Doctor Files Complaint Over Tulane’s Pig Lab
Tulane University is one of America’s oldest medical schools, but it is one of the last in the nation to replace live animals in trauma training courses. This March, Louisiana physician and PCRM member Leslie Brown, M.D., filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture alleging that Tulane is in violation of the Animal Welfare Act for using animals in trauma training.
In Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) training at Tulane, trainees cut into live, anesthetized pigs and practice emergency medical procedures. After the training session, the pigs are killed.
“Using animals is not only cruel, it is a substandard way to teach emergency procedures that will be used on humans,” says John J. Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., PCRM senior medical and research adviser. “The school should immediately replace the use of animals with state-of-the-art trauma training simulators that are already available in the Tulane simulation center.”
Human-based simulators such as the TraumaMan System have been approved by the American College of Surgeons as a replacement for animal use in ATLS courses; 95 percent of medical facilities that teach ATLS courses have already switched to nonanimal teaching methods.