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The Psychological Effects of Medical Research on Animal Subjects and the Ramifications for the Applicability of the Research Results

By Morgan A. Damm

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Category Theses
Abstract

Historically, animals have been used in medical research to bring about many of the medical breakthroughs and advances seen today. The successful studies are accompanied by numerous, often concealed, failed studies that are inapplicable to human medicine due to stress and distress changing the “normal” physiological parameters of that animal. The psychological stresses observed on the research animals are numerous and include habitat inconsistencies, exposures to abnormal conditions, experimental stresses, and the anticipation of awaiting a procedure. Often published papers disguise these conditions with delicate terminology to eliminate question of error in their data. When an animal is mentally, or physically stressed, the animal’s physiology is altered. The changes in an animal’s physiology due to psychological stress may change the efficacy of the research in ways that may render the research inapplicable to human medicine studies. The three R’s of animal research (Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement) has become the guide for future technologies in medical research without the use of animal models.

Submitter

Katie Carroll

Date 2015
Publisher Portland State University Library
Department Biology
Degree Honors
URL http://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/honorstheses/135/
Language English
University Portland State University
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Tags
  1. Animal research
  2. Animal rights
  3. Animal roles
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Ethics
  6. Human-animal relationships
  7. Laboratories
  8. Laboratory and experimental animals
  9. Mammals
  10. Medical research
  11. morality
  12. Psychological stress
  13. Rodents