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This experiment has been authorized by the editors of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The original article and bibliography can be found here. Sign in Create an account. Syntax Advanced Search. It relates to the distinction between rights and welfare. See the Introductory Ethics Tutorial for information on this distinction. Jerrold Tannenbaum , a lawyer specializing in animal issues and law was one of the first to begin to explore the relationship between ethics and law as it relates to veterinary medicine.
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He notes,. Again, as we saw in Turorial Two of this Section, the language itself can become part of the discussion. The Agent Centered View. Nikola Biller-Andorno, a physician, uses the experience of empathy as her starting point, instead of intellectual analysis. Her question is not what animals might or might not be capable of, what sort of moral standing we give them, but what we might choose to d o to the animal. Biller-Andorno takes from several traditions to find new answers to historic dilemmas. Her approach relates to efforts to define and implement a state of well being in animal research subjects, to go beyond simple maintenance.
Both Midgley and Biller-Adorno reflect the Care Ethics point of view, seeing the relationship between animals and people as the central focal point to consider, rather than intellectual analysis. Following the idea of being a moral agent, considering "what harm might we do? In this context, Russell and Burch's The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique or the 3Rs Replacement, Reduction and Refinement as they have come to be called, can be seen as an example of an agent centered view in considering animal subjects.
Animals have a right to be housed in appropriate conditions and to be cared for by appropriately trained individuals.
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For example, a veterinarian may be required to be onhand to look after the animals being used. Some objectors to the use of animal research subjects have observed that the procedures to which animals are subjected to are not as great a harm to the animals as the living conditions that some animals endure while being housed as potential research subjects.
One recent law, for example, states that healthy dogs should not be tethered outdoors while being used as research subjects. Tethering reduces the quality of life for dogs. Barnbaum and Byron, p. Suppose you were to do a Utilitarian calculation and choose to go forward with a particular protocol, deciding that the overall benefit exceeds the cost to the particular animal subjects.
But at the same time, your moral sense impels you to take seriously the quality of the arguments that Regan, Singer and Frey are proposing. Are you at an impasse? Some have resolved this by saying that the researchers have a moral imperative to provide the best quality of life possible. Singer and Frey would ask if you had considered using marginal humans in your protocol and if not, would also argue that your moral calculus is wanting.
As we noted at the end of the first Tutorial, the idea that animals are populations at risk by virtue of our actions exhorts us to greater efforts on their behalf. If one thinks of animal research subjects as vulnerable populations it follows that greater efforts in terms of both daily husbandry needs and pain and distress monitoring would be in order. There would also be greater sensitivity on our part to attempting to achieve a situation where their well-being could be assured, given that they are still research subjects and not in their natural environment.
The discussion over how to define "well-being" and how to accomplish such a state has been a focus of research and attention. The Idea of Moral Remainders. In a post-Darwinian period, the fact that we have the same ancestors as the apes provides a powerful reason for holding that we are very much like our evolutionary kin, whatever the differences might be. Evolutionary theory promotes the ideas of continuity and continua, not sharp breaks. If it did not, much research with animals would be pointless. Coming to grips with this fact is a big part of our struggle with the problem of moral standing.
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This is what we cannot account for, even if we have done the procedure properly. A moral remainder has been defined as regret over what we have undertaken, for example, the sacrificing of one person for many. It is a term that acknowledges the lack of of completely resolving an exceedingly difficult moral problem. Schillo comments,. It is the nature of complicated mathematical problems to be in continual state of evolution, with experts constantly attempting "new solutions.
Moreover, because animal species may differ with respect to their moral worth, an experiment can be morally acceptable on one species but not be morally acceptable in a different species. For example, it may be morally acceptable to create a transgenic mouse that is prone to various forms of cancer i. Would you agree with Shamoo and Resnik that it may be morally acceptable to create an oncomouse but not an oncochimp?
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Why or why not? Advanced Ethics Tutorial. Nell Kriesberg Division of Multidisciplinary Studies North Carolina State University In this section we will pick up the discussion about the ethics of using animals as research subjects as it continued from to the present, a conversation that has become increasingly complicated.
But what exactly is that point?
Moral individualism is a thesis about the justification of judgments concerning how individuals may be treated. The basic idea is that how an individual may be treated is to be determined, not by considering his group memberships, but by considering his own particular characteristics.
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Rachels, p. A justification simply must be given for why it is that humans but not animals attain the preferred class of nonuse, whatever their condition or quality of life. All experiential creatures, not just humans, have a welfare and a quality of life that our actions can affect positively or negatively. Quality of life therefore determines the value not only of human but also of animal lives, and quality of life, I think, is a function of the scope and capacities of a creature for different experiences.
It may be true that a normal adult humans outstrip animals in this regards, but it is also true that some perfectly healthy animals outstrip humans in these regards. Frey, p.
Health Care Ethics
These animals are our psychological kin. Like us, they bring to their life the mystery of a unified psychological presence. Like us, they are somebodies , not somethings. In this fundamental sense, all subjects-of-a-life are equal because all equally share the same moral status. Regan, p. Our obligations to animals arise not from their rights, I believe, but from the fact that they can feel pain and from the fact that we, as moral agents, have a general obligation to avoid imposing needless pain or death….
This critical distinction must be borne in mind throughout: rights and obligations are not fully reciprocal. Out of respect for our own moral principles, the sentience of some animals results in some restrictions on our conduct. In dealing even with creatures like rats and chickens, which have no rights, we have the obligation to act humanely, to act in accord with our dignity as moral agents.
Not every interest translates into a moral right. Thus, I would be inclined to say the laboratory dog may have an interest in having toys for amusement and that this interest is sometimes sufficiently strong to require that such toys be provided. However, it is quite another thing to assert that such animals have the right to these things, because there are many other considerations that can often argue against respecting the interest. First, Kantians and non-Kantians alike would probably agree that the ability to impose limits on ourselves, to act autonomously, is one of the central features of human moral agency.
However, the fact that nonhuman animals are not autonomous beings does not imply that they exist only as means for human purposes. Wolf Animal Subjects in Research as Vulnerable Populations. David Morton, a laboratory animal veterinarian, has collected data on pain and distress assessment, and argues for increased sensitivity to the welfare of the animal subjects while undergoing a research protocol.