The Michelson Ethical Research & Education Initiative, a partnership between the Michelson Medical Research Foundation and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is aimed at making medical research and education more ethical, more effective. Innovations in these fields are far superior to animal experiments and will end the exploitation and suffering of animals for these purposes. These are the campaigns MMRF is supporting:
Ending the Use of Animals in Medical Education
With support from the Michelson Medical Research Foundation, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has eliminated live animal laboratories in all medical schools in the U.S. and Canada. For 30 years, the Physicians Committee has campaigned against the use of animals in medical education and other forms of medical training. In 2016, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Tennessee’s campus in Chattanooga succumbed to pressure from our public campaign and joined 200 accredited U.S. and Canadian medical schools in transitioning to more humane and advanced methods of education such as simulators. Now, no student entering medical school in either country will be required to practice their skills on live animals.
MMRF and the Physicians Committee continue to partner on the campaign to end the use of animals in all forms of medical training – Emergency Medicine, Advanced Trauma Life Support, Paramedics and military combat trauma training in which animals are burned, mutilated and shot, then kept alive for days as medics practice on them.
Ending Animal Experiments in Chemical Safety Testing
MMRF is partnering with the Physicians Committee to end the cruelty involved in testing toxic chemicals on animals. In these tests, numerous species of animals, including dogs, rabbits, birds, and mice, are poisoned, blinded, and maimed. They suffer greatly before they die. The Physicians Committee is working to replace these inhumane tests with cutting edge methods and technologies that are more accurate and do not involve the use of animals.
The Physicians Committee leads a 13-member animal advocacy group at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), where it promotes nonanimal testing approaches for adoption by the 34 OECD countries. The Physicians Committee also partners with industries, regulators and academics to surmount scientific and policy barriers to the widespread adoption of nonanimal tests and trains scientists throughout the U.S. and across the globe in how to use them.
Ending Animal Experiments in Preclinical Drug Testing
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), only a very small portion of drugs tested on animals – approximately five percent – succeed in human clinical trials. The primary reason for this high failure rate is the reliance on animal experiments in lieu of human-relevant methods. But using data from animal tests to evaluate human health effects is a fundamentally flawed process due to the many variations in physiology that make each living organism, as well as each genus and species, unique. When one considers that even a mouse, rat and hamster may all react differently to the same exposure, it is easy to understand why animal tests fail as accurate models in assessing outcomes for humans.
MMRF is supporting the Physicians Committee in its work to transform the way drugs are tested before they are evaluated in clinical trials. Although far better alternatives to animal tests exist, the FDA has been slow to incorporate them into testing policies.
The Physicians Committee is leading a coalition of patient advocacy groups, industries, and government representatives to promote scientific innovations, training initiatives, and federal policy changes that will overhaul the drug approval process, making it safer, more efficient, and humane.
The Michelson Ethical Research & Education Initiative
With the support of the Michelson Medical Research Foundation [MMRF], the Physicians Committee is conducting a campaign to bring these experiments to an end. The organization has released a scientific critique of the experiments detailing the reasons they are irrelevant to heart failure research in humans and petitioned the National Institutes of Health to defund them. The Physicians Committee has reached out to school officials and launched a grassroots campaign to draw attention to the plight of these dogs, gaining media attention through demonstrations, leafleting, advertisements and billboards. The organization filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and successfully defended a Wayne State lawsuit attempting to deny the organization access to public records. Learn more about the campaign to end the exploitation of dogs in heart failure research here.
The University of Nevada drops its required dog laboratory after we launch a public education and media campaign to end it. This victory paves the way for a national shift in medical training. In the ensuing years, nearly every medical school would halt the use of animals in medical education.
After a protracted effort by the Physicians Committee, the U.S. Army finally stops poisoning monkeys in chemical weapons exercises.
Our leadership led the federal government to phase out the use of chimpanzees in invasive research; release the more than 500 federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries; and prohibit future breeding of chimpanzees for purposes of conducting invasive research. Thanks to our work, chimpanzee experiments have effectively ended in the United States.
Related MMRF Beneficiary
Dedicated MMRF Posts
- Animal Laboratories banned from Medical Student Education [2017-05-10. MMRF Staff. Michelson Medical Research Foundation]
- Activists to speak at Wayne State meeting to condemn research using dogs [2014-05-15. MMRF Staff. Michelson Medical Research Foundation]
- Beagle Puppies about to be exposed to Rabies Virus [2014-05-30. MMRF Staff. Michelson Medical Research Foundation]