Ads Expose Use of Live Dogs for Emergency Medicine Training at Morristown Medical Center

The Physicians Committee
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NEWS RELEASE November 15, 2016
Ads Expose Use of Live Dogs for Emergency Medicine Training at Morristown Medical Center
Doctors Urge Hospital to Improve Education by Switching to Simulation

MORRISTOWN, N.J.—Two train station ads and a billboard reveal Morristown Medical Center’s use of live dogs for medical training. The Physicians Committee—a nonprofit representing more than 12,000 concerned physicians—sponsored the ads.

A billboard located just north of Exit 13 on I-95, near Newark Liberty International Airport, states: “Morristown Medical Center: Don’t kill man’s best friend for medical training. NewJerseyDeservesBetter.org.” There are also two NJ Transit train platform ads with a similar message at the Morristown station.

Emergency medicine training through Morristown Medical Center involves cutting into live dogs to practice emergency medical procedures. Some of the procedures performed include cutting open the chest to insert tubes and clamp the major artery, cracking the breast bone to perform suturing on the exposed heart, and inserting or drilling catheters into bones. At the end of each training session, the surviving dogs are killed.

However, 89 percent (142 of 160) of U.S. emergency medicine residency programs surveyed by the Physicians Committee teach the same procedures without using animals. Morristown Medical Center already has a state-of-the-art simulation center that could provide the resources to replace the use of animals in the emergency medicine residency.

“Morristown Medical Center’s use of live dogs makes it a laggard in emergency medicine training, as well as an embarrassment to the Town of Morristown,” says John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., director of academic affairs at the Physicians Committee. “I strongly urge Morristown Medical Center to advance its emergency medicine training and switch to the educationally superior methods that are based exclusively on human anatomy. This change would be welcomed by the millions of dog-loving residents of New Jersey who will be appalled by this practice.”

Dr. Pippin and several New Jersey physicians are submitting letters to both Mayor Timothy Dougherty (Morristown) and New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino, to inform them of Morristown Medical Center’s substandard training methods and violation of the state animal cruelty statute.

For images of the billboard or an interview with a physician, please contact Reina Pohl at 202-527-7326 or RPohl@PCRM.org.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research and medical training.