The Relevance of Joseph Fletcher's Situation Ethics for Animal Experimentation in Clinical studies

Osebor Ikechukwu Monday, Stephen C C Chukwuma ESQ and James J Pearce

The need for continual progress in medical research is one among the challenges today facing humankind. Ongoing, necessary medical research involving animal subjects, we will argue from a Utilitarian standpoint, that animal experimentation should be carried out in such a way that injury and suffering to the animal subjects can be reduced. However, animal-experimentation clinical studies have been crucial for the eradication of many diseases such as smallpox, polio and promise similar results for other medical conditions in the future. The ethical and emotional demands placed upon the experimenter during clinical trials, as well as the suffering of the animal subjects, provides us with an ethical dilemma concerning the moral justification of animal experimentation for clinical studies. To alleviate or solve the problem of animal suffering, philosophers use critical methods. This paper will argue that inflexible moral absolutism is too restrictive to proffer solutions in significant areas of conflict and that Joseph Fletcher's "Situation Ethics" should be the primary moral guide for animal experimentation.