Washington University, located in St. Louis, Mo., has recently come under fire for its continued use of live cats to teach medical students in its Pediatrics Advanced Life Support (PALS) program how to perform tracheal intubation - inserting a breathing tube into the windpipe of infants.
Cats, and other animals used in this type of training, can often suffer from a range of issues including bruising, scarring, bleeding, permanent injury, broken teeth, collapsed lungs, chronic pain and death. Cats are used over and over again to teach students, while the school justifies the practice by saying that they care for the cats and adopt them out after three years of use.
Clearing an airway is obviously a lifesaving technique that students should become proficient at, but there is no need to use live animals when effective alternatives are available.
The majority of medical and pediatrics programs in the U.S. have stopped using animals and have switched to human patient simulators that are anatomically correct, can be used repeatedly and do not cause harm to any living being.
Washington University is believed to be the last school still using live animals in its PALS program.
Please sign the petition asking Washington University's School of Medicine to abandon the archaic practice of using cats and make an immediate switch to the use of simulators.
As someone who is concerned with animal welfare, I was dismayed to learn that Washington University's School of Medicine is using cats to train medical students how to perform tracheal intubation in its Pediatrics Advanced Life Support (PALS) program.
It's also dismaying to know that yours is the last school that continues to use live animals for PALS training, despite the American Heart Association's stance against it and recommendation that infant simulators be used instead.
Using live animals to train students is not only cruel, but is an outdated practice that cannot be justified when there are effective alternatives available. The majority of schools and pediatrics programs in the U.S. have stopped using animals in their curricula and have switched to human patient simulators that are anatomically correct, can be used repeatedly and do not cause harm to any living being. Additionally, studies have shown that both medical and veterinary students learn just as well, if not better, using simulators.
I sincerely hope that you will immediately abandon the archaic practice of using cats and make an immediate switch to the use of simulators.
If everything looks correct, click sign now. Your signature will not be added until you click the button below.