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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

the downside of disease research

Sometimes I hate being in research.
Where I work we only do ethical animal research where significant, useful results can be found to help treat disease that cannot be done in any other possible way. I'm involved as little as I possibly can in anything like this because I get very attached to the animals and I have a great difficulty working with them. I know we might help someone with this, but it still doesn't make me feel any better about having to help anaesthetise 5 rats today.
I thanked each one for the gift their lives to help us. I held them gently and talked to them calmly as they went to sleep and petted them to calm them. I hope it was peaceful.

I still feel awful...

5 comments:

westwood said...

Although I fall on your side, I'll offer the consolation that they wouldn't exist if not for the research. And that for any animal used for human purposes the ideal goal should be for it to have just one really bad day. Hopefully that was the case for yours.

Geosomin said...

it was. thankfully.

Dr. J said...

When I was a child, I was exposed to the use of animals in research by my father, who is also a doctor. I questioned "why?" When I became a doctor, I did one study with rats early on in my career. I was motivated to complete and publish the study because the animals were killed. I never did another using animals,, and I do not support this action, and feel that it is not necessary, but more driven by habit and academia. Living creatures are different, but not superior over one another, and using them for this is wrong! Why? No consent!

Geosomin said...

I know. I struggle with this a lot. However- I am not in the position to dictate the use of them. All the arguments in the world won't change that fact. Getting a job in research is hard...and 99% of the time my job allows me to do great things...

One of the reasons I'm doing my Masters is it will give me more authority to stay out of these studies. Right now, as a "lowly" tech, I do not always have this choice, altho 99% of the time I can be uninvolved...

the Bag Lady said...

Precisely why I couldn't do your job - there would be a lot of "rescued" rats!

I know, it sounds strange coming from someone who raises beef cattle, but my job is helping birth them, and keeping them alive.... so that someone else can kill them. Sigh. It's a conundrum.