Non-Human Primates in Research:
Legal and Ethical Considerations
This discussion explored critical legal, ethical, scientific, and social issues raised by research involving non-human primates and the research centers that house them. Topics included what the current regulatory structure requires and permits, what gaps exist, what enforcement problems have arisen, and how they are being addressed at Harvard and elsewhere. Panelists also examined how scientific and medical interests should be balanced against the interests of the animals, and how the ethical and/or regulatory analysis might differ depending on the type of primate involved. Finally, they also considered emerging trends in funding, scientific approaches, and public opinion.
Steven Niemi, DVM, DACLAM, Director, Office of Animal Resources, Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Richard Born, MD, Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School
Hope Ferdowsian, MD, MPH, Adjunct Associate Professor, Georgetown University Medical Center and Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, George Washington University Department of Medicine
Moderator: Kristen A. Stilt, JD, PhD, Professor of Law, Director of the Animal Law and Policy Program, and Director of the Islamic Legal Studies Program, Harvard Law School
This event was free and open to the public.
Couldn't make it to the event? Check out panelists' slide presentations:
Steven Niemi, DVM, DACLAM, "Regulatory Oversight of Laboratory Primates"
Richard Born, MD, "Primate Research: A Researcher's Perspective"
Hope Ferdowsian, MD, MPH, "Primate Research: Ethical Problems and a Potential Way Forward"
For more information on this topic, check out these resources recommended by our speakers:
Steven Niemi recommends:
- Steven M. Niemi, "Commentary: Laboratory Animals As Veterinary Patients," 242 JAVMA 1063-1065 (April 15, 2013). (Provided as .pdf by courtesy of the author.)
Richard Born recommends:
David H. Hubel, "Are We Willing to Fight for Our Research?", 14 Ann. Rev. of Neuroscience (1991).
Dario L. Ringach, "The Use of Non-Human Animals in Biomedical Research," paper presented at the 17th Annual Thomas A. Pitts Memorial Lectureship, Medical University of South Carolina, October 29 –30, 2010.
"Medical Advances and Animal Research: The Contribution of Animal Science to the Medical Revolution: Some Case Histories," Published by RDS: Understanding Animal Research in Medicine and Coalition for Animal Progress (2007).
"Medical Benefits," Speaking of Research (n.d.; accessed October 2, 2015).
Hope Ferdowsian recommends:
Special Section: Moving Forward in Animal Research Ethics, 24 Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics (October 2015).
Special Issue: Rethinking the Ethics of Research Involving Non-Human Animals, 35 Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics (April 2014).
Sponsored by the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School, the Animal Law and Policy Program at Harvard Law School, and the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School, with support from the Oswald DeN. Cammann Fund.
VIDEO: Steven Niemi, "Regulatory Oversight of Laboratory Primates"
VIDEO: Richard Born, "Primate Research: A Researcher's Perspective"
VIDEO: Hope Ferdowsian, "Primate Research: Ethical Problems and a Potential Way Forward"
VIDEO: Audience Q & A