[Ethical considerations on animal experiments] [Article in German]

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Wolfgang Scharmann
Gotthard M. Teutsch


The current state of the controversy on experimentation with animals is presented in overview in three chapters. The authors define four categories of personal involvement. There is the wholehearted "advocate", for whom experiments using animals are always necessary and who will only acknowledge well-founded scientific evidence against using them; next, the "defender" of animal experiments, who accepts that ethical evaluation of each experiment is necessary; then the "critic", who will challenge the majority of experiments for either ethical or scientific reasons; finally, there is the "opponent" of animal experiments, who for ethical reasons rejects animal experiments totally. Following this categorisation, one author (Scharmann) counts himself as "defender", while the other (Teutsch) is an "opponent" of animal experimentation. In the second chapter, guidelines are given for ethical evaluations based on the expected gain for man and animal on the one hand and the burden on the experimental animals on the other hand. In the third chapter, which deals with the outcome of deliberations on gain versus burden, each author presents his views separately, depending on his own conclusions. Scharmann takes into account the principle of "closeness", which allows him to find justification for certain animal experiments, because the suffering human is closer to him than the suffering animal. In basic scientific research, Scharmann can only accept experiments with a small burden of discomfort. On the other hand, for ethical reasons, Teutsch rejects experiments with animals even if there is a strong likelihood of an advantage for the human being. He explains this by claiming that there is no ethically relevant reason for treating animals any differently from humans. The fact that animals lack certain qualities, such as abstract thought, self reflection, or a sense of morality, cannot be regarded as being an ethically relevant argument for treating animals differently.

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How to Cite
Scharmann, W. and Teutsch, G. M. (1994) “[Ethical considerations on animal experiments] [Article in German]”, ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation, 11(4), pp. 191-198. Available at: https://www.altex.org/index.php/altex/article/view/1690 (Accessed: 18September2020).

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