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July 4, 1990

The Last GASP Wasn't

Author Affiliations

Wellfleet, Mass

Wellfleet, Mass

JAMA. 1990;264(1):33. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450010037011

To the Editor.—  I found "The Last GASP"1 offensive. There is great disagreement, even violent controversy, over the issue of animal experimentation. That we disagree should not be an excuse for disrespect in either direction.The article implies that it is ludicrous to be concerned about our treatment of beings other than ourselves and that the people who are so concerned are themselves fools or idiots. Is it really so ludicrous to be concerned about animals? Are we not mammals ourselves? Does anyone today truly suggest that animals do not experience fear and pain? We would not even think to do research on animals if not for the fact that they are similar enough to humans to make the research relevant. Physicians are meant to be compassionate beings. Disagreement is not an excuse for ugly arrogance toward any creatures or toward the opinions of other people.I don't think