Hastings Archive: Animal Research Ethics

These selected articles from the Hastings Center Report capture the evolution of the debate over the use of animals in research over the last three decades. The first article was published in1985, when criticism of animal research policies was gaining ground. Several philosophers, led by Peter Singer, Tom Regan, and Bernard Rollin, had begun to question the way in which laboratory animals were used. Animal activists were breaking into laboratories to free animals and circulate videos of experiments that inflicted harm on animals. Research organizations defended their practices, and state organizations were established in support of animal research. The debate on animal research then entered a new phase, with an examination of the biological and philosophical meaning of animal pain and suffering, the moral status of animals, and justifications for using animals in research. Four years later, in 1990, a special supplement explored these issues in greater detail. The supplement, the outcome of a two-year Hastings Center project, laid out a the spectrum of views on the moral status of animals, raised questions on the justification of the use of animals in scientific research, and described the understanding of animal suffering at that time. It also detailed the challenges and controversies surrounding institutional animal care and use committees (IACUCs) and surveyed the policy issues, including gaps in federal regulations. These articles reveal much that has changed over the last three decades in debates over the use of animals in research, as well as much that has remained the same.


Rethinking the Morality of Animal Research
Jerrold Tannenbaum and Andrew N. Rowan

Special Supplement

Animals, Science, and Ethics
Strachan Donnelley and Kathleen Nolan, editors

  • Introduction: The Troubled Middle In Medias Res
  • Ethical Theory and the Moral Status of Animals
  • Animals in Science: The Justification Issue
  • Critical Anthropomorphism, Animal Suffering, and the Ecological Context
  • Ethical Review and the Animal Care and Use Committee
  • Policy Issues in the Use of Animals in Research, Testing, and Education
  • Future Directions