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Justifiability and Animal Research in Health: Can Democratisation Help Resolve Difficulties?


Justifiability and Animal Research in Health: Can Democratisation Help Resolve Difficulties?

Khoo, Shaun Yon-Seng ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0972-3788 (2018) Justifiability and Animal Research in Health: Can Democratisation Help Resolve Difficulties? Animals, 28 (2). p. 28. ISSN 2076-2615

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani8020028


Current animal research ethics frameworks emphasise consequentialist ethics through cost-benefit or harm-benefit analysis. However, these ethical frameworks along with institutional animal ethics approval processes cannot satisfactorily decide when a given potential benefit is outweighed by costs to animals. The consequentialist calculus should, theoretically, provide for situations where research into a disease or disorder is no longer ethical, but this is difficult to determine objectively. Public support for animal research is also falling as demand for healthcare is rising. Democratisation of animal research could help resolve these tensions through facilitating ethical health consumerism or giving the public greater input into deciding the diseases and disorders where animal research is justified. Labelling drugs to disclose animal use and providing a plain-language summary of the role of animals may help promote public understanding and would respect the ethical beliefs of objectors to animal research. National animal ethics committees could weigh the competing ethical, scientific, and public interests to provide a transparent mandate for animal research to occur when it is justifiable and acceptable. Democratic processes can impose ethical limits and provide mandates for acceptable research while facilitating a regulatory and scientific transition towards medical advances that require fewer animals.

Divisions:Concordia University > Research Units > Centre for Studies in Behavioural Neurobiology
Item Type:Article
Authors:Khoo, Shaun Yon-Seng
Journal or Publication:Animals
Date:14 February 2018
  • Concordia Open Access Author Fund
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.3390/ani8020028
Keywords:animal ethics; consequentialism; harm-benefit analysis; justification; democratisation; ethical consumerism; animal ethics committees
ID Code:983508
Deposited On:15 Feb 2018 13:50
Last Modified:15 Feb 2018 13:50
Additional Information:This article is in an open access journal and can be used under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 4.0).


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