Monday, July 23, 2012

the futility of it all...

i've been interested in the thalidomide class action that played out in the victorian supreme court this week and was elated for lynette rowe, the lead plaintiff, born with no arms or legs after her mother was prescribed thalidomide to combat morning sickness and anxiety during her pregnancy… a multi-million dollar settlement – although 50 years down the track hardly makes up for a lifetime of hardship, nor does it give her the physical independence most of us know - but she will get compensation and be provided with care for the rest of her life - with ageing parents that must be comforting knowledge… i watched lynette cry on the television, and shed tears with her…

but i couldn’t help thinking – ‘doesn't this yet again prove the futility of animal experimentation? thalidomide was tested on animals wasn't it' so i did some research and of course, the answer is yes...

“The most famous example of the dangers of animal testing is the Thalidomide tragedy of the 1960s and 1970s. Thalidomide, which came out on the German market late in the 1950s, had previously been safety tested on thousands of animals. It was marketed as a wonderful sedative for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers and it supposedly caused no harm to either mother or child. Despite this "safety testing", at least 10,000 children whose mothers had taken Thalidomide were born throughout the world with severe deformities.” from against animal testing from a medical and scientific perspective


“Here are just a handful of drugs that were extensively tested on animals and after being approved for human use, were found to have dangerous and deadly side affects. Some were pulled from the market.:

Clioquinol, Eraldin/Practocol, Tequin, TGN 1412, Thalidomide, Zyprexa/Olanzapine. Phenactin, E-Ferol, Oraflex, Rexar, Suprofen, Zomax, Suprol, Rezulin, Selacryn, and Vioxx have been pulled from the market after killing or harming thousands and thousands of people.

Side effects of prescription medicines kill over 100,000 people a year in the US and almost as many in the UK. That is more than all illegal drugs combined!

The great breakthroughs in science that have given us all the medical advances we enjoy today have actually come from ethical, human-based research - most notably astute clinical observation, epidemiology (population studies), autopsies and in- vitro research, including the use of human tissue. Anaesthetics, antibiotics, aspirin, beta-blockers, pacemakers and many other great discoveries owe nothing to animals and everything to human ingenuity.

Another issue is the fact that drugs can injure animals but display no adverse reactions in humans. These are equally significant in revealing the inaccuracy of animal data because these tests keep potentially useful medications out of our reach."

more proof of the futility of experimentation on non-human animals…

maurice beddow bayly wrote the book ‘the futility of experiments on living animals’ way back in 1956 stating “In a universe which embraces all types of life and consciousness and all material forms through which these manifest, nothing which is ethically wrong can ever be scientifically right; ...in an integrated cosmos of spirit and matter one law must pervade all levels and all planes. This is the basic principle upon which the whole case against vivisection rests. Cicero summed it up in the four words: "No cruelty is useful".

cancer researchers have been using animals for decades, with no 'cure' on the horizon… “With billions of dollars, countless animals, and well over 30 years spent on the war on cancer, concrete results should have been seen if animal research was actually working. On the contrary, the incidence of cancer continues to rise.” this, again from against animal testing from a medical and scientific perspective and also borne out in the human cost of animal experiments from the animal liberation front website "the inability to validate carcinogenicity in animals kept cancer-causing agents legal for a much longer time."...

one of the most potent realities of all also comes from the animal liberation front website: "The real bottom line is stark: no animal experiment has ever saved a human life. But animal experiments have led to many human deaths."

frighteningly "increasingly animals are being genetically modified in attempts to model human illnesses. Even when these GM animals have an identical defective gene they do not always develop the same disease as humans, or indeed any disease at all." from what's wrong with animal experiments

surely non-human animal experimentation has been proven futile over and over again and needs to stop - if humans want ‘cures’, test them on human cells, tissues and cultures, not non-human animals who are not less than human, but equal to - they are not 'ours' to use and abuse - we need to end this brutality!!

“Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals and the answer is: 
'Because animals are like us.'
 
“Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: 
'Because the animals are not like us.'

“Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction.”

... charles r magel, professor of philosophy...

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

thanks for this fascinating post. i need to re-read and 'soak' it up more but was intrigued by some of those facts...and as a lover of Cicero I note those simple four words.
lil

parlance said...

I think the central point in all this is what you quoted: 'nothing which is ethically wrong can ever be scientifically right.'

Sisyphus Uphill said...

Thank you for bringing this up. I remember vividly sharing a hotel lobby, in Heathrow, some twenty five years ago, with a delegation of people who had been affected by the dreaded thalidomide. Despite the deformities, they were the most upbeat and positive bunch one could encounter!

proud womon said...

i have been so slack in acknowledging your comments... so thanks lil and parlance...

and thank you for stopping by and commenting sisyphus - i'm intrigued by your choice of 'name' - maybe that will become clear once i read your blog...

Bea Elliott said...

I was not at all aware of this... Thank you for shining a light to the absurd reasoning behind animal testing - And sharing a story with some kind of closure for one of it's victims. So tragic. :(

proud womon said...

sadly australian womyn were used in very early 'trials' of thalidomide in the 60s with horrendous results... but if it hadn't been australia, it would have happened to womyn elsewhere...

horrifically thalidomide is still being used - but for different medical reasons these days...

this comes from thalidomide victims assoc of canada

United States:
Since July 16, 1998, thalidomide (THALOMID®) is licensed for use in the United States in treating complications related to leprosy. Since October 26, 2006, it is also authorized in cases of Multiple Myeloma. To consult the FDA's (Food ans Drug Administration) complete fact sheet about thalidomide, click here. Its distribution is exclusively controlled by the S.T.E.P.S. Program.

Canada:
Since August 4, 2010, Canada authorizes the use of thalidomide (THALOMID®) in the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who are 65 years of age or older. To consult Health Canada's complete fact sheet about thalidomide, click here. Thalidomide is only available through a controlled distribution program called RevAid®.

Under the practice of medicine a physician can prescribe this drug for a condition other than multiple myeloma."

it appears to be a case of "if at first you don't succeed, surely it's got to be useful for something - let's keep trying"!!!