• Question: would you rather test something straight on a human or on an animal first

    Asked by pineapple to Gavin, Mark, Michel, Roisin on 16 Nov 2016.
    • Photo: Mark Kennedy

      Mark Kennedy answered on 16 Nov 2016:

      I don’t work on anything that requires testing on humans or animals, so I don’t have to decide thankfully.

      If I did have to decide, I don’t know which I would choose. If you have humans who volunteer to be tested on, that’s obviously better than testing on animals, as the humans can be aware of the risks. The problem here is, if your cure/chemical doesn’t work and kills all of your volunteers, did you test it on enough people to learn something? Like, if you get only one human volunteer, and they die, and so you change your chemical – who do you test it on next? You probably won’t get anymore volunteers because your chemical already killed someone…but you need to be able to test it to see if you’ve fixed the problem with it.

      So that’s where animal testing comes in. And it sounds awful, I know it does. Makes me sad to think we kill animals by testing chemicals on them without them consenting. This is a really tough question 🙁

    • Photo: Roisin Jones

      Roisin Jones answered on 16 Nov 2016:

      My browser is being a little wonky, so I can’t tell who left the answer above me, but I think they’ve covered my feelings on the subject pretty well! I think testing on animals is horrible, but a horrible necessity. I can’t think of any other way to properly test potential new drugs in vivo before testing them on humans, and while I dislike the idea of testing on animals, I am far more upset by the idea that humans might die during the trial and error process of getting a drug to where it needs to be for mass production.