Starting next month, one of the nation's premiere medical schools will no longer utilize live animals to train its students. The Johns Hopkins School of Medication will be getting rid of the questionable course in which students run on live, anesthetized pigs.
Activists have been calling for an end to the practice for several years, as after the surgical treatments, the pigs are euthanized. But the course isn't really ceasing due to the protest from animal supporters. Rather, the school is retiring the curriculum due to the fact that the course was not discovered important after a year-long evaluation.
Medical school spokeswoman Audrey Huang told the press that medical students have constantly provided glowing evaluations about the course.
“The students have historically always been huge fans of this course,” she stated.
But because the school's curriculum goes through routine review "making sure we're teaching at the cutting edge and that nothing gets stagnant," the board decided it was time for a change.
“The dean’s office and the task force that reviewed the course felt that the class isn’t essential for turning out a great physician in training,” Huang said. “And it was the essential aspect of it that led to the decision.”
A bill banning this practice was introduced in the Maryland legislature this year.
According to the animal rights group the Physicians Committee for Accountable Medication (PCRM), the Baltimore-based university is one of 2 certified medical schools in North America that use animals in medical education. Apparently, the only other school to do so is the University of Tennessee College of Medicine school in Chattanooga.
The group argues that future specialists can practice using surgical simulations and virtual reality systems rather, reports CBS News.
Said John Pippin, M.D., and the group's director of scholastic affairs:
" Basically, pigs and human beings do not have the exact same anatomy. Students are best trained for their professions in medicine with sophisticated, human-relevant innovation-- not with live animals."
Numerous activists think this change was a long time coming. What are your thoughts?
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