A hospital in New Jersey is facing the ire of animal advocates and a national medical group for using dogs in their residency training programs. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a Washington D.C. non-profit organization, two train station advertisements have been posted to bring attention to the Morristown Medical Center who are killing dogs teaching medical procedures.
“At Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey, emergency medicine residents are taught procedural skills using live dogs. Trainees are instructed to make incisions, insert a tube into a dog’s chest cavity, crack open the breastbone in order to access the heart, and insert or drill a needle into the animal’s bones. At the end of each training session, the animals are killed. Please join our effort to put an end to this substandard practice by e-mailing President Trish O’Keefe, Ph.D., R.N., and Chief Medical Officer Louis Brusco, Jr., M.D., F.C.C.M….”
The signs are located at the Morristown train station and on I95 near the Newark International Airport. Signs read “Don’t kill man’s best friend for medical testing,” as the photo of a dog looks down. Morristown is one of the few hospitals in the country that still uses live animals in training physicians. According to NJ.com, even dogs who survive the experiments are still killed.
Morristown Medical Center, however defends their position, stating that the use of dogs was necessary and emergency medical residents attend the off-site lab to “practice these complicated, potentially life-saving procedures on live tissue.” According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, 89 percent of emergency medicine programs currently use non-animal training methods, and those that still do incorporate pigs into their training programs, although still disturbing, not as contentious as using dogs or cats.
No other medical institutions in New Jersey use live animals – including Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Hackensack University Medical Center, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
The billboard signs have appeared after discussions with hospital personnel failed. It is not known where the off-site training laboratory is located nor where the hospital is collecting the dogs.
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(Photo of killing dogs teaching via screenshot by NJ.com)