Critical care rabbits have been in the news for a while. The animal rights movement has been a huge force in the movement to stop the use of animals in medical experiments. From a critical care rabbit’s perspective this raises a whole new set of issues. We’ve all seen footage of rabbits that have been put in a lab to be used for the “experimental” purpose.
The first thing that comes to mind is how the use of animals for research can and does cause some pretty awful things. I know we all are disgusted when we see pictures of people being gassed and injected with a deadly substance, like in the case of the Japanese rabbits that were put in a vivisection lab to be used as a model for the development of a chemical used in a heart drug.
But that’s not the only bad thing that can happen with a rabbit that gets injected with a deadly substance. While it may be perfectly legal to use a rabbit as a model for a drug that may be harmful to human beings, the fact is that the animal is not a living being. They are not sentient, and they are not capable of feeling pain, fear, and horror. There is no way for a rabbit to consciously experience these things for us.
This is the problem with using rabbits for research. The rabbit needs to be kept alive, fed, and housed. So far the only way to do that has been to give the animal a lethal dose of a drug, and then watch the animal die. We have done this with two other medical projects: a study on cancer. A study on how to survive a heart attack. But here we are using rabbits as a model for something that could kill a human.
There are some serious ethical issues, not the least of which is the fact that the rabbit is not a human being. The rabbit is a creature that does not have the same rights or protections as a human. And in any case: The study was never going to be carried out on a human being anyway. It is a study to be done on rabbits. And the ethical issues do not even apply to that study.
I can’t imagine this study would have any impact on the rabbit’s welfare. Rabbits are considered to be among the most abused animals in the world, and the fact that they are being considered for study does not help their cause. But even if the study were to be done on a human, it would amount to little more than a scientific observation. It would be like a surgeon performing an autopsy on a cadaver instead of a human.
The ethical issues do not apply to the ethical issues, which are really issues that would arise if the study were to be done with human patients. The idea that you’d be able to “prove” that your patients (who are, after all, humans) are more “in need” of an intervention that your study shows might make a certain amount of sense, but that other patients might not seem to be at the same stage.
Because the ethical issues are not only a distraction from the ethical issues, it might also make the ethics issue difficult to deal with.
Okay, so the ethical issue is, how can I convince people that their patients are being treated humanely? One way is by giving them the benefit of the doubt that their patients are not in need of an intervention that is not possible.