The use of animal as models: Ethical considerations

Neil Levy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The use of animals in scientific research is highly controversial. Older justifications, which referred to an immense gulf between human beings and other animals, can no longer be sustained in the face of a large body of scientific evidence concerning the similarities between human beings and other animals. The probability is very high that they are like us in many important ways, including in having a capacity to suffer. Because animals may suffer during research, their use must be justified. An appropriate justification will require that researchers can demonstrate that the expected benefits of the research, in terms of pure knowledge and medical applications, outweigh the suffering imposed. However, while the infliction of suffering on animal models must meet stringent conditions, research which involves the (painless) death of animals is often easier to justify, since few animals other than human beings possess the psychological capacities required to care about their future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-442
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Stroke
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'The use of animal as models: Ethical considerations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this