An idea to limit animal research, improve research and lives.

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    Feb 03, 2008 11:59 PM GMT
    So clearly everyone on this forum knows my stance on animal testing. I believe it is wrong and immoral to objectify and take sentient beings into labs to be made into test kits for drugs, cosmetics, food, military, or a host of other things we use for animal testing. I believe animal testing is futile, as we are different than animals and so naturally will respond differently than they do. Rats are able to handle many diseases and not flinch, stuff we would die or become seriously ill from. The tests are simply not applicable. This isn't to say that animal testing has not accomplished anything. Many major cures have come as a result of animal testing. But so have many catastrophes. 100% of meds are required by FDA law to be tested on animals, of those approved, a whopping 97% are recalled, because they have inflicted harm upon humans. Just because animals have not suffered from them, does not mean it will necessarily correlate when administered to human beings.

    The reason I posted this is because I came up with an idea and I was curious to hear peoples thoughts. I think this is something that could potentially be agreed upon whether you are in favor or against animal research. Clearly everyone can agree that testing on humans would be the best research? The problem is that there are limited subjects willing to be research on, or the tests would be too dangerous and risky.

    What if we gave hardcore offenders who are sitting their life in jail or on death row a chance to give back to society by allowing themselves to be tested on. Clearly, this would be their option but there could be rewards for their participation, ie: nicer facility, better rations, etc. I strongly believe in prison reform, and trying to rehabilitate people and bring them back to a healthy happy and functional life. I realize this would not be a solution to animal research as some tests are too risky and complicated to do on humans, but certainly this could give offenders who are on death row or in jail for life a chance to improve their situation as well as improve society.

    Thoughts?

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    Feb 04, 2008 3:00 AM GMT
    Capital idea, I love it! And––why not?––it could be televised too!
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    Feb 04, 2008 3:01 AM GMT
    Absolutely not...instead of going into pages of ethics, law, philosophy, politics, etc., I'll just leave it at "two wrongs don't make a right."
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    Feb 04, 2008 3:02 AM GMT
    So you'd like to change one sentient being for another? Honestly Hippie, I'm going through animal fatique with your posts, and they don't cause me to be more sensitive towards animals. I like animals, and certainly don't like to see them hurt -- and they are often treated much better in the lab then they are by their owners who purport to love them, and have you every toured a facility that does tests on animals?

    It is often no one of the other -- animal tests often take place for certain things, and at certain stages of testing and development and humans at others. There are also probably many inmates who wouldn't meet the stringent requirements testing often requires. Plus treating inmates as guinea pigs, willing or not, still seems somewhat repugnant.

    The reality is, Hippie, that animals have many uses, and not just as companions. That doesn't mean we should treat them badly or inhumanely, but there are many other things that could use, and probably deserve one'a attention as well and maybe even more so.
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    Feb 04, 2008 3:02 AM GMT
    I am not talking about the horrendous tests they do on animals venice. I am talking more about medications and stuff which they already through research believe to be safe and beneficial to human beings. This would be voluntary not mandatory so I don't see it as breaching prisoners rights.

    Human research would prove most valid, since this stuff is ultimately for humans it would be most applicable.
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    Feb 04, 2008 3:05 AM GMT

    Hi, Hippie.
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    Feb 04, 2008 3:07 AM GMT
    What?! No hairspray in the eyes of villainous baldies? No muscle milk injected into scrawny serial-killing strippers?

    In that case, disregard my previous post; it would make for dud television – the masses hunger for horrendous-ness.
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    Feb 04, 2008 3:09 AM GMT
    Hi Guilty lol =)
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    Feb 04, 2008 3:11 AM GMT
    In that case, disregard my previous post; it would make for dud television – the masses hunger for horrendous-ness.

    Really Aero, I thought you were above television for the massesicon_evil.gif
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    Feb 04, 2008 3:14 AM GMT
    I don't watch tv at all, so maybe I am. Actually, I was just thinking how that sort of programming could produce an endless supply of vicious psychopaths upon which to conduct ever more scintillating experiments. C'mon, where's your head at?! Ratings!!!
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    Feb 04, 2008 3:15 AM GMT
    That's known as American Idol, Aero.
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    Feb 04, 2008 3:16 AM GMT
    C'mon, where's your head at?!

    Where, darling, do you think it's at?
  • Warren

    Posts: 99

    Feb 04, 2008 3:25 AM GMT
    [quote]hippie4lyfe[cite]I am not talking about the horrendous tests they do on animals venice. I am talking more about medications and stuff which they already through research believe to be safe and beneficial to human beings. This would be voluntary not mandatory so I don't see it as breaching prisoners rights.[/quote]


    Umm, the research to determine whether something is safe and beneficial is done with animals. No they're not a perfect model, but in many instances, they're close enough. There is no way to determine safety based soley on theory. so would you have us test unknown, possibly dangerous, even deadly drugs on human prisoners? Seems much worse.
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    Feb 04, 2008 3:27 AM GMT
    hippie4lyfe saidI am not talking about the horrendous tests they do on animals venice. I am talking more about medications and stuff which they already through research believe to be safe and beneficial to human beings. This would be voluntary not mandatory so I don't see it as breaching prisoners rights.

    Human research would prove most valid, since this stuff is ultimately for humans it would be most applicable.


    Think about it Hippie, "...believe to be safe..." but do not know until they "test" something/someone.

    Human research is already done through clinical trials with an "acceptable" level of probability for success.

    Even with closely scrutinized regulations and oversight, I don't trust "human testing." New frontiers in embryonic/stem cell research, along with DNA research (recent breakthroughs in treating high blood pressure based on DNA research) are being pursued with promising results, that is, if the Administration would not impede its progress.

    Invest in science/research and put testing of all live beings in the past.
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    Feb 04, 2008 4:12 AM GMT
    Why don't we rid the world of starvation by teaching people in the third world to grill and eat their babies? Sally Struthers would look great in a chef's garb.
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    Feb 04, 2008 1:59 PM GMT
    Sally Struthers as Jabba the Hut in South Park. Notice the "food relief" box... that could easily be replaced with a third world baby!

    311_sallys.jpeg
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    Feb 04, 2008 2:25 PM GMT
    Hippie, did you ever take Biology or Physiology courses? If so, how did you get through; by refusing to do the lab work?

    In my Cell Physiology class, for the neuroscience lab, we took baby rats, anesthetized them, and then used a small guillotine apparatus to decapitate them. We had to do this while they were alive so we could quickly extract the brain, slice it into very thin sections (about .5mm), and stain it with florescently labeled antibodies before cell activity dropped.

    This is a pretty gruesome process, and I in no way took joy from it, but I also had no qualms with it. Education is more important than Rats. Oh yeah, I would say the lives of humans are more important than Rats as well, but thats just my opinion.


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    Feb 04, 2008 2:55 PM GMT
    I had a client -- no joke -- who is a PhD in experimental psychology. A few months before she came to see me, she developed insomnia because she started dreaming of all the rats she decapitated.

    Just letting you know.
  • DiverScience

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    Feb 04, 2008 3:04 PM GMT
    Poor idea, I think. Because our justice system isn't perfect. So you end up rewarding the people who know they have nothing to lose.


  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Feb 04, 2008 4:08 PM GMT
    "100% of meds are required by FDA law to be tested on animals, of those approved, a whopping 97% are recalled, because they have inflicted harm upon humans."

    What's your source for this statement? In order for a drug to be recalled, it must first be marketed. For a drug to be marketed in the US (which, really, is rather essential as the US produces more new drugs than the rest of the world does) the drug must pass through three phases of clinical testing in humans. To get to the first phase of clinical trials in humans, the drug needs to get through animal testing first. According to Wikipedia, of each 1000 compounds which begin animal testing, 1 makes it to the first phase of human trials. (cit). According to a study in the Journal of Health Economics, done as a collaboration between Tufts University, the University of Rochester, and Duke University, 71% of drugs tested pass phase 1 trials, 31% pass phase II, and 31% pass phase III (Journal of Health Economics (2003) 22: 151-185). (The study was based on a large data set from Tufts University of drugs brought to trial from 1983-1994, and based its evaluation on their success/failure in the tests based on where they were as of 2001.) Collectively, that means about 13.5% of drugs passing initial animal testing make it through the human tests to get to market.

    I can't readily find a source for the percentage of drugs approved which are later recalled, but I'd be shocked if it were anything like 97%. I would tend to think it's more on the order of 3-5%. Can you back up your claim?
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    Feb 04, 2008 5:15 PM GMT
    I know from experience that spectacular displays of mental returdation are always best studiously ignored. However, as the Italians tend to say when they cannot resist "il desiderio era piu forte di me".

    That's one spectacular idea you have there Hippie. You aren't, however, the first to have followed the same line of reasoning.

    The following is neither exhaustive nor authoritative but it does give the flavor of your idea.

    We could start at Guantanamo and perhaps Hippie would volunteer.

    PEACE
    Terry



    Nazi human experimentation was medical experimentation on large numbers of people by the German Nazi regime in its concentration camps during World War II. After the war, these crimes were tried at what became known as the Doctors' Trial, and revulsion at the abuses perpetrated led to the development of the Nuremberg Code of medical ethics.

    According to the indictment at the Subsequent Nuremberg Trials, these experiments included the following:

    Experiments on twins

    Experiments on twin children in concentration camps were created to show the similarities and differences in the genetics and eugenics of twins, as well as to see if the human body can be unnaturally manipulated. The central leader of the experiments was Dr. Josef Mengele, who performed experiments on over 1,500 sets of imprisoned twins, of which fewer than 200 individuals survived the studies. Whilst attending University of Munich (located in the city that remained one of Adolf Hitler’s focal points during the revolution) studying Philosophy and Medicine with an emphasis on Anthropology and Paleontology, Mengele got swept up in the Nazi hysteria and even said that "this simple political concept finally became the decisive factor in my life." Mengele’s newfound admiration for the "simple political concept" led him to mix his studies of medicine and politics as his career choice. Mengele received his PhD for his thesis entitled "Racial Morphological Research on the Lower Jaw Section of Four Racial Groups,” which suggested that one could define a person’s race by the shape of his or her jaw. The Nazi Organization saw his studies as talents, and Mengele was asked to be the leading physician and researcher at Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland in May of 1943. There, Dr. Mengele organized the testing of genetics in twins. The twins were arranged by age and sex and kept in barracks in between the test, which ranged from the injection of different chemicals into the eyes of the twins to see if it would change their colors to literally sewing the twins together in hopes of creating conjoined twins.

    Freezing experiments

    In 1942 the Luftwaffe conducted experiments to learn how to treat hypothermia. One study forced subjects to endure a tank of ice water for up to three hours. Another study placed prisoners naked in the open for several hours with temperatures below freezing. The experimenters assessed different ways of rewarming survivors.
    The freezing/hypothermia experiments were conducted for the Nazi high command. The experiments were conducted on men to simulate the conditions the armies suffered on the Eastern Front. The German forces were ill prepared for the bitter cold. Thousands of German soldiers died in the freezing temperatures or were debilitated by cold injuries.
    The experiments were conducted under the supervision of Dr. Sigmund Rascher at the concentration camps at Birkenau, Dachau and Auschwitz. Rascher reported directly to Heinrich Himmler, and publicized the results of his freezing experiments at the 1942 medical conference entitled "Medical Problems Arising from Sea and Winter".
    The freezing experiments were in two parts. First, to establish how long it would take to lower the body temperature to death, and second how to best resuscitate the frozen victim.
    The icy vat method proved to be the fastest way to drop the body temperature. The selections were made of young healthy Jews or Russians. They were usually stripped naked and prepared for the experiment. An insulated probe which measured the drop in the body temperature was inserted into the rectum. The probe was held in place by an expandable metal ring which was adjusted to open inside the rectum to hold the probe firmly in place. The victim was put into an air force uniform, then placed in the vat of cold water and started to freeze. It was learned that most subjects lost consciousness and died when the body temperature dropped to 77 °F (25 °C).

    Malaria experiments

    From about February 1942 to about April 1945, experiments were conducted at the Dachau concentration camp in order to investigate immunization for treatment of malaria. Healthy inmates were infected by mosquitoes or by injections of extracts of the mucous glands of female mosquitoes. After contract, the subjects were treated with various drugs to test their relative efficacy. Over 1,000 people were used in these experiments, and of those, more than half died as a result.

    Mustard gas experiments

    At various times between September 1939 and April 1945, experiments were conducted at Sachsenhausen, Natzweiler, and other camps to investigate the most effective treatment of wounds caused by mustard gas. Mustard gas wounds were inflicted on the subject, who were then tested to investigate the most effective treatment of the wounds.

    Sulfonamide experiments

    From about July 1942 to about September 1943, experiments to investigate the effectiveness of sulfonamide, a synthetic antimicrobial agent, were conducted at Ravensbrück. Wounds inflicted on the subjects were infected with bacteria such as Streptococcus, gas gangrene, and tetanus. Circulation of blood was interrupted by tying off blood vessels at both ends of the wound to create a condition similar to that of a battlefield wound. Infection was aggravated by forcing wood shavings and ground glass into the wounds. The infection was treated with sulfonamide and other drugs to determine their effectiveness.

    Sea water experiments

    From about July 1944 to about September 1944, experiments were conducted at Dachau to study various methods of making sea water drinkable. At one point, a group of roughly 90 Gypsies were deprived of food and given nothing but sea water to drink by Dr. Hans Eppinger, leaving them gravely injured. They were so dehydrated, that others observed them licking freshly mopped floors in an attempt to get drinkable water.

    Sterilization experiments

    From about March 1941 to about January 1945, sterilization experiments were conducted at Auschwitz, Ravensbrück, and other places. The purpose of these experiments was to develop a method of sterilization which would be suitable for sterilizing millions of people with a minimum of time and effort. These experiments were conducted by means of X-ray, surgery, and various drugs. Thousands of victims were sterilized. Aside from its experimentation, the Nazi government sterilized around 400,000 individuals as part of its compulsory sterilization program. Intravenous injections of solutions speculated to contain iodine and silver nitrate were successful, but had unwanted side effects such as vaginal bleeding, severe abdominal pain, and cervical cancer. Therefore, radiation treatment became the favored choice of sterilization. Specific amounts of exposure to radiation destroyed a person’s ability to produce ova and sperm. The radiation was administered through deception. Prisoners were brought into a room and asked to fill out forms, which took two to three minutes. In this time, the radiation treatment was administered and, unbeknownst to the prisoners, they were rendered completely sterile.
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    Feb 04, 2008 5:37 PM GMT
    WyoLifter saidHippie, did you ever take Biology or Physiology courses? If so, how did you get through; by refusing to do the lab work?

    In my Cell Physiology class, for the neuroscience lab, we took baby rats, anesthetized them, and then used a small guillotine apparatus to decapitate them. We had to do this while they were alive so we could quickly extract the brain, slice it into very thin sections (about .5mm), and stain it with florescently labeled antibodies before cell activity dropped.

    This is a pretty gruesome process, and I in no way took joy from it, but I also had no qualms with it. Education is more important than Rats. Oh yeah, I would say the lives of humans are more important than Rats as well, but thats just my opinion.


    Wyo,

    You're last paragraph is a classic old argument that simply doesn't fly anymore (a choice between one or the other, without looking at alternatives, and that all laboratory research leads to miraculous cures for debilitating diseases). Prying rabbits eyes open indefinitely while burning them with the latest cosmetic merely to determine if the fragrance-of-the-day will suit "Paris Hilton" is a significant part of the wide spectrum of laboratory research on animals. Hippie brings up an idea that has been considered many times over the years and practiced in some Nations, perhaps even our own. While I am adamantly opposed to it, it invites us to look at alternatives. I feel the most promising alternative to traditional lab testing is DNA research. However, breakthroughs have occurred with another controversial alternative, cloning. For example, Japanese researchers have cloned a transparent frog, so that it does not have to be mutilated to study its organs, etc. While this is not the best scenario, it is better than past methods. My point is that as more progress is made in humane methods of laboratory research, we will hopefully see the day when vivasection and other inhumane methods are no longer practiced.

    UrsaMajor,

    In all fairness to Hippie, he did clarify that he was not referring to examples like the ones you used ("I am talking more about medications and stuff which they already through research believe to be safe and beneficial to human beings...") What Hippie is talking about is already done to a large degree in clinical human trials as MSUbioNerd pointed out. I shared your thoughts as I read the original post, and visions of Nazis, Josef Mengele, and other nations came to mind. Human testing is an ethical dilemma that has and still is being confronted on a regular basis by many scientiists, etc. Human testing exists, albeit on a slippery slope that is managed "carefully."
  • Warren

    Posts: 99

    Feb 04, 2008 6:01 PM GMT
    VenicemanPrying rabbits eyes open indefinitely while burning them with the latest cosmetic merely to determine if the fragrance-of-the-day will suit "Paris Hilton" is a significant part of the wide spectrum of laboratory research on animals


    I think at this point very few people would agree that cosmetic testing on animals is appropriate. Many companies try to market their products as not animal tested (whether they are or not, I'll leave to conspiracy theorists..)

    VenicemanI feel the most promising alternative to tradional lab testing is DNA research. However, breakthroughs have occured with another controversial alternative, cloning. For example, Japanese researchers have cloned a transparent frog, so that it does not have to be mutilated to study its organs, etc. While this is not the best scenario, it is better than past methods. My point is that as more progress is made in humane methods of laboratory research, we will hopefully see the day when vivasection and other inhumane methods are no longer practiced.


    Genetic testing and other methods, like perhaps growing organs and such, are good. However, there is no alternative for studying the impact of drugs on a complete living system, at least in the forseeable future. You have to test drugs on something that is both alive and relatively comparable to humans. Maybe someday in the future genetic testing will allow us to get a general idea of what a drug will do (we don't know most of the actions of genes right now) but there are so many interactions and complex reactions within the body that I don't see a foreseeable way to test drugs without using a live specimen. I do hope someday that there will be, but I'm not holding my breath.

    That said, the previous argument does then hold true. In the attempt to find a cure for a disease, would you rather kill 10000 rats or 10 humans? My opinion is that human lives are always more valuable than that of animals. In a direct comparison, I will always choose a human life over that of any animal.
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    Feb 05, 2008 3:20 AM GMT
    Warren,

    I don't think you understand my premise; you seem to agree, then disagree, then agree again with me.

    You respond with "I think at this point very few people would agree that cosmetic testing on animals is appropriate. Many companies try to market their products as not animal tested (whether they are or not, I'll leave to conspiracy theorists..)" You seem to imply that cosmetic testing is inappropriate, but then bring up "conspiracy theorists" in a way that taints the investigations/research which bring out the facts.

    I accept your point on the reality and future of genetic testing; however, I feel it goes beyond realistic, and is actually pessimistic.

    It was unthinkable that...
    1. the genetic code would be cracked
    2. the atom could be split
    3. man would walk on the moon

    Dare to dream, dare to hope, dare to believe!

    Your last paragraph falls into the classic old argument that there has to be a choice between one or the other. I don't accept your premise that "In the attempt to find a cure for a disease, would you rather kill 10,000 rats or 10 humans?"

    I totally agree with you that "...human lives are always more valuable than that of animals..." I don't see where anyone suggested otherwise!

    Please see my earlier response "...a choice between one or the other, without looking at alternatives, and that all laboratory research leads to miraculous cures for debilitating diseases..." meaning it's not black & white...there is a spectrum of issues re: animals used in laboratory tests, i.e. animals are tested for all kinds of reasons, not solely medical advances; and that rats are not the only animals tested; primates, dogs, cats, rabbits are tested and list goes on...It's easy to attempt to break it down into a "...either the rats will die or we will..." debate, but that smacks of demagoguery.

    I also stated, "My point is that as more progress is made in humane methods of laboratory research, we will hopefully see the day when vivisection and other inhumane methods are no longer practiced." I believe you agreed with this.

    Aside from the "either one lives or the other" debate, I think we basically agree but are at different points on the "pessimistic -- realistic -- optimistic" meter.

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    Feb 05, 2008 3:50 AM GMT
    Maybe I'm missing something here, but you guys are aware of the Tuskegee Study, yes? It left prisoners with syphilis untreated so doctors could study the disease.

    Testing drugs on prisoners was common practice, too, for many years.

    Here's a NYT piece on a fairly recent effort to bring back prisoner testing:

    http://tinyurl.com/lm7ls