The thought of animal research brings to mind a mad scientist conducting painful experiments on tiny defenseless animals. This has many people questioning the ethics of using animals for research purposes. However, humans participating in clinical trials are also participating in research that may or may not have a negative effect.
Yet, the majority of Americans do agree that some level of caution should be taken with animal research as is taken in clinical trials. This helped create federal regulations for animal research. In fact, the American Psychological Association and many other groups have their own ethical guidelines for animal research as well.
All guidelines for animal research start with a justification for the use of animals in the research. The federal government actually requires a detailed report on the procedures to be performed, the euthanasia procedures, and a sound explanation for using the animals.
In the course of animal research, all processes must be constructed to use the least amount of animals required for the research. Researchers must also use the animal that is the most suited to the study.
Though pain and even death are inevitable outcomes of many animal research projects, the pain and suffering is reduced as much as possible. In fact, animals are not left to die a slow death. Euthanasia requirements allow animals to be peacefully put to sleep rather than letting nature run its cruel course.
It is never pleasant to sacrifice a life and just as many people will be forever against war, there are those who will never see animal research as an ethical option. However, there are many people, especially those who are suffering the effects of incurable medical conditions, who believe the ends justify the means. In any case, there are procedures in place to treat animal research in the most ethical and professional ways possible.