Animal experimentation: Lessons from human experimentation

Abstract

Conventional wisdom tells us that animal experimentation is a relevant precursor to human experimentation. The failings of human experimentation to protect human subjects, however, raise serious questions as to the safety and appropriateness of experimentation on animals. The federal government and medical community, since World War II, have used the Nuremberg Code and the federal "Common Rule" to determine how to conduct human experimentation ethically. Due to political or economic factors, government entities, hospitals, researchers, and pharmaceutical companies have continued to conduct human experimentation without the informed consent of their subjects. These human experiments have often achieved meaningless-or worse-devastating results. Because safeguards have failed with human experimentation, the federal and local governments, in conjunction with animal advocacy organizations, should take a series of concrete steps to eliminate an experimenter's ability to cause pain, suffering, and unnecessary death to animals.

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