Target: Chief Medical Officer at Washington University, Dr. F. Sessions Cole
Goal: Ban animal testing and apologize for falsely stating that animal testing was being ended
It was previously announced that Washington University in St. Louis was going to put an end to using cats as part of its pediatric training courses. The school’s announcement made headlines across the country and delighted many animal welfare organizations that have been working tirelessly for the past decade to get Washington, as well as many other medical schools, to stop using animals for medical testing. The Washington University medical school, however, has gone back on its word and recently made a statement saying it has no intention to stop using animals.
The statement even goes as far as defending the practice, saying, “We believe our training serves the best interests of sick infants, who benefit from experienced physicians.” The school still hasn’t released any details as to where cats will still be used, but claims their previous comments were misinterpreted and that the decision to stop using live cats never actually extended beyond the Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) class.
Animal rights groups across the country are relaunching campaigns to demand the school completely ban the practice. More than 98 percent of medical schools in the United States no longer use live animals for practicing medical procedures. Simulators and dummies have become a much more effective and reliable method, meaning the school simply refuses to change its practices out of habit or tradition. What is perhaps most disheartening is that the University’s lie was a lie of omission. They continue to assert that the confusion was the result of a misinterpretation on behalf of the public, when in reality, their original public statement declaring an end to testing on cats was intentionally vague. By omitting the clause in their original statement, the public believes they are no longer testing on animals at all and the school is free to continue the same practices without pressure from animal rights groups.
Washington University continues to argue their innocence, but the facts just don’t add up. Regardless of the school’s motivations, the horrific circumstances the cats they test on must endure needs to stop immediately. One class in their medical school isn’t enough. Please sign the petition below to demand that Washington University’s medical school completely ban the practice of using animals for medical training.
Dear Dr. Cole,
We recently posted a petition praising your medical school for ending the use of cats in pediatric advanced life support training. The school, however, has made a second statement declaring that they still plan on using live cats for training, just not in that particular class. Not only was the school’s original statement several months ago a lie of omission, it was clearly not a misinterpretation on behalf of the public as the school continues to claim.
Animals are not ours to do with as we please. You claim that the animals are well cared for, but it isn’t difficult to imagine the experience. Any human would be terrified at the thought of being intubated repeatedly every single day against their own will. It is an awful kind of terror and cruelty these cats endure. I demand that the Washington University Medical School ban the use of animals in its training programs completely and also publicly apologize for the false information that was given to the public in your original statement.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ciell via Wikimedia Commons