In our world, protests occur each day on the issues of animal cruelty and human rights, but when the issues are put together which will reign over the other? The author Peter Singer of “All Animals are Equal” and “Tools for Research” presents his argument for determining when animal experiments are justified. The author starts his paper with a counter argument, questioning if one would be willing to let thousands of people die if those people could be saved by experimentation on a single animal. The answer is a unanimous no; in our culture we value human life over everything else. The author follows by asking the reader if they would be prepared to carry out their experiments on humans who are mentally retarded or orphaned babies, if that
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However, for anyone who believes in the sanctity of human life, the position Singer holds on experimentation on animals is one that is hard to embrace. However, even if Singer convinces a reader that animals have feeling and that humans demonstrate “speciesism”, there is no denying that animals are the most convenient and most practical alternative for doing scientific experimentation. At the core Singer is likely correct, out of necessity most humans are likely speciesists.
In the article Research Ethics: Historical Background, Roy, Williams, and Dickens argue that the use of humans in clinical trials to develop therapies is required in the pursuit of discovery. The authors argue that society would not have the effective treatments that we have today for many diseases if earlier generations had not participated in medical research. They feel that it is acceptable to use humans in medical research as long as the research being conducted does not cause any harm to the patient. In cases where the patient is infected by a fatal disease, the authors feel that these patients should offer themselves to scientists in the hopes of a scientific breakthrough that will benefit society as a whole, even if not of direct benefit to the patient themselves.
Roy, Williams, and Dickens’ arguments are based upon the application of