The University of Michigan is being
castigated by critics for a course that instill knowledge to students
on how to save human lives, yet uses animals in their trainings.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals submitted a formal
complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and requested for
an investigation into U-M's Survival Flight course, which trains
future nurses on board helicopters for survival flights using live
cats and pigs.
Goodman relates that the University of Michigan's students harness
their intubation and trauma skills by inserting plastic tubes down
cats' throats and into pigs hearts. Goodman is the associate director
of PETA's Laboratory Investigations. He added that the procedures are
deplorable, since the university offers three other courses that
teach the same skills that doesn't involve any live animals and use
simulators in their trainings instead.
outrageous, absolutely indefensible and we believe illegal for the
university to continue maiming and killing cats and pigs for medical
training purposes for which they have already deemed simulators to be
educationally superior to animal use," Goodman said.
other hand, the University of Michigan said in a prepared statement
that it stands by its policy of using animals for the training of
Survival Flight staff.
the availability of simulators and other teaching aids, the unique
environment that Survival Flight is forced to practice in requires
these procedures to be performed on live tissue," the statement
said. "There is no substitute for this type of training."
Lowell an Associate Professor who teaches the course, was not
available for comment.
Professor Mark Lowell, who teaches the course, was not available for
provided documents showing that the animals (cats and pigs) being
used in the course would be anesthetized on the training and would
either be adopted or euthanized after.
Bauza-Wagerson, University of Mchigan's spokeswoman said most of the
cats are adopted, and the procedures are just like the ones used on
human patients and are used by vets every now and then. Unlike
doctors, advance -practice flight nurses who receive this training
have no opportunity for supervised training on these procedures in
human patients before treating patients in the field, she added.
email written by Bauza-Wagerson she said, "Although they are
trained extensively using simulators, additional training is
request filed by PETA to the USDA was based on documents it obtained
from University of Michigan through the Freedom of Information Act.
The federal inquisition appeal implies that the university's practice
is against the Animal Welfare Act, which demands alternatives for
procedures that hurt animals.
of PETA is subsequent to a similar move in 2009 by the Physicians
Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). The group asked the USDA
to investigate a University of Michigan course that used shelter dogs
in its Advanced Trauma and Life Support courses for surgeons. The
university announced a month later that it halted the use of dogs in
favor of simulators.