Animal Models in Neuropsychiatry: Do the Clinical Benefits Outweigh the Moral Costs?

Online Convergence Ethics talk

With: Carrie Figdor, PhD Philosophy Iowa Neuroscience Institute

Animal models have long been used to investigate human mental disorders, including depression, anorexia, and autism spectrum disorders. This practice is usually justified consequentially in terms of the benefits (to humans) outweighing the costs (to the animals). Critics have argued that for various reasons the results from experiments with animals don’t translate reliably to the human case, so it seems to follow that the animals are suffering and dying in vain. I’ll consider a number of these criticisms, raise a few of my own, and consider whether severe restrictions on the use of animal models in neuropsychiatry, and medical research generally, might be better for the humans and the animals alike.


For information or registration please send an email to Cristina Richie.