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December 25, 1991

Use of Animals in Medical Education

Author Affiliations

Fuller Theological Seminary Pasadena, Calif

Fuller Theological Seminary Pasadena, Calif

JAMA. 1991;266(24):3422-3423. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470240043019

To the Editor.  —The AMA Council's report on use of animals1 and the survey that preceded it2 are examples of a pragmatic approach that extinguishes the moral issue that prompted the report. Majority opinions are presented from a survey of what is without reference to what ought to be. The article discussed cost factors and student compliance apart from personal preference or moral imperatives.Reporting or surveying out of moral context is a tried, but not necessarily true, way to solve issues that intrude on professional prerogatives. I first met this complacent myopia as a first-year medical student in 1945. There was a woman in our class! Most of us made a pragmatic conclusion: no patient will have confidence in a female physician, so why is she here?Ten years later I found a similar "factual" approach in literature I used for a course on medical ethics in