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December 22, 1989

Animals in Research

JAMA. 1989;262(24):3404. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430240038015

To the Editor.—  To the uninformed reader, the historical review "Animals in Research"1 provides a compelling case for continued animal research. However, one should be suspicious of any conclusions of the American Medical Association, which has publicly aligned itself politically with the National Association for Biomedical Research,1,2 an advocacy group devoted to the interests of animal researchers. Many medical historians, who do not share the American Medical Association's political agenda and who merely attempt to describe medical history accurately, have come to strikingly different opinions.Careful analysis has demonstrated that key discoveries in cancer therapy,3 immunology,4 and anesthesia5 have resulted from clinical research, observation of patients, or human autopsies. Beeson6 concluded: "Progress in the understanding and management of human disease must begin, and end, with studies of man.... Hepatitis, although an almost 'pure' example of progress by the study of man, is by no