Science and Values - October 7.pdf

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University of Toronto St. George
History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
Paul Thompson

HPS: Science and Values Animals - not many people cared about this topic before the 1960s - Humane Societies didn't have a lot of legislative power before the 1960s - today, the legislation is rich and applied vigorously - Issues of animal welfare in science arise in: – Animal care facilities – Specific research uses - what are they going to be used for? - is it necessary to use animals in this scenario? - if you have to use animals, how can you minimize the intrusiveness? - this topic has seen a lot of legislation – Animals as donors or bio-factories - relatively new area of concern - legislative protocols are considerably low, because this is new - e.g. a valve replaced in your heart may have come from a pig - e.g. engineering an animal so that it has as close as possible a genetic identity to an individual, and then take an organ from that animal and place it in a human (lessens chance of organ rejection) - this is highly controversial, and very new - bio-factories = animals used to produce useful compound for humans - greatest use = bacteria --> e.g. insulin Animals in Research Aconsiderable proportion of the use of animals is • Safety and efficacy testing - you have to be sure that a pharmaceutical is safe before humans can use it - if it is safe for animals, it then goes to human trials - animals stand at the beginning of a long chain of medicinal approval - cosmetics and sunscreens are often tested on animals first too • Discovery of processes - using animals to understand physiology - e.g. primates were studied in order to figure out how to prevent ovulation - this process of discovery can sometimes be done without animals, but they are often needed • manipulation for production of therapeutic agents - in most cases this has been done with bacteria - sometimes done with other organisms (e.g. rats) - usually only organisms that have a high reproductive rate Animals as donors: • Direct use of animal tissues or products (heart valves from pigs from human value repair) • Transgenic animals and xenotransplantation - if you can take a cell from a person and create an animal clone using that material, you can create an organ for transplant this way - using humans would cause even more ethical problems - to date this process is not perfected - clones have been created but not perfectly - there are scientific as well as ethical issues with this process - transgenic animals are engineered to carry genes from other species - xenotransplantation = transfer of organ from one species to another Two strands of argument: • Animals have intrinsic value – often expressed as animals have rights – Hence, we have obligations to them – How strong are these obligations? - animals have no claims on humans in terms of how we treat them • Animals suffer (utilitarian argument--greatest happiness for greatest number) – Hence, their welfare should concern us – Descartes and vivisectionists denied that they suffer - vivisection = work on live animals - two distinct substances that exist--material substance (body) and soul - only humans have souls, so only humans can suffer - the appearance of animal suffering is simply a "mechanism" - this view has mainly been eroded Research using animals (two broad kinds): 1. Benefits humans and only indirectly animals - animals a means, but not an ends 2. Benefits animals directly and indirectly humans (veterinary research) - could bene
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