Target: Washington University Provost Edward S. Macias
Goal: Urge Washington University to cease using live cats within all pediatric medical training courses
For years, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has been putting pressure on Washington University and its partner, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, to discontinue the use of live cats within the university’s Pediatric advanced life-support (PALS) class. This course teaches students how to insert a tube into the windpipe of an infant who is struggling to breathe.
In April, PETA released a video shot from inside one of the university’s labs showing how the cats were anesthetized and intubated during the training. The video revealed that some cats were improperly anesthetized, causing them to wake during the procedure, thus leaving them vulnerable to injury.
In late May, the university announced that the use of live cats within the course would cease. According to the Riverfront Times, St. Louis Children’s Hospital spokeswoman, Jackie Ferman, confirmed that this change would be permanent. However, on June 12, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch received a letter from Washington University doctors stating that, although the use of live cats within the PALS course has been permanently discontinued, other pediatric intubation courses would continue to use live animals.
The letter further explained that the university feels using live animals is the best way to prepare students for the actual act of intubating an infant. However, according to a survey conducted by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), over ninety-eight percent of the pediatric residency programs within the United States choose to use infant simulators rather than live animals within their training programs.
By choosing to continue using live cats within their pediatric intubation training programs, Washington University and St. Louis Children’s Hospital are needlessly harming animals. Sign this petition and urge the university and hospital to discontinue the use of live animals within all of their pediatric medical training programs.
Dear Washington University Provost Edward S. Macias,
Using live animals within your pediatric intubation programs must be discontinued.
The majority of the pediatric medical residency programs within the United States no longer use live animals for this type of training. Instead, they choose to use non-animal methods of teaching, such as the infant simulator. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, these simulators, when designed properly, can be more effective and useful than live animal methods of teaching.
While it is understandable that the university wants its students to be prepared and able to accurately intubate an infant, it is no longer necessary to continue using live animals to accomplish this goal.
[Your Name Here]
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