Home > Uncategorized > Brain freeze sheds light on animal rights

Brain freeze sheds light on animal rights

Any real fan of House will remember that episode when the protagonist induced a headache in a comatose patient in order to test a new medication. Later on, he did the same to himself, in the noblest of self-sacrifices for the sake of science. 

In the same vein, this article from the Huffington Post that deals with brain freeze briefly discusses the ethics of inducing migraines in patients to test medications and to observe the affliction itself. Surely, though, our standards for how we treat ourselves–the members of our own species–should have some implications on how we treat other species. A rat, for example, stands to lose far more when injected with cancer cells than a human does when injected with nitroglycerin, no? What other argument is there except the antiquated Great Chain of Being one to justify practices in which our morals seem inconsistent? Unless we accept that God granted humans dominion over ever living thing, where do we look to justify the speciesism that dominates our worldview? 

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. April 30, 2012 at 3:42 am

    I think the only real defense of this treatment is that it is the most effective at producing results. Who on earth would volunteer to be injected with cancer? What about the AIDS virus? While human test subjects are used for research are paid, there is that tricky ethincal question if paying someone to seriously damage themselves for the good of humanity is entirely acceptable. It seems to target the desperate, and the poor. Animals are easy to obtain, work for free, reproduce faster, and generally have shorter lifespans. Basically making them superior to human test subjects in most ways. No one likes the idea of shooting up a rat with nitroglycerin, but if people see a large enough benefit they are willing to ignore it. Most medical companies have a board that reviews testing on animals and whether or not it is appropriate or has a high enough risk reward ratio. I’m going into a career that will probably involve animal testing at some point, so if you have any ideas or theories as to how that system can be improved or replaced, I would enjoy looking into it.

  2. avtheo
    May 1, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Hands down this is just unethical I think. Although, no damage is being done to the patient or animal, this freezing of the pain is still inducing pain. This procedure connects my thought process to animal testing and what makes it any difference? Animal testing and animal right is very touchy subject. I mean protesters don’t through paint on people wearing real fur coats for nothing. They are trying to make a point. And I understand that this testing process of freezing the brain is trying to make a point as well: to see whether specific medication work well. But it’s still violating the patient, diminishing the justification of speciesism.

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