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Victory! Indiana University Ends Cruel Use of Cats

Cats used in medical eductationLive cats at Indiana University will no longer have plastic tubes repeatedly forced into their mouths and windpipes. Thanks to PCRM, the school will only use simulators in its pediatrics residency program.

After PCRM requested a curriculum evaluation, the school moved to modern teaching methods that better equip trainees to care for newborns, according to a letter from the school's residency program director.

Indiana University School of Medicine’s animal use came under scrutiny after PCRM urged the university to end the animal use. Nonanimal education methods are used by 94 percent of U.S. pediatrics programs surveyed by PCRM.

“Indiana University School of Medicine is to be congratulated on its carefully considered decision to move to nonanimal methods of pediatrics training,” says John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., PCRM's director of academic affairs.

IU's move toward nonanimal methods comes after similar announcements from medical institutions across the country following complaints and requests from PCRM. Since January, 10 pediatrics residency programs—including Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, and the University of Arizona—have also confirmed the end of animal use for training.

This shift has been facilitated by innovations in medical simulation technology, increased availability of alternatives, a rising awareness of ethical concerns, and a growing acknowledgement that medical training must be human-focused.

But live animal use for pediatrics training continues at the University of Washington, where ferrets suffer tracheal bruising, bleeding, scarring, severe pain, and sometimes death.

To ask the University of Washington to stop using live animals for pediatrics training and see the list of other schools still using animals, visit PCRM.org/Pediatrics.
 




PCRM Online,
September 2011

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