The Morristown Medical Center announced on Thursday they will abandon the use of killing dogs used in medical school training for emergency residents. The new policy came just days after the medical group, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a Washington D.C. non-profit organization, paid for three billboard advertisements aimed at bringing attention to the medical center for killing dogs while teaching medical procedures.
The hospital had previously been defending its position, stating they were using dogs in an off-site lab during a single, four-hour course to demonstrate surgical procedures. Even if the dogs survived the invasive procedures, they were euthanized after the sessions. According to NJ.com, the revised announcement came out early Thursday afternoon in a press release:
“Having reviewed current widespread practices and replacements for animal use, Morristown Medical Center has determined that the use of animals is not essential for training of emergency medicine physicians. As such, Morristown Medical Center will begin using either simulators or cadavers for this specialized, annual training.
As we have said from the beginning, training our physicians and staff to provide the highest quality care for our patients is our priority and responsibility. We will continue to ensure that our emergency residents are able to safely and proficiently perform life-saving procedures.”
Since the billboards went up, the hospital had been receiving numerous emails and phone calls about their use of dogs. Cardiologist John Pippin, director of academic affairs for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, stated officials at the hospital were anxious to stop the outpouring of criticism by changing their policy.
The billboards will now be taken down. This time the dogs won with some great help.
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(Photo for killing dogs used in medical school via Beagle Freedom)