Using Animals in Healthcare Research

Introduction

Research has played a major role in improving the health standards of human beings and animals in general. In the past, epidemics used to rein terror on human beings and animals. Diseases like measles, chickenpox and plaque claimed the lives of many individuals. However, successful researchers provided cures for these diseases and they no longer pose any threat. In order to find successful cures for human beings, it has proved necessary to use animals in research testing. Research using animals has in turn proved to be very reliable and efficient; many of the cures that have been developed have in one way or the other involved animal research. Using animals in research should, therefore, not be opposed rather should be unanimously endorsed.

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Benefits of Using Animals for Research Testing

Using animals in research testing not only benefits human beings but also animals. It has been a known fact that human beings and animals are closely related and they get many of the same illnesses. Some animals are known to stand in for humans with particular diseases. In general, animal research is the type of research, survey, experiment that involves vertebrates such as mice, pigs and primates. On the other hand, clinical research is the study that entails scientists using humans. These studies are critical and for research to reach this stage there must have been prior extensive preliminary tests in animal research studies. It is thus logical that animals be used to improve their lives and that of human beings. The world keeps changing with many new diseases reported at every historical epoch.

It is thus obvious that emergence of new diseases, resistance of existing ones and the need of developing vaccines makes research inevitable. These diseases and various ailments affect the immune system of animals and humans, making it weak and unable to withstand or combat the antigens. These activities take place in the body and there is no way one can understand the nature of the antigens without dissecting the respective affected beings. Since the body’s immune system has failed to prevent the attacks, there is no way a sick or dead organism can become ideal for conducting successful research or devising the cure of the disease that has already defeated its immune system. The affected being is crucial in understanding the nature of the disease but another healthy being is even more important in devising a cure.

Based on the need to create a disease free world, it is inevitable to avoid research. Given the fact that research in medical and scientific fields is inevitable, animals become the ideal and most appropriate specimen to use since human beings cannot be used in the preliminary researches. Human beings have also become increasingly used in researches. For a medicine or a vaccine to be verified and proved successful, then at one time, or the other, human beings must be used in the research work. If human beings can be used in the research work then there is no way that animals can be exempted (Greenhaven Staff 12).

Successes of Using Animal Testing In Research

Research that uses animals has been very successful and there is no founded reason to stop or oppose these endeavors. Once it has been successful on animals, human volunteers are asked to take part in a clinical trial. Some of the most successful studies using animals are highlighted below.

Heart disease and its related conditions affect almost a quarter of the US population costing more than three hundred billion dollars in budget allocation and is the number one killer. Using animals such as dogs and cats, the basic heart mechanism has been studied. The study with dogs immensely contributed to the basic methods of controlling heart disease being devised. The modern heart treatment methods were also devised after successful study with dogs. Heart transplants, cardiac bypass, angioplasty and other treatments all resulted from this study with dogs. In addition, the various methods of diagnosis and treatment were also developed. These are electrocardiography, coronary blood flow measurements among others.

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HIV/AIDS has become one of the most feared pandemic to ever hit the world. All countries of the world are affected in one way or the other, the hardest hit being sub-Saharan Africa. To this date, there is no cure that has been found for the pandemic. However, various advancements have been made. The comprehensive understanding of the viruses that cause the pandemic has been derived from the study of similar viruses in monkeys, chicken and cats. Vaccines are in the process of being tested on mice and monkeys before being administered on human volunteers.

In the past, bacteria infections were deadly and fatal; they were the main causes of death ad other acute diseases. Although in the contemporary world bacterial infections are extremely common and have affected people on numerous occasions during their lifetime, they are now readily treatable with antibiotics. With animals in research, in this case mice and other rodents, penicillin and other antibiotics were established as effective treatments for bacterial infections. Animals thus continue to provide crucial information to scientists on ways of combating certain deadly diseases (Chiras 34).

Conclusion

Using animals in research testing is desirable. Scientists do not conclusively understand human biology to an extent of directly applying new medical treatments on people or the daily evolving surgical procedures and processes. The desire to look for lifesaving cures cannot be overlooked as this is the desire of humanity to have a society where human suffering and agony is minimal. Using animals especially in biomedical research is thus inevitable and objective.

Works Cited

Chiras, Daniel. Human Biology. Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2010.

Greenhaven Staff. Should Animals Be Used in Scientific Research? Greenhaven: Greenhaven Press, 1987.

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