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Animal Research

February 17, 1988

The argument that Kevles promotes is a simple one: Biomedical research on animals can bring positive results for human beings, therefore, it should continue. Or even more simply: The end justifies the means. This argument has failed when applied elsewhere, and it is of dubious value here.

Kevles writes eloquently about an "animal hierarchy" and the relative moral values of different species, but nowhere does she give us an ethical justification for naming the human species as judge of these matters. "Might makes right" is not an adequate rationale.

As important as the right to life and autonomy are to us, why does it appear so easy for Kevles to deny those rights to other sentient species?

RICHARD J. VOLPE

Newbury Park

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