The Ethics of Animal Research: Exploring the Controversy

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-03-01
  • Publisher: MIT PRESS

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An estimated 100 million nonhuman vertebrates worldwide--including primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, birds, rats, and mice--are bred, captured, or otherwise acquired every year for research purposes. Much of this research is seriously detrimental to the welfare of these animals, causing pain, distress, injury, or death. This book explores the ethical controversies that have arisen over animal research, examining closely the complex scientific, philosophical, moral, and legal issues involved. Defenders of animal research face a twofold challenge: they must make a compelling case for the unique benefits offered by animal research; and they must provide a rationale for why these benefits justify treating animal subjects in ways that would be unacceptable for human subjects. This challenge is at the heart of the book. Some contributors argue that it can be met fairly easily; others argue that it can never be met; still others argue that it can sometimes be met, although not necessarily easily. Their essays consider how moral theory can be brought to bear on the practical ethical questions raised by animal research, examine the new challenges raised by the emerging possibilities of biotechnology, and consider how to achieve a more productive dialogue on this polarizing subject. The book's careful blending of theoretical and practical considerations and its balanced arguments make it valuable for instructors as well as for scholars and practitioners.

Author Biography

Jeremy R. Garrett is a Research Associate at the Children's Mercy Bioethics Center at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Table of Contents

Series Forewordp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
List of Contributorsp. xi
The Ethics of Animal Research: An Overview of the Debatep. 1
Animal Research: Ethical and Scientific Starting Pointsp. 17
Ethics and Animal Researchp. 19
The Evolutionary Basis for Animal Researchp. 31
Bringing Moral Theory to Bear on Animal Researchp. 51
Defending Animal Research: An International Perspectivep. 53
Animal Experimentation, Marginal Cases, and the Significance of Sufferingp. 67
Lives in the Balance: Utilitarianism and Animal Researchp. 81
Empty Cages: Animal Rights and Vivisectionp. 107
Virtue, Vice, and Vivisectionp. 125
Contractarianism, Animals, and Riskp. 147
The Ethics of Animal Research in the New Era of Biotechnologyp. 167
Ethical Issues Concerning Transgenic Animals in Biomedical Researchp. 169
Casuistry and the Moral Continuum: Evaluating Animal Biotechnologyp. 181
Making Progress in the Debate: Alternative Paths Forwardp. 195
Debating the Value of Animal Researchp. 197
The Commonsense Case against Animal Experimentationp. 215
Rational Engagement, Emotional Response, and the Prospects for Moral Progress in Animal Use "Debates"p. 237
Animal Rights Advocacy and Modern Medicine: The Charge of Hypocrisyp. 267
We're All Animals: A Feminist Treatment of the Moral Limits of Nonhuman Animal Researchp. 293
Indexp. 327
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