Much of what scientists know of human neuroscience comes from the study of nonhuman animals. Many significant advances in human health have been achieved through use of nonhuman animals in research. Included among these are the following:
- The basic understanding of how individual nerve cells operate is based on research with squid.
- The understanding of the effects of the environment on brain development is based on research with rats.
- Mice are often used as test animals to evaluate potential drugs to treat depression and other disorders.
Although nonhuman animal research has had led to many significant advances in human health, ethical considerations make this type of research a heated topic of debate. Discuss the following:
- Do you believe it is appropriate to make generalizations to humans from this sort of research?
- Why or why not?
- What are the facts that support your decision?
- Provide at least 2 references from scientific research.
- Generally speaking, why do you believe animal research is such a focus of debate?
- What is your position on the use of animal research?
- In what way does an ethical perspective best support your view?
- What scientific facts support your position?
Ground Rules for Discussion
The study of ethics involves consideration of conflicting moral choices and dilemmas about which reasonable people may disagree. To keep a professional and safe discussion environment, please adhere to the following ground rules:
- Respect all viewpoints, even those differing from your own.
- Critique ideas, not people.
- Assume good intent.
For years, scientists have resorted to using animals primarily to advance medical knowledge and human health. The advent of this practice has been fruitful in that the research has provided a basic understanding of human health…