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The Physicians Committee

NEWS RELEASE October 25, 2012

Doctors Protest Hartford Hospital’s Lethal Use of Pigs

Physician-Led Demonstration and Petition Urge Hartford Hospital to “End Deadly Pig Labs”

HARTFORD, Conn.—Hartford Hospital should end the unnecessary use of live pigs in its trauma training course, says a national physicians group holding a protest. Doctors with the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) joined concerned Hartford residents on Oct. 24 for a physician-led demonstration in front of Hartford Hospital.

Protestors carried signs reading, "End Deadly Pig Labs,” “Using Pigs to Teach Human Medicine?” and “Hartford Hospital: Animal Cruelty Doesn’t Save Lives,” directing Hartford residents to the website Doctors also delivered a petition signed by nearly 500 Connecticut residents urging the use of lifelike human patient simulators instead of anesthetized animals.

Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) training at Hartford Hospital involves cutting into live pigs and practicing emergency medical procedures. After the training session, the animals are killed. Although the animals are anesthetized during the procedures, they endure the trauma of confinement, shipping, preparation, manipulation, and death.

Nonanimal education methods are exclusively used by 98 percent of ATLS programs in the United States, including Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, and all of the 23 Canadian facilities providing ATLS training. Hartford Hospital already owns the simulator validated for this training and could immediately replace its use of animals.

“Cutting into living animals is a substandard way to teach emergency procedures that will be performed on humans,” says Connecticut surgeon Marjorie Cramer, M.D., F.A.C.S. “Hartford Hospital should use state-of-the-art, human-centered methods for all trauma courses."

For a copy of petition or to speak with Dr. Cramer, please contact Dania DePas at 202-527-7382 or

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.


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