The ethical and legal considerations in research involving living animals

Animal research has had a vital role in many scientific and medical advances of the past century and continues to aid our understanding of various diseases.

The ethical and legal considerations in research involving living animals

Apr 14, Introduction Genetic research has advanced in a dramatic fashion in the last decade or so, to the point where it has now become possible to attempt therapeutic genetic modification, in a few cases of human genes, where a defects exists which manifests itself in certain serious diseases.

This possibility, known as gene therapy, is only in its infancy.

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At present, no one knows how effective it will prove to be, even in the few conditions on which it is being tried - whether it will only be of relatively limited application, or whether it will open up many wider possibilities.

It suffers both over-optimistic claims from some quarters and exaggerated dangers from others, over which the church needs to be discerning. Potential Ethical Issues Perhaps the most basic underlying questions centre on a Christian understanding of the human being.

What does this tell us vis a vis our genetic and physical makeup? What are therefore proper interventions into that genetic makeup? What would be improper in terms of our human dignity? More applied questions include: The balance of individual and family or societal good, say regarding who has the right to know genetic information How should a society best arrive at decisions and legisation over ethical issues, taking account of public opinion and minority views.

There are questions which relate to the proper place of the commercial dimesnion in medical technology: It lies beyond the scope of this brief report to develop a detailed theolgical and ethical framework to address such wide range of issues. Since the focus is primarily on the issues themselves, the approach taken is to address the underlying ethical aspects in respect of particular issues as they arise.

Is it acceptable for human beings to manipulate human genes? Are we Playing God? What is a Human Being? Key concepts within which to frame a biblical view in this area are the nature of human being, and the constraints on what is permissible in the context of relationship.

In Genesis, men and women are described in three illuminating ways. Yet we are more than dust - we have the breath of life. Putting it in more scientific terms, we are far more than the sum of our DNA complement. Each of these relationships leads to moral precepts which sets bounds to what we may do within such a relationship, which may be applied to genetic technology.

In scripture, the problems in which human beings find themselves are expressed in terms of disobedience to God, arising from a broken relationship with him.

Failing to relate to God, and thus to our fellow humans, leads to distortions of human behaviour with false precepts, and also to attempting to set up alternative and substitute alliances with things which are non-relational - idolatry.

Some of the more extravagant claims for the potential of genetics see the human genome project as a further step along the road of human autonomy and mastery over nature.

Another basic distortion is the tendency to evaluate all things in a material and economic frame of reference, seeing the potential of genetics primarily in terms of a means of economic gain and the power that goes with it, as though these were the supreme integration points for human activity, rather than seeing them within the wider framework of divine and human relationships.

Looking at genetic technologies in the context of acknowledging our relationship to God, limits the autonomy of this particular human activity, as of any other. Against a Christian concept of what it is to be human, it can be argued that we would not lose something of our humanity by manipulating genes as such, so much as in seeking to live outside a relationship with God, and perverting for purely selfish ends the relationships we share with fellow human beings and the rest of the created order.

In this relationship, the human genome project can be seen as a continuation under God of our understanding of his creation, to be used to care for our fellow humans and glorify the Creator.

Moral and Ethical Issues in Gene Therapy | Society, Religion and Technology Project

There need to be constraints to keep back the excesses to which human beings are prone, and to keep genetics in a proper balance with the whole round of human activity and human need.

Risk and the need for humility and prudence in genetic developments Our understanding of human nature not only recognises our God-given abilities and possibilities, but also our limits and failings. Scientific enquiry at its best should bring a proper humility, which recognises both the wonder and also the smallness and contigence of the human condition in the created order.

It recognises the limits to human knowledge and understanding. We are finite, and our knowledge of the universe is partial, imperfect and conditioned by the cognitive and social structures we have used in constructing our scientific understanding.

It is a commonplace that new technological developments cannot see in advance all the pitfalls that will almost inevitably take place.

There is always a risk involved. It is for human beings to weigh up the likelihood of what risks they can foresee, and to act or not act accordingly.

BBC - Ethics - Animal ethics: Experimenting on animals

But it is equally important to recognise that, especially in the early stages we will not be in a position to know what all the risks are until something has gone wrong. We can take reasonable precautions, but there is no such thing as risk-free technology, and more than there is risk-free life.

Another cause for humility before any new technology is our frequent failure to see the wider connections with other parts of our life and the planet as a whole. The more complex and powerful the technology, like genetics engineering, the more important this is.Closing Date. 30 November The Research Project.

Since the publishing of Peter Singer’s seminal text Animal Liberation in , Australia has played a significant role in the development of the Animal Studies (also known as Human-Animal Studies and including Critical Animal Studies) as an international field of enquiry and continues to do so. The ethics of research involving animals.

Nuffield Council on Bioethics Professor Sir Bob Hepple QC, FBA (Chairman) Professor Catherine Peckham CBE (Deputy Chairman) It considers the ethical issues of research involving animals in the light of these developments, the implications for regulation.

Ethical considerations can be addressed at individual and at societal levels. The way that individuals are affected by the conduct of others merits ethical consideration. like legal, scientific, or economic factors. Rather a sound ethical judgement involves an integration of all the relevant factors.

to seek consent from people to. Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. The field of ethics, along with aesthetics, concern matters of value, and thus comprise the branch of philosophy called axiology..

Ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality by defining concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong. 11 RUTH L. KIRSCHSTEIN NATIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE AWARDS General.

The ethical and legal considerations in research involving living animals

This chapter includes general information about Kirschstein-NRSA individual fellowships and institutional research . All research involving animal testing conducted or sponsored by Dstl is subject to processes that ensure appropriate ethical review and responsible use of animals by Dstl.

The ethical and legal considerations in research involving living animals

We define ‘involving.

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