Loeb argues that there is no problem in using animals in medical researches. For over 2000 years, different animals have been used in the scientific researches (Loeb, 274). A natural philosopher Erisistratus of Alexandria used various animals in studying the functions of the body. On the other hand, Aristotle did vivisection on pigs and apes so that he could prove the theory he had about veins carrying blood but not air. Loeb (275) asserts that there have been many medical advances in the current century by the use of animal research. Infectious diseases like measles, pertussis, poliomyelitis and rubella have been controlled by the use of vaccines established in animals.
The position used by Loeb is seen as teleological ethics. This is due to the advance of techniques used in immunization against the infectious diseases seen today depends more on the animals experiments. Before being used in humans, antibiotics used in controlling infections are first tested in animals. Nowadays, the products and knowledge gotten from research of animals have enabled in treating physiological disorders like epilepsy and diabetes. On the other hand, surgical procedures like cerebrospinal fluid and coronary artery bypass grafts have advanced from animal experimentation. Loeb (275) argues that procedures of transplanting kidneys, lung, liver and heart are animal research products.
Animals have been useful in the advancement of modern medicine and defeat of many illnesses. Despite this, there are many medical challenges that have not been solved. Heart diseases, cancer, arthritis and depression have not been understood and controlled. Conducting animal researches have not benefited humans alone. The products and procedures created from this process have also assisted animals. Vaccines used against distemper and rabies in dogs are from animal researches. Surgical procedures established in animals have also assisted animals and humans. Loeb (276) argues that animal researches have led to many benefits to both animals and humans. Nevertheless, these researches raise fundamental philosophical issues that concern the human rights in using animals in benefiting other animals and humans. In the present day, there are many animal activists that ask if humans have the rights in exercising any power over animals for any reason or purpose including researches. Additionally, other activists assert that due to humans having power over other forms of life, they are supposed to preserve and protect animals so that they are not exploited (Loeb, 276).
Machan (135) argues that animals have no rights like human beings. It is an expression of teleological ethics because rights are achieved from competencies in making moral choices. Animals are instinctually driven to perform as they do even if some measures of self awareness and intelligence may be implemented. What is not involved is self monitoring, self reflection that would assist the animals in initiating their conducts. Machan (139) asserts that there is no justification in abandoning the tasks used in classifying things. On the other hand, human beings have moral capacities and no animals having intelligence tend to exhibit it under pushing from human beings who seize them and manipulate them to improve themselves.
He goes on to argue that different animal activists are not friendly. This is because there are many children having low mental powers and cannot be blamed for that even thought they have rights. This shows that everyone has a right to live and have greater powers (Machan, 142). A way used in showing this is recalling that broken chairs while they are not good for people to sit on, they are still chairs. Classifications are something reasonable but not something rigid. In addition, there are other people who say when they are in coma they lack ethical agency. In general, individuals have these capacities while non individuals do not have. This makes sense in understanding having rights so that the capacity of these individuals is protected and respected. This does not work for the animals (Machan, 144). Machan (146) argues that many people fault his approaches for not showing by using logical certainty that animals do not have rights. He says that this is a mistaken demand used in proving a negative, such as asking defense in showing the accused innocence. It is the animal rights proponents who have not made a case for animal rights.
According to Regan, using animals and human beings in conducting medical researches may be unmoral. It is viewed as deontological ethics. Regan (282) stated that in 1981, a reporter discovered various experiments that involved treatment and induction of heart attack. He goes on to argue that these experiments were done for over fifteen years by a known heart specialist and funded by federal funds. The heart specialist used other healthy individuals who had no heart diseases and caused failures in their heart intentionally. Certain drugs issued to patients proved to be efficacious than in other cases whereby other individuals did not get any medication. There is a prevalent use of animals in scientific researches.
Regan (284) argues that humans and chimpanzees differ a lot but it does not show that heir moral status differs. Their difference in legal status is not a morally significant difference and will not justify morally the use of the chimpanzees. An unconventional vision to the utilitarian value entails in viewing different persons as themselves having a unique kind of value called inherent value. The inherent value of a person cannot be reduced or equated to his or her virtues or mental state. On the other hand, the mental state and virtues of an individual cannot be compared. Incase the inherent value could be limited nonarbitrarily to competent individuals; chimpanzees could be used in medical researches in solving ethical issues other than human beings. Inherent value can be incomplete to competent individuals by having the alternative to one arbitrary maneuver. Once humans know that they have duties to incompetent and competent humans and also animals such as chimpanzees, once humans realize the challenges in giving sound theoretical basis for the duties in the human cases, then humans cannot hold back ascribing inherent values to equal degrees to animals like chimpanzees and incompetent humans (Regan, 286). Additionally, none of the individuals having inherent value is used in the researches that put them in harm by securing to benefit others even if the benefits are known or not. Regan (286) argues that none of the individuals may be used in researches because they may be treated as if they have no values. Prohibition against the researches such as the one conducted in 1981, when done on animals, they cannot be avoided by using anesthetics in eliminating suffering.
According to Singer, using animals for scientific researches and food is morally indefensible. He goes on to argue that animals are titled to equal moral consideration. Like human beings, non human animals have interest and anything having interests should have moral considerations (Singer, 117). This means that all non human animals have moral considerations and equal consideration. Singer asserts that humans and nonhuman animals have the capacity of enjoyment and suffering. He argues that nonhumans have the same interests as humans. Interests of nonhuman animals may be different from interests of human beings.
Singer (119) refers to treatment of animals on farms as unnecessary suffering and pain on the animals. Another form of pain is castrating cows. On the other hand, not only the treatment the animals get from farms make them suffer and have pain, but leads to unnecessary suffering and pain. A lot of people enjoy eating meat. In the views of Singer, inflicting cost saving suffering and pain on animals will enable humans in satisfying dietary preferences at affordable prices but no good will come from that. Consuming meat heavily is unhealthy. People need to weigh the interests of the animals eaten by human beings and human beings eating animals. Singer regards the interests of people eating meat as trivial by evaluating the appropriate interests of the nonhuman animals who are the food of humans. This is morally wrong (Singer, 120). Singer (122) goes on to argue that many researches conducted do not create and not expected in creating diseases cure or increasing the knowledge of individuals. Using animals in researches can be justified as mistreating them. If researches done on animals are justified, it is needed to be justified on humans too. By using utilitarianism, Singer (125) asserts that humans are supposed to choose course of actions that have best consequences by respecting interests.
Loeb, Jerod et al. “Human vs. Animal Rights: In Defense of Animal Research.” Journal of the American Medical Association 262. 19 (1989): 274-276
Regan, Tom. Ill- Gotten Gains. 282-286
Singer, Peter. “Animal Liberation.” The Right Thing To Do: Basic Readings in Moral Philosophy , Rachels James. New York City, McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages; 6 edition, 2011. 116-125.Machan, Tibor. “The Myth of Animal Rights.” The Right Thing To Do: Basic Readings in Moral Philosophy, Rachels James. New York City, McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages; 6 edition, 2011. 134-146.