I was pleased to see the column by Kevles. She accurately presented the view of most of our laboratory investigators who recognize the need and value of animal investigation to understand the underlying mechanisms of human disease and "constantly sort out the frivolous from the necessary in their research."
We share an enormous respect for any form of life and constantly face trade-offs and moral judgments which present constant dilemmas. Our current animal use review procedures and ongoing surveillance systems at local, regional and national levels should now provide a high level of confidence to the public. The treatment of animals by most scientists is as humane as possible, given the fact that there is no substitute for animal research to optimize the advances of modern medicine. Research on humans and no research seem untenable alternatives.
DELBERT A. FISHER, MD
Director, The Walter F. Martin
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center