Perhaps no one is more slandered for his emotions and behavior towards animals than René Descartes.Many scholars attribute the beliefs of the 17th century to Animals are just machines For French mathematicians, philosophers and scientists, there is no fear, pain or happiness. Animal feelings, even if they exist, have nothing to do with Descartes morally. Descartes tried to prove his point by subjecting dogs and rabbits to exquisite torture.
Today, in society and science, these Cartesian views are rarely tolerated. On the contrary, multiple disciplines in science and philosophy have been developed to better understand the thoughts and experiences of animals. A new generation of learners requires that their courses include attention to animal suffering. Scientists are also paying more and more attention to how the pain and suffering that animals experience in the laboratory affects the interpretation of data obtained through animal research.
In 1959, concerns about the significance of animal pain research led to Zoologist [AS1] William Russell and Microbiologist [AS2] Rex Burch proposed “3 Rs” frame, Which emphasizes alternatives Sentient animals and “less-conscious” animals or non-animal methods, Reduce Number of animals used in the research protocol with Refine The pain and suffering experienced by animals in the research process. Researchers, reviewers, and oversight agencies continue to rely on the framework more than 60 years after its original publication. Principles of Humane Experiment Technology. National and international guidelines for the use of animals in management research have been drafted and continuously updated to reflect compliance with 3 Rs. However, the 3 Rs framework allows for experiments parallel to those conducted by Descartes—if the cruelty of the research can be justified in the name of science.
The expectations of animals in research are different from those of human research. Although a painful history of “science first” is full of injustices such as racism, sexism, and ability discrimination, human research has become more ethical.Public outrage about human research practices, including the four-year U.S. Public Health Service’s syphilis study in Tuskegee and 14 years of hepatitis Research conducted at Willowbrook State School in New York in 1974 led Congress to establish the National Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects in Biomedical and Behavioral Research.Within five years, the committee issued Belmont Report, It puts forward the basic ethical principles that guide human research. Using a broad justice framework, the committee’s approach emphasizes the importance of avoiding actual and potential harm—especially in research involving individuals who cannot provide consent or who may be targeted because of social vulnerability.
this Belmont Report The regulations related to human research have undergone revolutionary changes, although it calls for respect for autonomy and obligations to justice, benevolence, and non-maliciousness — the principle of “do no harm” — which is still ideal in many respects. Nevertheless, few people would question its importance as an ethical framework that puts anti-maliciousness and justice at the forefront and center of decisions about whether human research projects should be undertaken.
A similar ideal framework should be developed for animals long ago. Research practices involving animals must accept scientific discoveries over the centuries, which have exposed the capabilities and experience of non-human beings.
Today, people who study animal abilities have reached a broad consensus that many species are conscious, feel acute and chronic pain and discomfort, and experience emotional trauma in the form of mental disorders. When animals in the laboratory are imprisoned, undergo painful experiments, separated from their families and companions, forced to engage in sexual activities, their lives are constantly threatened, and they witness other animals being harmed, their minds and bodies will undergo major changes. In the laboratory, these hazards accumulate and reproduce in environments where animals have no real opportunity to build resilience and experience a rich life.
Extending the principles of the Belmont report to animals will establish a fair and anti-malicious framework for decisions regarding the use of animals in research. It also helps to increase transparency, improve academic publishing standards, and increase investment in more reliable and translatable modern human-centered research methods. It may also help recruit younger, more diverse, and justice-conscious learners to participate in scientific innovation. Four hundred years after Descartes, isn’t it time?
This is an opinion and analysis article; opinions expressed Author or author Not necessarily those Scientific american.