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Revista de Bioética y Derecho

versão On-line ISSN 1886-5887


VEGA ANGELES, Ricardo  e  ORTIZ MILLAN, Gustavo. Ethical positions and presuppositions in the debate about the use of non-human animals in scientific research. Rev. Bioética y Derecho [online]. 2021, n.51, pp.21-42.  Epub 29-Mar-2021. ISSN 1886-5887.

This paper aims to analyze the moral problems of the use of non-human animals in scientific research. To this end, four representative positions are examined within this debate: 1) unrestricted, 2) balanced, 3) moral dilemma, and 4) abolitionist, which arise from compromises made with respect to certain key premises with which one may or may not agree. These premises refer to the importance given by each position to i) the affectation of animal interests, ii) the moral relevance of these interests, iii) the justification by benefits of animal experimentation, and iv) the importance of human interest compared to that of other animals. Each position accepts and rejects a particular pattern of these points, and making these commitments explicit, we can analyze the problems and contradictions that each position has. In the end we find that the first three positions contain important incongruities regarding the difference of treatment they allow between humans and animals subject to experimentation, besides that they must accept in different degrees human exceptionalism and speciesism to explain themselves. While the abolitionist position-despite having more practical difficulties-is more consistent, it protects human and non-human animals from being harmed by these practices.

Palavras-chave : Scientific research; non-human animals; animal experimentation; animal ethics; moral dilemma; human exceptionalism; speciesism; abolitionism.

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