Support of refute the following claim: “Students in laboratory classes should not be required to participate in dissection.”  Why or why not?  What are the pros and cons of dissection in medical practice and the medical fields? Why do people dissect in the first place?  Are there ethical issues at play?  Is it wrong to test products on animals?  What about humans?  Are there a differences between human rights and/or animal rights? 

Students in laboratory classes should not be required to participate in dissection. There are a number of different types of students that object to dissection, generally at the high school level. These students may be vegetarian, vegan, or their religion may advise against it. In these situations, not allowing these students to sit out of the dissection and failing them if they do so is morally ambiguous. Many of these students at the high school level are taking these classes because they are required, not because they have a strong and distinct interest in the science field. Allowing them to sit out of dissection is not directly hindering their education. At a college level, however, students should be required to participate in dissection at a college level, because these classes are required for the particular major path that the students are on. It is unusual for a student to be involved in a class in which dissection is required if they are not engaged in a career path that would require the knowledge gleaned from the dissection.

The pros of dissection in the medical practice and field are numerous. Allowing students to dissect an animal allows them a way in which to study particular parts of the body that can also be found in humans in a safe and forgiving environment. It can give students a hands on knowledge of what they’re learning, and it can also aid students in determining if the medical field is right for them. In terms of cons, many people are against the killing of animals (such as pigs, fish, etc) for use in dissection when students can instead use models or study what they’re learning on the internet through software.

People generally dissect so that they can learn about a particular part of the brain or body. There are ethical issues at play regarding how the specimens came to be in the classroom and how they are treated before and after the dissection. Some people find it ethically wrong to test products on animals, as they’re defenseless and have no  say in what happens to them. It is wrong to essentially torture the animals in order to test new products. It’s just as possible to have human test subjects who voluntarily sign themselves up to be a tester.

The difference between human rights and animal rights is that human beings are treated as having more agency than animals. They are given certain protections and rights and are able to make decisions for themselves. Animals, on the other hand, are considered less intelligent than humans, which makes it easier to justify testing products on them.