Selected Issues > Animal Research Ethics
Animal Research Ethics

animal_ethicsResearch involving animals has been a cornerstone of medical progress for more than two centuries. For most of that time, it has also met with moral objections because of the suffering it can cause the animals. Though animal welfare laws in the United States and other countries have reduced the number of laboratory animals and ameliorated their pain, ethical concerns remain.

How can the number of animals used for experimentation – estimated to be 100 million animals internationally each year – be reduced without reducing the quality of research? Do some types of animals have higher moral status than others and, if so, is it ethically desirable to replace a “higher” species with a lower one in research? What constitutes humane treatment of the animals and how can that be improved? What more can be done to develop alternatives to animal models?

From the Hastings Center

Projects

Ethics of Medical Research with Animals: Science, Values, and Alternatives

Research involving animals has been a cornerstone of medical progress for more than two centuries. For most of that time, it has also met with moral objections because of the suffering it can cause the animals. Though animal welfare laws in the United States and abroad have reduced the number of animals used in biomedical research and ameliorated their pain, ethical concerns remain, and it is not only animal rights groups that have them, but also veterinarians, physicians, policy-makers, ethicists, and biomedical researchers themselves.

2012 November-December

Battles over the Sexes

By Gregory E. Kaebnick
The most prominent topic in this issue is the physical modification of women’s genitals. Both articles address this topic, circling specifically around the question of whether the modification of women’s genitals may be driven by cultural norms of womanhood and how women differ from men, and commenting not just on the questions but on the social debate about them.

2012 March-April

A Status Elevation for Great Apes

By Rebecca Dresser

The ethical case for changing the way we treat nonhuman animals is gaining ground.

Bioethics Forum

Good News for Chimpanzees in U.S. Labs

Susan Gilbert