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Ethics for the Living World Alternative Methods and New Strategies for The Protection of Nonhuman Animals

Susanna Penco, Rosagemma Ciliberti


The use of animals in laboratories is a controversial issue involving much dispute between the researchers who support animal experimentation and those who are in favor of its abolishment. The former, whilst criticizing the emotional behavior of those who oppose it, consider experimentation on animals unavoidable, whereas the latter criticize animal experiments and the underlying logic as erroneous considering its methods unscientific and therefore misleading. This paper stems from the idea of researching into possible ways of developing or improving new alternative strategies for animal experimentation by finding adequate solutions beyond dogmatic opposition in the context of the current European Directive 2010/63/EU (the main reference point for the experimentation on animals) for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. More specifically the paper aims at offering the readers a working proposal, while duly respecting the protocol for the post mortem donation of their own corpses for the purposes of study and research. As we believe diseases need to be cured and not only treated, we are advocating post mortem studies on organs which could lead to the discovery of the causes of unknown etiological pathologies. The commitment to the implementation of constantly new and innovative alternatives concerning animal experimentation is right and proper, especially in the light of the enormous debt which the Italian National Bioethics Committee stated that mankind has towards nonhuman living beings.


Animal experiments; animal ethics; animal use; alternative methods; ethics committee; post mortem body donations; human tissue and human organ donation; corpse didactics; animal protection; multiple sclerosis.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/rela-2013-002-penc

Relations. Beyond Anthropocentrism
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (04/05/2012 n. 211)
Online ISSN 2280-9643 - Print ISSN 2283-3196

Executive Editor: Francesco Allegri
Associate Editor: Matteo Andreozzi 
Review Editors: Sofia Bonicalzi - Eleonora Adorni
Editorial Board:
Ralph R. Acampora - Carol J. Adams - Vilma Baricalla - Luisella Battaglia - Rod Bennison - Matthew R. Calarco - Piergiorgio Donatelli - William Grove-Fanning - Serenella Iovino - Luigi Lombardi Vallauri - Christoph Lumer - Joel MacClellan - Dario Martinelli - Roberto Marchesini - Alma Massaro - Barbara Muraca - Serpil Oppermann - Simone Pollo - Paola Sobbrio - Kim Stallwood - Sabrina Tonutti - Jessica Ullrich - Federico Zuolo