Miranda O, Hallage NM, Jacob NR, Tamosauskas M, Garci R. The use of animals in medical education: A paradigm shift [abstract]. ALTEX. 2005;22(Special Issue):12


Studies show that the use of live animals in medical education reduces the ability to retain information, thereby reducing actual learning, due to the stress that the student experiences when causing suffering and death to his “patient”. Today there are hundreds of substitute models that generate effective learning. The objective of this study is to understand the perception of students about the use of animals in education and its importance in medical learning. A questionaire was responded to by 61 medical students. Results showed that 54.1% believe that animal use is fundamental to learning the medical profession, 59% don’t feel comfortable in replicating this learning in their professional practice, 72.1% aren’t aware of substitute methods, 55.7% believe that it is ethical to use live animals, 70.5% acknowledge unpleasant feelings during the process, 60.7% don’t recommend the practice as a good learning method and 55.7% would prefer the use of substitute models if they were capable to produce good learning. The contradiction in the responses regarding the necessity of animals for good learning must be due to a lack of knowledge about efficient substitute methods for medical teaching. In light of the emphasis on humanisation and positive doctor-patient relationship in professional education, we should stimulate the publication and use of these methods, reflecting on the true importance of this type of education. It is necessary to emphasise the option of conscientious objection and compliance with Federal Law 9605/98 (makes illegal the use of live animals when substitutes exist).

Link to journal: ALTEX - Alternatives to Animal Experimentation