The use of animals in medical education and research

After noting why the issue of the use of animals in medical education and research needs to be addressed, this article briefly reviews the historical positions on the role of animals in society and describes in more detail the current positions in the wide spectrum of positions regarding the role of animals in society. The spectrum ranges from the extremes of the animal exploitation position to the animal liberation position with several more moderate positions in between these two extremes. Then the philosophical issue of the moral agency of animals is discussed in terms of an explication of the concept of rights and the concept of personhood. Further research is suggested concerning institutional policies regarding medical students who refuse to do physiology dog labs or other assignments which involve the suffering and/or death of animals.
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