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Over the year’s scientists have used animals such as guinea pigs in experimenting on the effectiveness on medicines. The scientist inventions on medicines have always played extremely significant role in both the life of human beings and that of animals. These medicines have been used in either treating diseases or improving the immune systems of both animals and human. However, the major controversy has arisen on the development and testing of the medicines, and more so, in the cases that have involved animal experimentation. Historically, the use of animal experimentation was not a major ethical issue; in fact, people who raised questions on the treatment of animals during scientific experiments were often victimized and labeled anti-vivisectionist. This has changed in the recent past and numerous individuals and groups have raised several issues regarding this problem; they have termed animal experimentation as morally wrong.
There is a worldwide consensus scientifically, which stipulates that various animals are significant in order to gain medical mirage. First, the scientists employ other scientific techniques such as the human trial, cell culture, computer modeling, and statistical procedures in seeking an answer to certain problems. If all these techniques prove futile, this is when animals are used in the research. It is important to note that, living body consists of sophisticated systems, as such, it is impossible for scientists to re-develop a beating heart in a laboratory. Due to insufficient information concerning the human body, computers with the intelligence of reproducing numerous complex interactions of one’s entire body has not yet been invented (University of Oxford).
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Scientist normally follows a set of objectives when undertaking animal research. The set of principles is known as the three Rs, which means, Refinement, Reduction, and Replacement. In terms of Reduction, scientists are supposed to reduce, as much as possible the number of animals used in an experiment (BBC Ethics guide). This is achieved by improving the techniques employed in an experiment. The procedure of data analysis must also be improved, and sharing the information obtained with other researchers.
The scientist should practice replacing the experiment on animals with other alternative methods. This could be done through cell culture experimentation, as opposed to use all animals for an experiment. They should also utilize the computer models in solving the problem. Human volunteers should replace animal usage, as well as, employment of epidemiological studies. The technique employed should be refined. This means that the pain that the animal experiences should be extremely minimal. This is enhanced by employment of reduced invasive procedures. The scientist should provide better medical care that would assist in eliminating pain. The living conditions should also be improved.
Banning of animal experiment could imply the drop in drug safety. This could dictate the end testing latest drugs or alternatively, using human beings for drugs safety test. There has always been a misconception that, the utilization of animal experiment is meant to test the effectiveness and the safety of a drug in a human being, but rather animals are used to ascertain whether a drug should be tasted on people. This experiment helps in eliminating some drugs that are extremely dangerous to human beings or are ineffective. Once a drug passes this test done on animal, it is then tested on a small target group before being used as a large-scale means.
In ethical arithmetic and animal experiment, the consequentialist verification of experiments using animals can be shown by comparing the moral consequence of either performing the experiment or not. This technique cannot be done mathematically in a bid to arrive at an ethical practice, but it is useful in clearly demonstrating of issues. The basic arithmetic could be used in identifying whether performance of experiments would cause harm or goods. In case the arithmetic indicates that performance of this experiment is ethically wrong. The consequences resulting from not performing the experiment are caused by multiplication of three factors together. These factors are the human beings moral value, the percentage of a human being who stands to benefit from these experiments, and the benefit value that the human beings would be denied from not performing the experiments.
The harm caused by this experiment is achieved through identifying the experimental animal’s moral value, the number of animal that could suffer from these experiments, and the negative value in terms of harm that each animal experiences. This method is not simple since it becomes virtually impossible in assigning moral value to beings. It is also difficult in assigning a value to the harm done on an individual. It is possible to identify the harm that the experiment is expected to cause, but it extremely difficult to know the benefits that will arise.
In the ethical arithmetic, experimental harm done on the animal is compared to be done on human by providing the experiment. This is conceptually explained by looking at the harm done to the animal is meant to happen once the experiment is carried out. Again, the harm that the human experiences by not carrying out the experiment is not known since one cannot tell whether the experiment would succeed or the benefits involved once the experiment succeeds. Therefore, this equation becomes useless in determining whether there are ethics behind the performance of an experiment. This is because before the actual experiment, it is not possible to estimate the value of benefit expected.
The equation is deficient in dealing with moral variation existing between the act and omissions. Most ethicists are of the idea that there is much moral responsibility for those things that one does that in those that one does not do; that is, it is morally worse doing harm through using animals in experiments than doing harm without using the animals for experiments. Using the acts and omissions line of thoughts, it would be right to say that it using animals for experiments is morally worse than could be the case in harming the human by absconding the experiment.
The action of animal experimentation is unethical. It has been asserted that, the moral status of animals is higher than that accorded by society. This fact makes the whole issue of experimentation as being unethical. Garner contends that the act of using animals in order to benefit the human kind can be equated to speciesism. This is the arbitrary valuation of human kind and disregarding animals. Garner refutes the assertion that significant medical innovations have been effected by animal experimentation. He argues that, it is never clear whether the same innovations could have happened without experimentation of these animals (Knight).
There exists a strong moral case against the experimentation of animals. This is evidenced from the fact that it would be difficult to explain what gives one the right to exploit animals to benefit themselves, the most possible answer that one could give in his/her defense is the fact that human beings are superior intellectually compared to the animals (Dewey). This is not entirely true since some human beings who are mentally challenged and infants could not range to the capacity some animals, which are regarded as being wise. If the human beings are not ready to sacrifice, own species which are not up to their intellectual capability, then it would be morally wrong to sacrifice animals on that grounds (Alternative Veterinary Medicine Centre).
It is always considered cruel treating other people, who are lacking in one way or the other, as tools. This is because these people also have rights to live and enjoy themselves. This is the same case in regards to animals, they also have rights and as such, animals should not be treated as tools of satisfying human needs. The animals get hurt or exhausted just as the human beings (Fox 8). Therefore, one should learn to love their animals and treat them just they would like to be treated given in the circumstance.
Charles Darwin indicated that, the difference between the human beings and animals is only in degree, but not in kind. Science has proved that the animals that are reared for food, used as a guinea pig in the laboratory, or hunted for leisure are a perfect example of man’s psychological kin. Just as the racists and the sexist view themselves as being superior to the rest of the people, there exists no difference between these two groups, which discriminate by virtue of superiority to those who mistreat animals simply because, they do not belong to the same species (Cothran 21).
There exists a philosophy of compassion in the animal’s rights. Human have been always advocates for sympathy and empathy to victims who are facing certain degree of injustices, this being regardless of whether the recipient of the injustice is human or an animal. On the other hand, philosophy of animal rights underscores the significance of it acceptance fostering growth compassion virtue. The philosophy of animal’s rights unselfishly underlines the necessity of serving the weak and vulnerable among us, with the utmost care. This care should be seen across the board; both human and animals alike.
In conclusion, though there are various valid facts against conducting animal experiment on the grounds of morals and ethics, one can not assume the facts that are in support of animal experiment. It is clear that, in terms of the benefit obtained animal experiment has many advantages compares to not experimenting using these animals. The scientist only uses one animal to test for a drug that would cure thousands of people, who could otherwise have died if at all, the experiment was not undertaken.