Bör djurförsök stoppas?

Ja, jag börjar luta åt den uppfattningen — bl.a. påverkad av Robert Bass uppsats ”Lives in the Balance: Utilitarianism and Animal Research”. Han granskar de utilitaristiska argumenten för och emot noga, bortom förenklade slagord och frågor (av typen ”Om du kunde rädda ett sjukt barn genom experiment på ett djur, skulle du inte göra det då?”). Hans slutsats:

The real question that faces the utilitarian is whether we can institutionalize animal research in a way that is prospectively justified. That is, can we authorize large quantities of animal research in a way that (a) has a high probability of supporting research that itself has a high probability of producing net benefits, and that (b) has a low probability of supporting research that does not have good prospects of producing net benefits?

On present evidence, the needed prospective justification seems unlikely. First, as we have seen, we do not have strong evidence for large human benefits of animal research in any case. At the very least, much better and more detailed accounting is needed to make the case for substantial human benefit. Second, since the evidence indicates that Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees do not reliably discriminate between promising and unpromising science, we would need to develop new and more rigorous evaluation procedures. It is difficult to know just how to proceed, however, if our best efforts so far, by way of designing and regulating IACUC procedure, have proven no more reliable than flipping a coin. Third, we still need to consider the magnitude of animal harm. It will not be enough to find a small human benefit attributable to animal research. There is a great deal of harm to animals at stake: imposition of fear, pain, distress, injury, confinement, suffering, disease and death upon many of the test subjects. Only enormous and very clear prospective benefits to humans could outweigh that. In the absence of that kind of evidence, it is hard to see any utilitarian justification for institutionalized animal research.

Om du vill tillåta djurförsök, på vilken punkt anser du att Bass har fel?