Yekta Gadbois, MD

The work done by the NIH and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in scrutinizing the scientific necessity of continuing to use chimpanzees in biomedical and behavioral research revealed that harmful intramural and extramural research continued to be approved, funded, and conducted for years even though there were alternative methods in virtually every area where chimpanzees were being used invasively. The NIH and IOM reviews of chimpanzee research effectively underscored serious limitations in the current animal research review system. This same problem of impoverished review processes currently exists in the oversight of experiments involving other animals—resulting in the approval, funding, and execution of harmful experiments on animals where other methods might have been used. Reviews of protocols involving nonhuman primates should be more rigorous and standards for evaluating harms and benefits should be raised. Important articles have been written on this aspect of oversight (1, 2, 3) and these should be discussed in the NIH’s workshop on oversight of research involving nonhuman primates and steps should be implemented to reform oversight of primate research.
1. Wendler, D. (2014). Should protections for research with humans who cannot consent apply to research with nonhuman primates? Theoretical medicine and bioethics, 35(2), 157-173.
2. Ferdowsian, H., & Fuentes, A. (2014). Harms and deprivation of benefits for nonhuman primates in research. Theoretical medicine and bioethics, 35(2), 143-156.
3. DeGrazia, D., & Sebo, J. (2015). Necessary conditions for morally responsible animal research. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 24(4), 420-430.


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