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The Physicians Committee

Replacing Animal Laboratories: What You Can Do

Medical Students

  • If you have not already done so, distribute the brochure What Is Responsible Medicine? to first- and second-year medical students and to faculty at your school.
  • Arrange a meeting with the course director to discuss your views and present information on alternatives and medical schools that do not use animal labs. Be positive and be willing to work on an alternative activity.
  • Help organize a supervised operating room experience as an alternative/replacement for the animal lab, e.g., a cardiac surgery, where the same principles that are demonstrated in the animal lab can be seen. The students benefit from a “hands-on” type of experience and can observe the principles being taught in a human being. Harvard University recently replaced live animal laboratories with this program, meeting with praise from students and faculty alike. Contact PCRM for step-by-step assistance.
  • Garner the support of sympathetic faculty members and ask if they will assist you in discussing the issue with the course director.
  • You may wish to contact a few medical schools that do not have animal labs as part of their curriculum to learn what alternatives they use.

General Public

  • Write a letter and/or call the medical school(s) in your area to ask that animal labs in teaching be dropped.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local newspapers asking other concerned citizens to call or write the school to ask that the animal lab be dropped.
  • If it has not already been done, distribute What Is Responsible Medicine? brochures to first- and second-year medical students at your local medical school(s).
  • Call local media and encourage them to cover the issue.
  • Write a letter to your alma mater, urging it to adopt humane teaching methods, if it has not already done so.
  • Write a letter to your local university if it still has live animal laboratories in its medical school curricula.
  • Contact PCRM for a list of medical schools that still have live animal laboratories in its curricula.

For any further assistance or advice, or to order publications and videos, contact PCRM.

Medical Schools With Live Animal Laboratories

Medical Schools With No Live Animal Laboratories

American Medical Student Association Position on Animals in Education

FAQ: Animal Use in Medical School Education

Literature on Animal Laboratories

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