Target: Washington University Provost Edward Macias
Goal: Thank Washington University for stopping the use of cats in their medical training.
For years the Washington University medical center has been criticized for using live cats for testing. Recently, the facility decided to end this practice. Not only will this have the obvious effect of protecting the lives of other cats who would otherwise have lived a miserable existence, the university also has connections to one of the best children’s hospitals in the world and this will likely make other medical facilities take notice.
The testing at Washington University is performed during a pediatric life support training course. Breathing tubes are placed down the throats of sedated cats in order to practice performing the procedure on infants during hospitalization or medical emergencies. Sadly, many of the cats have to endure this as often as 22 times per day. It is an incredibly traumatic experience. Bleeding, tracheal bruising, and broken teeth are all common, making recovery from tracheal intubation extremely long and difficult.
In the United States and Canada, 95 percent of pediatric residencies no longer use live animals in their training. Human-based simulations are infinitely more effective. In fact, the infant model human-patient simulator can be used repeatedly and is so realistic it can cry, turn blue, and let the student know when it is lacking oxygen. The practice of using cats has become so unnecessary that doctors in medical schools across the country have started writing petitions and working with animal rights groups to put an end to it.
Washington University has strong connections to St. Louis Children’s Hospital, one of the best children’s hospitals in the country. Halting the use of cats in medical training could be a strong influence for the remaining medical schools to follow in its steps. Please take a moment to sign the petition below and thank Washington University.
Dear Provost Macias,
The Washington University Medical School recently decided to stop using cats as simulations for residency students to practice tracheal intubation. This procedure is completely unnecessary and causes a great deal of harm and misery for the cats. In fact, 95 percent of pediatric residencies in the United States and Canada no longer use animals in their training and many continue to work with animal rights organizations in an effort to completely discontinue the practice.
Thank you for taking this step and for protecting the lives of these cats who would otherwise have to endure bleeding, tracheal bruising, and broken teeth when there are more accurate human simulators available. I hope that your medical facility serves as an example for those universities across the country that continue to use animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: JuditK via Flickr