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Saw this news item yesterday and could not believe it. This is a world class institution with some of the brightest minds in the world and they needed "careful study" to come to this conclusion??? Really? I think it would have taken me about a nanosecond. Keep in mind this was not surgery being done to help ill dogs get better. This was surgery to help teach med students about trauma care in humans, after which they killed the dogs. Holy cow. This is wrong on so many levels.

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Friday, February 27, 2009
Ann Arbor

U-M to end surgery on dogs
Health system to use simulators instead of operating on animals as part of physician training.

Marisa Schultz / The Detroit News

ANN ARBOR -- The University of Michigan will end the practice of operating on shelter dogs to teach physicians life-saving skills and trauma care, the U-M Health System announced Thursday.

Students instead will rely on simulators, after an animal activist group filed a complaint against the university with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in January, alleging that the use of live dogs for advanced trauma life support training is unlawful.

"After careful study, the University of Michigan Health System has decided to use only simulated models for the Advanced Trauma and Life Support courses conducted at the U-M Medical School," a university health system statement said.

"The decision comes from a recommendation by the Health System's Graduate Medical Education Committee after a review of simulators that can be used to train medical professionals in trauma procedures," the statement said.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine launched a campaign to end the practice, renting billboards that say "Don't put man's best friend under the knife. Stop the live dog lab."

The group says U-M was one the few medical schools in the country to use animals -- and likely the only one to use shelter dogs -- in advanced trauma and life support courses.

Students practiced life-saving procedures by cutting open live, anesthetized dogs; later, the dogs were killed, the group said.

"To use family pets taken from shelters to teach a course that's better taught using simulators is just gratuitous and it's wrong," said Dr. John J. Pippin, senior medical and research advisor at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. "We are delighted the university has made this change."
 
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