by providing people with vaccines and antibiotics. In conclusion, animal testing is ethically right. It is not done in an inhumane way and is for the better good. Within Utilitarianism the principle of utility and weighing consequences show that animal testing has the best outcome for the most amount of people. Without animal testing we probably wouldn’t have a lot of the cures and medical advancements we have today. For right now animal testing is the only thing we actually have to find these cures. Without it, we wouldn’t be where we are medically today. Until someone is able to effectively implant something that will help save as many lives as animal testing does, there’s no stopping it.
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Alyssa Miley PHI 130 TH 33012618. (2019, Aug 20). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/alyssa-miley-phi-130-th-33012618-essay