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Special Reports on  " Biology"

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Special Report

Animal Rights and Human Morality

Should the way in which we treat animals be decided only by human needs and concerns, or do animals have moral standing independent of human interests?
Dean Rutz/The Washington Times 
Checking the blood pressure of a rat used in medical research. Georgetown University Medical School, Washington, D.C., August 1988.

Once there was near-universal agreement that humans outrank animals in value and importance. This meant that humans were morally free to ...

Medicine and the Ethics of Animal Experimentation
From teaching to research, the use we make of animals in human health care is vast. Although it is always possible that the animals themselves may benefit from this use (in fact, they rarely do), the search for health-care benefits for ourselves motivates it. This raises an ethical problem: What justifies this systematic use of animals for human gain? Most of us who think some or much animal experimentation in medicine justified do not address this question, and this strikes me as a mistake on three counts. ...

Why Treat the Human Animal Differently?
When a scientific protocol has a valid scientific purpose and is competently designed, its scientific merit is not in question. However, if it involves experimental subjects, its ethical merit requires an independent assessment. Many believe that its ethical justifiability should be assessed differently, depending on whether research subjects are human or nonhuman. ...

A Different Position on Animal Rights
The topic of animal rights tends to be dominated by extreme positions, one of which holds that all species have an equal right to ...

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