• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the use of Animals in research and The ethical issues associated with it?

Extracts from this document...


Discuss the use of Animals in research and The ethical issues associated with it? The question of whether or not it is useful or even necessary to experiment on defenceless animals is the product of a lively debate amongst psychologists. This storm of controversy is mirrored by the ambivalent attitudes of the public towards scientists, who are often seen as cold and objective, deliberately causing pain to innocent animals when this is not necessarily the truth. So why does the issue of animal research stimulate such impassioned opposition? The represented underlying uneasiness towards science in my opinion is due in part to a classic misconception, which is underlined by Singer (1974,cited in Olen & Barry 1994, p.404) that in all research using animals "intolerable pain is caused". However in respect to psychology like all sciences, causing unnecessary pain to animals in research is not always the case. Likewise the BPS code of conduct (1998, cited in coolican 1999) states that no procedures causing unnecessary pain to certain species can be carried out. But this is not the only side to the argument Singer (1993) also suggests that the use of animals is a discrimination against their species, and that we should value the suffering of nonhumans in the way we would view our own. ...read more.


Studies using rats can be generalised effectively to humans because "the genetic make up of stimulus response contingencies are similar to that of the human make up" Skinner (1974, cited in Coolican 1999 p.486). Therefore by showing supporting evidence that the use of animals in research has helped us to understand human stress and anxiety, would we not agree that the use animals to gain such knowledge be justified due to the significance of the findings? In accordance, the findings of Langston (1986, cited in Pinel 2000) highlighted a needed area for research into Parkinson's disease, the MPTP model known as (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridine) is used on primates and was accidentally discovered in the use of 'synthetic heroin'. Langston discovered that primates respond like humans to MPTP, in that their brains display cell loss in the substania niagra, similar to that of Parkinson sufferers, and that the level of dopamine is greatly reduced. This discovery has already benefited numerous patients with Parkinson's disease as they found that deprenyl, a monoamine blocks the effects of MPTP in primates, and was subsequently shown that when administered early to Parkinson's patients significantly reduces the progression of the disease. Pinel (2000 p.254) suggested "studying an animal is like exploring an unknown maze, because experimentation necessary to identify the neuropathological basis of human neuropsychological diseases is impossible on patients themselves, animal models play an important role in such investigations". ...read more.


not to mention subjecting them to a neuropathological disease in order to find a cure, when in most cases we enter the process " with little more than a hope that its exploration will prove fruitful" Pinel (2000, p.254). Should we therefore regard speciesism more seriously than we do, especially when in experiments on humans where no consent obtained is regarded as unacceptable? I think that the answer to the question depends at least in part on ones own view regarding the cost/benefit analysis of the research, in one opinion "we should stop causing this unnecessary pain to animals" Singer (1974, cited in Olen & Barry, p.404) but for others "it is this research that proves significant in leading us a step further to the goals of understanding and prevention of disease" Pinel (2000, p.254). Can we actually isolate the answer to a question, a perceived myth, prevailing for hundreds of years, one that from an evolutionary perspective could enhance the health and survival of thousands of future generations? If so then I side with those who believe that the expense of one or even a dozen animals in doing so can be more than justified and in accordance with the consideration of interests we should understand that in the sacrifice of one being, the survival of another is equally important. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Zoology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Zoology essays

  1. Is there an important moral difference between human beings and animals

    most do, we must treat them with some rights, agreed by Frey who declares they 'cannot be wronged because they can be hurt.' 27 So, if we look at Frey's thought; animals are not autonomous but are sentient; humans have a right to use animals to help them survive, shared by Aubrey Townsend.

  2. English GCSE Media

    The two pieces of writing are quite similar in certain ways, and yet completely different in others. Both are emotive and use persuasive writing for their own use.

  1. Drawing on examples from the key concepts, discuss the extent to which animals and ...

    A case study is useful because it allows for a great in-depth into a case, it its ecologically valid, it avoids confounding variables found in experiments and avoids experimenter bias, However case studies are not useful because interpretation is

  2. How far would you agree that environmental issues are more of a concern to ...

    Bentham developed utilitarianism and he said that animals are equal to humans because although they have an inability to reason they still suffer pain, they are sentient beings therefore should be teated as equal in moral worth. Peter Singer is a preference utilitarian who also argued moral worth should be applied to the animal world.

  1. Zoological Society of London Report

    This may cause social implications as well, because they may need to move location to prevent this happening or to earn an income elsewhere. In this project, ZSL aiming to have a better understanding of the nature and scale of the crop raiding problem around the forest areas by documenting

  2. Cloning argument

    This method does create possible problems, such as the spread of deadly viruses and diseases. For instance, the HIV virus does not harm animals, making them look completely healthy, but would kill a human organ recipient. It isn�t the known diseases that researchers fear as much as the multitude of

  1. Review and discuss the significance of animal cloning (such as: Dolly the sheep)

    In addition to drug production, an understanding of the details of nuclear translation cloning might lead to new therapies to treat human disease. There will be quality upgrades in terms of what animal produce naturally such as cows milk, and what they can artificially produce to cure serious disease.

  2. Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumor Disease

    As Hawkins (2006) explains the tumours appear to be firm, palpable, spherical nodules, and ulcerate as they grow. After a few months of having been infected, the animal?s body starts to weaken which makes it difficult to fight for food against the stronger devils.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work