Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 19 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

A Needed Change in Research Protocol

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   6 comments
Message Suzana Megles
Within the not too distant past, thousands, if not millions, of poor pound dogs were used mercilessly for surgery practice by teaching hospitals  nationwide. Fortunately, an organization I've long admired, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), emerged to do something about it. Dr. Neal Barnard and the PCRM worked tirelessly to shut down the cruel dog labs without compromising teaching techniques. I believe they succeeded. 
Shelter dogs were once easily available to teaching hospitals by virtue of "pound seizure"--a law that I believe is now outlawed in almost all states. It was standard procedure in the dog labs to perform countless surgeries, one after another, on a dog--maybe one you surrendered to a shelter-- until it was spent and no longer useful for practice. Only then was the dog put down.    
One surgery for me in 1993 was one too many. Can you imagine how these poor dogs must have suffered?
Thank God for PCRM. They began a crusade to "teach" the teaching hospitals and their research doctors that simulated mannequins were just as good as live animals for learning purposes. In fact better.   
But Now a New Challenge

At present, however, yet another animal is being victimized. In a PCRM letter I received just recently, I learned that, in at least four medical centers, a horrible and bloody procedure is now needlessly and cruelly being inflicted on pigs.
The practice is unnecessary, because, according to PCRM, the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) teaching involved is already provided at more than 200 universities and medical centers across the country. And they note: "More than 98 percent of them DO NOT use live animals because human simulators are proven to be more effective."
The four medical centers that still have not understood this, and have also failed to realize that pigs are nothing like humans, are Hartford Hospital, North Dakota State University, University of Texas Medical Branch, and Baystate Medical Center. All of them have refused to stop killing defenseless pigs in their training procedures. 
The writer of the PCRM post warns us that we may not want to read what happens to these poor helpless pigs during the teaching protocol.  
I couldn't help thinking: Here's someone trying to spare us from an experience that is not even remotely as painful as what the pigs themselves suffer. But I did read on:
"After enduring the trauma of confinement, shipping, and manipulation, a pig is then cut between her ribs, and a tube is forced into her chest cavity. Then a needle is pierced into her abdomen, and another needle stabbed under her breastbone near her heart. Only then the pig is killed right before her throat is sliced."
Just terrible. I didn't read anything about her being anesthetized--so you can well imagine how terribly painful the procedure was for this pig and for all the others so cruelly used. I think people who undergo surgery, and are either not completely sedated in the first, or experience a wearing down of the anesthetic, can well relate to the pig's suffering. 
And, of course, the saddest thing of all is that, even though the PCRM has made it abundantly clear that human simulators are better and more effective teaching tools than live animals, some teaching hospitals continue to use cruel invasive procedures on innocent pigs. Why?
If these practices were happening in the Middle Ages, or were based on Descartes's arrogant notion that dogs [read all animals] are non-thinking, non-feeling automatons, then I could understand. But, here we are, in the 21st century, and we are still brutalizing poor pigs in the name of medicine. I think this is unconscionable. What about you?

Must Read 2   Well Said 1   Touching 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Suzana Megles Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I have been concerned about animal suffering ever since
I received my first puppy Peaches in 1975. She made me take a good look at the animal kingdom and I was shocked to see how badly we treat so many animals. At 77, I've been a vegan for the (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Horse Racing Cruelty

Vote NO on Issue 2 if You Llive in Ohio

Leo Grillo/Delta Rescue

Can Veganism Save the World?

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend