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December 25, 1991

Use of Animals in Medical Education

Author Affiliations

Peoria, Ill

Peoria, Ill

JAMA. 1991;266(24):3422. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470240043016

To the Editor.  —I take great exception to the Council's report1 regarding the use of animals in medical education. Animal dissection and/or "study" has no place in modern medical education. We treat people, not animals. Animal anatomy is very different from human anatomy, and the study of it is of minimal use to a practicing physician. It would seem more appropriate to learn anatomy from human cadavers, models, and learning aides. Physiology is best learned in the classroom. As a medical student, I was forced to take part in a dog laboratory, where we systematically injected potassium chloride into intubated dogs to watch their hearts stop. No medical knowledge was learned from this execution. The only thing this type of thing teaches is that life is cheap. It is easy to progress from animal abuse to human abuse. Even now, our profession is under fire for indifference to patient