Should Animals be used in invasive Laboratory techniques in psychological research

Essay by sueanne74University, Bachelor's October 2002

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A submission to the Australian Psychological Society

Traditionally, humans were believed to be created in the image of God and to have dominance over animals. This ideology stems from the bible and the belief that a greater value is put on the lives of humans than to those of animals. This submission shall explore the problems that stem from these beliefs, such as invasive techniques and the sacrifice of animals in psychological research. Bowd and Shapiro (1993) defined invasiveness as, to not only cause physical but also emotional harm to animals. Initially this paper will acknowledge some of the beliefs that have been made in this area of science. It will also examine the guidelines and regulations in place to protect these animals. Second, the article shall highlight problems that arise from laboratory practices and argue that animals should not be used in invasive laboratory practices and psychological research. This is in line with animal rights goals and supports the idea that mankind must seek other alternatives.

In conclusion, the submission will highlight the ethical reasons for stopping this type of experiment and demonstrate that these reasons far outweigh the benefits.

There is considerable evidence to suggest that invasive laboratory techniques greatly benefit humans and animals alike (Baldwin, 1993). These benefits are the development of vaccines for deadly diseases such as rabies, Lyme disease, and feline leukaemia, which can be seen as substantial benefits (Baldwin, 1993). Further, psychological research with animals has provided information leading to rehabilitation for many kinds of human ailments such as stroke, spinal cord injury and Alzheimer's disease. Retarded children have also benefited from this field of research. Behavioural research with nonhuman primates permits the investigation of complex behaviours such as social organization, aggression, learning and memory, communication, growth and development (Baldwin, 1993).

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