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April 4, 1990

Animals in Research: The American Medical Association's Position-Reply

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago, Ill

American Medical Association Chicago, Ill

JAMA. 1990;263(13):1766. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440130046019

In Reply.—  We are chagrined that Dr Petersen has misconstrued our support of the use of animals in medical research to mean that the American Medical Association "indiscriminately support[s] all uses of animals, however cruel and useless." For more than 100 years, the American Medical Association has supported the humane treatment of animals and endorsed legislative actions to ensure proper care of laboratory animals. Dr Allison dismisses the obvious point that the benefit of research with animals, as of research in general, is not what we fail to learn, but rather what we do learn. Certainly there are situations where data extrapolated from animals have proved to be inapplicable to humans. But the vast majority of animal experiments have proved invaluable, as documented in a recent American Medical Association Council on Scientific Affairs report that identifies many medical advances resulting directly from the use of animals in the laboratory.1