Necessary Conditions for Morally Responsible Animal Research

Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 24 (4):420-430 (2015)
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In this paper, we present three necessary conditions for morally responsible animal research that we believe people on both sides of this debate can accept. Specifically, we argue that, even if human beings have higher moral status than nonhuman animals, animal research is morally permissible only if it satisfies (a) an expectation of sufficient net benefit, (b) a worthwhile-life condition, and (c) a no unnecessary-harm/qualified-basic-needs condition. We then claim that, whether or not these necessary conditions are jointly sufficient conditions of justified animal research, they are relatively demanding with the consequence that many animal experiments may fail to satisfy them.

Author Profiles

Jeff Sebo
New York University
David DeGrazia
George Washington University


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