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