Posted: October 17th, 2013
Animal Research by Thomas Genneralli
Dr. Thomas Genarelli is a globally distinguished researcher of traumatic head injuries. He does his researches at the Pennsylvania University. These researches are carried out on baboons to try to find the causes and treatment of head injuries in humans. There have been reports that his research treats animals with a lot of cruelty and inhumanity. In the movie ‘Unnecessary Fuss’, there was footage of the researchers inflicting brain damage on baboons using a hydraulic gadget. It also showed the researchers laughing at the baboons as the inflictions occurred. After the film was circulated, the laboratory was closed down on accusations of failing to respect the ‘Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals’.
Dr. Genarelli and his team of researchers are accused of knowingly causing serious injuries to the baboons by use of force and when pulling out the helmets from their heads during and after an experiment. They are also said to perform these experiments on conscious and non-sedated baboons. They smoke during surgeries and play very loud rock music as the baboons stay tightly strapped to their electric chairs nursing injuries. Electrocutions are also performed on the poor baboons, and some who cannot take the pain and torture die.
After this video was released to the public, he vehemently denied the accusations insisting that the experiments were justifiable. He defended his work by saying that the only reason why some baboons died was that they did not display normal behavior and so they had to put down. He did not disclose how these baboons were put down. Vivisection, which was largely blamed for being the cause of the mistreatment of the baboons, was widely condemned by doctors all around the world.
Dr. Genarelli’s continued research on baboons has caused a lot of uproar among human and animal rights activists. ‘People for Ethical Treatment of Animals’ have reported that the research is inhumane and devoid of any scientific merit. They also demanded for immediate action to be taken against the researchers. These reports were forwarded to the ‘National Institutes of Health’, this led to the discontinued funding for that research and ultimately, his work was suspended.
There have also been numerous student demonstrations against the cruel and inhumane treatment of baboons at Dr. Genarelli’s research laboratory in Pennsylvania. There is a group calling itself ‘The Coalition Against the Genarelli Experiments’, which has organized several protests against his researches claiming that they are performing painful experiments on baboons that have not been anaesthetized and so they demanded immediate closure and investigations into their allegations.
Although many condemn the work Genarelli is doing, there are those who argue that his research is of advanced quality. The ‘Society for Neuroscience’ supports the experiments saying that they have resulted to major breakthroughs in the field of traumatic head injuries. They are therefore in favor of continued funding for the laboratory since it was reviewed and no flaws were found with the project. These sentiments were however not shared by all the members of the group.
Others are saying that the research has brought forward several methods of treating brain injuries brought about by swelling and blood flow changes. Some neurosurgeons in support of his experiments are claiming that the researches have produced substantive proof on the likelihood of regeneration of destroyed nerve cells, which is good news for human beings suffering from brain and spinal cord damage.
The experiments being done on the baboons are unfair and unethical. As much as they are animals, the doctors need to consider that, they too, have feelings just like human beings. These feelings have to be put into considerations when performing some of their experiments. Just because they are trying to look for treatment for human conditions, does not mean that they can use non-humans. There are companies that run experiments on animals, but they do not treat them like worthless creatures.
Ethics depicts that all life forms should be valued and preserved. Therefore, Genarelli and his team of researchers should be banned from continuing with their research and their laboratory closed for good. This will act as an example to other neurologists who are doing the same thing to animals but are not known. I believe that an action and not the result should provide justification for the deed. At the same time, the results of an action cannot be ignored as they act as emphasis on the morality of the action. Experiments on animals, baboons in this case, are unethical. As much as they hold potential to give various medical benefits, it cannot be ignored that the procedures end the lives of the animals. It is therefore unethical and wrong to carry out these animal researches.
Orlans, F B. In the Name of Science: Issues in Responsible Animal Experimentation. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. Print.
Ruesch, Hans. Slaughter of the Innocent. New York, N.Y: Civitas Publications, 1983. Print.
Ryder, Richard D. Victims of Science: The Use of Animals in Research. London: Davis-Poynter, 1975. Print.
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