PCRM Action Alert

Dear PCRM supporter,

I am very excited to be able to share with you a long-awaited victory for animals used in trauma training. Tulane University in New Orleans has informed PCRM that it has replaced the use of pigs with the TraumaMan simulator to teach physicians in Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) courses.

The school now joins the 98 percent of ATLS courses in the United States and Canada that do not use animals for ATLS training. 

This change follows PCRM’s campaign that began in 2007 and had tremendous support from our members, including local physician Leslie Brown, M.D., who worked closely with PCRM staff and volunteers to spearhead efforts for changes at Tulane. In 2010, Dr. Brown helped PCRM plan and hold a large public demonstration outside Tulane. She was also involved when we filed a state cruelty complaint against the school, and she wrote to administrators.  

Tulane demonstration!

In 2010, PCRM led a demonstration outside the
Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans.

In addition, you and other PCRM supporters sent more than 66,000 e-mails to Tulane through the years encouraging the university to take this progressive step.

Tulane University’s ATLS Program Manager informed PCRM that “Tulane ended the use of swine for ATLS and now uses TraumaMan.”

However, the university has also indicated that it might return to using pigs in the future. So we need to keep the pressure on Tulane to not take a step backwards—for the sake of all the people who will benefit from having physicians receive superior training and all pigs whose lives will be spared.

Before switching to nonanimal methods, Tulane’s ATLS course involved mutilating live animals. Specifically, course participants:


Made an incision between the pig’s ribs, through which a tube was inserted into the pig’s chest cavity;


Inserted a needle into the chest cavity;


Inserted a needle into the abdominal cavity;


Inserted a needle under the breast bone and into the pericardium (the sac surrounding the heart);


At this point, the pig was killed and course participants were instructed to make incisions in the pig’s throat, into which a tube is inserted.

Ask Tulane to continue using modern, humane training. Please contact Tulane University School of Medicine senior vice president and dean Benjamin Sachs, M.B., to thank him for making the switch and to let him know that you think Tulane should stick with nonanimal methods in ATLS training.

Thank you again for all of your support. Without you, PCRM would not be able to secure victories like this for animals still used in medical education and for the future patients of today’s doctors.

John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C.
John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C.
Director of Academic Affairs
Chair, Physician Steering Committee


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Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine • 5100 Wisconsin Ave., N.W. • Suite 400 • Washington, D.C. 20016

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