Target: Major General Richard Thomas, Commanding General of Western Regional Medical Command
Goal: Stop the use of live animals in medical training
A hospital that is operated by the United States Military uses live animals in most medical practice training. Many of the animals involved in the testings end up dying from related injuries. The individuals advocating for these practices emphasize that there are no other proven methods of testing and insist on using live animals. There are absolutely methods available that are more similar to a human than live animal victims; the use and abuse of animals for medical advancement is outdated and inhumane.
The Madigan Army Medical Center, where the testing takes place, has been under the watchful eye of animal rights organizations for quite some time. Particular events that raise protests are the murders of pigs and goats due to medical training. The officials within the organization claim that live animal use is crucial in their current curriculum because animal involved trainings have lowered rates of fatalities and killed-in-action deaths for military persons. There are many medical advancements that would allow the military hospital to use almost lifelike human dummies; these would surely provide to be more useful than an animal whose anatomy is strikingly different than that of a human.
Protests from animal rights groups have led to the hospital easing up on sections of their animal testing: the hospital once used ferrets in infant emergency trials. In these tests a hard plastic tube is forced down the mouth of the ferret, often times resulting in damaged windpipes, bruised organs, collapsed lungs and death. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) scrutinized this practice, pointing out the damages these tests caused to the ferret victims. The medical center agreed that this practice was inhumane and does not use ferrets in testing anymore; however, they insist live animal training is the most effective for medical advancement and will not stop all live animal training. Urge The Madigan Army Medical Center to reconsider this stance.
Dear Major General Richard Thomas,
Live animals have been an important training tool at the Madigan Army Medical Center for years. You claim that the use of live animals during training has led to lower fatalities and killed-in-action deaths. I urge you to reconsider your stance and understand that using live animals as a substitute for the human anatomy is not completely effective. It is outdated and inhumane.
Due to scrutiny from the activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) you stopped the use of ferrets for infant emergency trials. PETA highlighted the damages that these tests caused to the ferrets, such as collapsed lungs, bruised organs and death. Thank you for banning the use of ferrets in the medical center. I urge you to consider this level of compassion for all of the animals you test on.
There are many other ways to successfully test medical advancements, including anatomically correct human dummies and digital visual aids. There are also many individuals that arrange for their bodies to be used for science when they are deceased. Using live animals for training is not the most effective for human medical advancement. The anatomy of animals versus humans is drastically different.
Please reconsider using animals for training at the Madigan Army Medical Center. There are more effective methods of training that will allow the students a more realistic situation for treating a human patient. It is time to abandon the inhumane and antiquated methods practiced at the medical center.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Linda Bartlett via Wikimedia Commons